It is hard to diagnose scarcity in oneself by saying yea or nay to a concept. It’s better identified by its symptoms.
Scarcity is, at its root, the feeling of being not good enough. It has many unfoldings and I won't capture them here.
It leads me to live a small life.
It’s the experience of inner name-calling and harshness. Scarcity feeds the inner tyrant which forever demands and plants seeds of doubt. The gap between what I feel I should be and what I am is a space of suffering. Gap = lack = not enough = scarcity = dissatisfaction.
Scarcity is rushing toward the future. It’s life lived IN the future. Fast-forwarding sounds excellent when I don’t love life. If I earn enough recognition, I will redeem myself from the haunting feeling I am doing life wrong. That fool’s gold makes me salivate. I let it motivate me.
I pursue One Day. One Day is somewhere other than here. I cling-hope to the day when everything is different. The future is a temptress, seducing me to borrow from its accomplishments to pay for today’s identity.
Under the logic of One Day, I am meant to live up to my idealized self-notion. When I don't and life doesn’t meet me the way I want it to, life or the other people around me are wrong. I am entitled to my anger and blame and judgment. Dumb logic.
The condition of scarcity thrives in no less than the Declaration of Independence. "Pursuit of happiness” means chase. Is it something we catch up to? This eternal preparation to live leads me to a life of deathbed regrets. It separates me from life, the experience of the present moment.
What this translates into for me is the struggle for survival and status. It's a weak view of life.
If I act from scarcity, I create scarcity.
Practice makes perfect. When I practice stress and anxiety each day, the future will not relieve stress and anxiety. What difference do external conditions make in the face of such disciplined habit? I can't feed stress and anxiety super-sized meals and hope they become fit.
Pursuit is fundamental error. I can only cultivate happiness. I can be certain many tools of cultivation exist in the vast body of human knowledge. They have for millennia. Cultivation acknowledges my lived experience can improve. And still, I remind myself it's ok to not be beyond scarcity already.
Scarcity is an issue of how I AM. My fear about money is a more superficial expression of my fundamental insecurity.
One of scarcity’s sacrileges is diminishing life to shopping mall and arcade and bar and super bowl. When I don’t understand scarcity’s dynamic, numbness sounds pretty good.
If I start looking at scarcity now, I can start transforming it now. If I want to stay in hot pursuit of happiness around the next corner, I can begin later. It doesn’t matter much.
I don’t overcome scarcity by pretending it doesn’t exist. And trying to overcome it in my worldly accomplishments is dumb too. I overcome scarcity by facing it. I look at it over and over again and it reveals its weakness to me.
Prosperity emerges little by little with calm and tranquility.
pros·per·i·ty (prŏ-spĕr′ĭ-tē) n.
1. The enjoyment of deep trust in oneself, and by extension, the unshakeable conviction that Life will provide for all of one’s needs. One gets to relax even in the midst of action.
2. The condition of having secured oneself beyond the prevailing state of scarcity; the struggle for survival and status no longer predominate.
4. The culture for which humanity works internally as much as externally.