“Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.”
Are you pretending that there is something missing? Feeling a sense of lack is so pervasive in our society. And believing in your inadequacy prevents you from recognizing the brilliance that is already always here.
Just watch ten minutes of commercials on TV. You will be told that you aren’t young enough or stylish enough, that you need exactly what you don’t have. We live in a culture of non-acceptance and dis-ease, compounded even further by what we learn from our families as we grow up. It’s a legacy of lack.
A Personal Sense of Lack
Of course, this sense of lack seeps into our personal psyches. Do these sound familiar?
- Piling on the “should’s” – what you should and shouldn’t do or be
- Needing others’ approval to feel OK about yourself
- Criticizing yourself endlessly
- Feeling that there must be something more
- Compulsively seeking objects to fill yourself up
It’s like the bucket is always leaking so you can never feel whole, relaxed, full, and at ease.
The Way Out
If you take one point away from this post, let it be this: there is a way out. It is absolutely possible for you to live the moments of your life in peace rather than poverty, fullness rather than fear and despair.
Do you know how to pay attention?
Are you capable of love?
Then you have the tools to realize the relief you seek. And where do you end up when you use them? Smack in the middle of the land of happiness. The well being you have always wanted is here, available, possible for you. You can stop trying so hard. You can relax and be still.
The Art of Paying Attention
If you are living in lack, then you are caught in a story that has convinced you of your inadequacy. You are giving your most precious resource, your attention, to believing in not being good enough. And this problem will never be solved by thinking more about it.
Know this: what you feed is what will grow. Feed lack, and you get more lack. Bring your attention into what you are experiencing in the moment, and you can be free.
Whenever you spin in the story of inadequacy, stop. See what emotions you are feeling, and welcome them. Notice the sensations in your body, and breathe with them. The story diminishes, and in that moment, you are free.
Add up these moments, and the fire of inadequacy becomes a pile of ash.
Every time the inadequacy rises up, now you know what to do. Bring your attention away from the story in your mind, and be in the moment with your feelings and physical sensations. Time after time…peaceful moment after peaceful moment.
The Art of Loving
Now comes the juicy part. You get to steep yourself in love. Whenever the sense of lack arises, counter it with kindness. Give yourself what you think you are lacking, which is love.
Take every thought, every painful emotion, and bathe it in love. How to do that? Accept it, welcome it, allow it to be as it is. Put down the fight with what is present in your experience, and wholeheartedly let it be.
Can you see how your entire experience can be transformed? No longer stuck in the story of lack, no longer pretending you are a fraction of your true magnificence.
Practice paying attention to your in-the-moment experience. Practice being a loving host to whatever arises. Rinse and repeat in every difficult moment. In the face of this intelligent practice, inadequacy dissolves.
And when it does, You are revealed – shining, open, peaceful, loving. Shed the story of lack, and discover that you are already overflowing.
Do you have problems with inadequacy? Does the practice I am offering here make sense to you? I’d love to hear…