I think we’ve all heard at this point about how what drives us are the opposing elements of love and fear. That we are fight or flight animals that at our core are driven by our survival instincts. All of this is true. All of this is fact. It’s the mere functioning of our primitive brain. But, one thing that always gets lost is that in the modern world, in our modern brain, most of our fight or flight responses are being translated into what we don’t have and how to get it.
Do you want to know why you are worried about getting enough work? Lack of resources = financial scarcity. Lack of good projects to work on = creative scarcity. Lack of a good partner that shows you the love and support you need = emotional scarcity… and on and on.
It’s so easy to blame others for all of this. Dr. Brené Brown states: “Blame is the discharge of pain and discomfort.” Look what’s happening in our country right now. Nationalism and Populism depend on creating divisions between people based on finite resources and scarcity. So, those exploiting that ideology for their own gain begin by blaming the “other.” Mexicans will take your job. Muslims will take your safety. Transgenders will take your children’s innocence. While none of this is true, the easiest way to manipulate people is through scarcity, and it’s all around us.
Tune into a shopping channel sometime. Always on the screen are the amount of time left on the sale and how many units there are left to buy. It’s designed to manipulate with the idea of finite resources and to create the anxiety of being left out.
Scarcity is rarely anchored in the moment. If you are hungry right now and have no food that’s one thing, but I can’t imagine anyone reading this is in that position. Scarcity as we experience it has a context based on the past or future. Just take the White Supremacists in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.” That’s not a fear based in the moment. To be replaced in the future assumes you are currently holding some position. They’re fearful they’ll be left out someday? That they’ll somehow be replaced at some point down the road? It’s idiotic. No wonder they’re anxious. They are focused on a dark, completely undefined future of scarcity, not what is good right now. At the very least, in the present they have those groovy white polo shirts and khaki pants uniforms. that’s something, right?
So, what’s the antidote? What would happen if we stopped listening to the shrill drone of marketers, politicians, reality television and social media? All of the forces saying: “you are not getting enough” which is really code for “you are not enough.” The answer is simple: it would force us into the present where, if you look around, you’ll find plenty of abundance and much to be grateful for.
Each of our mind’s create the Universe we live in. Focus your mind on the abundance and love you have right now, not on the ambiguous scarcity you may or may not experience in the future. Or, equally important, don’t dwell on the things you lacked in the past. There is nothing you can do about that anymore. If you can bring yourself to the present moment, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to think more clearly about what really matters. I promise.