These are anxious and fearful times, both of which breed scarcity. We are afraid to lose what we love the most, and we hate that there are no guarantees. We think not being grateful and not feeling joy will make it hurt less. We think if we can beat vulnerability to the punch by imaging loss, we will suffer less. We are wrong.
There is one guarantee: If we are not practicing gratitude and allowing ourselves to know joy, we are missing out on the two things that will actually sustain us during the inevitable hard times.
This is scarcity of safety and uncertainty. There are other kinds of scarcity. We are not thin enough, we are not smart enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, or rich enough. Before we sit up in bed and our feet touch the floor in the morning we are already inadequate, already behind, losing, already lacking something. What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life.
It makes total sense why we are a nation looking for more joy. We are starving from a lack of gratitude. We each have the choice in any setting to let go of scarcity and discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. Sufficiency is not two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. Sufficiency is not an amount at all, sufficiency is an experience, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and the we are enough.
Sufficiency resides inside of each of us, and we can call it forward. It is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances.
Stop long enough to notice the ordinary moments, the everyday moments. Marianne Williamson says, "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."