We get scarcity because we live it.
A great author and global activist called Lynne Twist writes in her book, The Soul of Money, that scarcity is just one big lie. She writes:
"For me, and for many of us, out first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of...Before we sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack... This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our agreements with life."
Scarcity is the "never enough" problem.
Scarcity thrives in a culture where everything is hyper-aware of lack. Everything from safety and love to money and resources feels restricted or lacking.
We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, and don't have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.
What make this constant assessing and comparing to self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven version of perfection, or we're holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.
Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. Think about how often we compare ourselves and our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited that it never really existed: "Remember when......" "Those were the days..."
Worrying about scarcity is our culture's way of post traumatic stress.
It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each others throats. In not just the larger culture that suffering, it is often the same in many families cultures, work cultures, school cultures.
The counter approach to scarcity is not about abundance. The opposite of 'never enough' is not abundance or more than you could ever imagine, it's called wholeheartedness.
Acceptance of the what you have, who you are,
and that happiness is an inside job.
The acceptance of worthiness, and the ability to face uncertainty. To face exposure, and take emotional risks and the bottom line, know that I am enough.
From the book by Brene Brown, Daring Greatly.