Why has it become easier to think about what you don’t have rather than what’s already there?
Raging advertisements and social media are constantly reminding us that we are insufficient in ourselves. We are bugged to consume more to be puzzles that transcend completion – we add pieces we don’t even need.
Unfortunately, the emptiness we feel will only get wider with the excess. It won’t make us happy. It won’t make us complete.
Instead, we fill the void by asking ourselves intimately: Is this important?
Can I really afford it? Does its cost equate to its value I can derive from it? Is this worth in exchange of my precious time? We are only as good as how we make use of our possessions.
Bringing these questions incessantly as often as we permit creates a muscle we’ll benefit from every time we are stimulated to consume. We become mindful and that becomes our daily ally.
However challenging it is, maybe it could start to feel satiating if we think of what we already have, and what we can build from it.
When I think in terms of what I have – relationships, time, space, health, values and capacity to improve – I am aware that I can look forward to better things. Because I value the cards I am given, I can build, not resent; I can grow, not envy. I don’t have to look elsewhere because happiness is here. I can live my life on my own pace, on my own metrics.
Our willingness to make sense of what we’re given, and our every chance to cultivate it is up to us.
Sure, it’s inevitable to look at others and see what we lack and be miserable instead.
But how about being courageously grateful for what we don’t have? And start from it.