A few months ago during clinical supervision, I brought up some personal issues for discussion with my therapist. He pointed out that I had been coming from scarcity rather than abundance. Since then, I’ve been working on focusing more on the gifts in situations that appear to be negative. Through the process, I discovered how easy it is to let myself slip and get caught up in negativity.
That’s why a consistent practice of nurturing our mental-emotional wellbeing is so vital in managing stress levels and ensuring that we maintain a good presence of mind to deal with the normal stresses of life. The danger of over-exerting ourselves is that we can convince ourselves we can handle more than we’re capable of. Excesses in lifestyle such as over-consumption of ‘good food’, substance abuse, over-working, over-sleeping or any self-harming activities can go on for years before we realise the toil it has taken on us. By then, we’re likely to have set into a very negative mindset, because such excesses tend to sap us of any energy left to nurture ourselves properly.
By then, we’re also more prone to confuse our motivations. In our attempts to make ourselves feel better, we may seek validation from others and act out our neediness. The mentality of scarcity has set in. We may obsess over something someone said or did – trying to extract the last drop of validation to fill a bottomless pit.
It’s a bit like the hungry ghost who gobbles up food that never reaches his stomach, so that no matter how much he takes in it can never satiate his hunger. The ghost is condemned to forever find food to fill his stomach even though the outcome is predictable. He is miserable because he is trapped in an eternity of seeking food and knowing that it will never take away the hunger – settling for that brief moment of promise when he’s about to put food into his mouth. Rather than finding other ways to end his misery, he continues to do what will only prolong his misery.
Finding a way out of this space can be difficult, but once you find the door, it can be a breeze. One of the ways I’ve found to be helpful is to allow myself to be spiritually moved. It requires me to drop deeper into my being, beyond all the muck I’ve accumulated, and find my spirit. My spirit is the part of me that is undamaged and unchanged by any harshness in life. Then I allow myself to feel movement from the depth of me as I focus on something positive that someone has expressed, something that’s happened to me, or something I’ve done which has stretched me. I focus on this until I feel an expansion of my spirit.
Your whole world can change by practising this. In the analogy of the hungry ghost, I like to think that spiritual expansion will do wonders in evolving him into a higher form of spirit that does not feel hunger! For us, finding a moment to break through the madness we’ve created can change our perception of what is manageable and what is not.
To further counter negative thinking, you can easily adopt a habit of focusing on what you gain rather than what you’ve lost in every situation that appears to be negative. Even if it may seem that you have lost something, you can tap into the deeper gift of it. A lifetime of focusing on the negative is how we’ve come to develop a mentality of scarcity. As such, you may find it challenging to see abundance when it’s there. Look closer and deeper. It is there. And don’t just see it. Bring the feeling of abundance into your whole being. Breathe it into the part of you that is trying to push it away until you’ve fully-accepted it as abundance in your life. Let the feeling grow to one of joy and vastness.