What Enough Means For You

The best example of not understanding enough comes from my grandmother’s ideas on food: “Eat one more bite than you want. Then you’ve had enough.”  She thought that way because she was a Great Depression parent, and an immigrant baby. She often told of her father leaving a quarter on the table every morning, and she and her three siblings had to feed themselves for the entire day on that. What’s that in modern money? About six dollars. And even today, six dollars for feeding four children twelve meals doesn’t go far.

Whether because we have personal fears around need, or we were raised with old stories, scarcity thinking is something that everyone who works on their Abundance has to wrestle with. How do you view Abundance? Well, that’s going to differ based on your life circumstances, what you’ve been taught to believe, and how you view the world.

One of my favorite spiritual lessons around how one views Abundance comes from my days living in Atlanta, Georgia. I was part of a group working on a Habitat House. If you don’t know what that is, I highly recommend you visit the website for Habitat for Humanity. They believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. As a result, they have built thousands of new homes for people who might never be able to have one without help.

Part of the rules of ownership is that the family the house is for must also put “sweat equity” in the home, helping the volunteer teams to build it. These families usually have children, who are always excited about what’s ahead for them.

I was helping to drywall and spackle a ten by ten foot room. It had one small window, a small closet, and a door. Nothing remarkable. But in the midst of our work, a skinny-as-a-minute boy of about ten, all arms and legs and wide grin, came bounding into the room. He stood in the middle, jumping up and down and looking at all the walls as if he was in Disneyland. He beamed at us, “I been sleepin’ on the sofa with my brother my whole life. This is going to be MY ROOM. Just MINE. And I get a BED!” And he danced out, leaving us stunned and in tears.

That day was one of my most powerful lessons of what “enough” is. For many of us, it’s multiple pairs of shoes, or a vacation every year, or all the books and games we fancy. It’s a new car every couple of years, or dinner out at least once a week. But for this boy, it was a simple ten by ten room, with a mattress and a little bit of privacy.

Today, give some serious thought to what “enough” is for you. Even the intangibles: How much self-time is enough? How many obligations are enough? Be conscious when it comes to what enough is. Your version may differ from someone else’s, but that’s okay. The only one who has a say in what enough means for you is you

“Be conscious when it comes to what enough is…The only one who has a say in what enough means for you is you.” – Corbie Mitleid