Abundance and Lack are frenemies — often seen together but constantly opposed in merciless comparison. Abundance is the robust baby who’s healthy and thriving and has enough of everything it needs. Lack is the unpopular child no one wants to play with. It’s not uncommon for Abundance to be sucked into Lack’s orbit but rarely does Lack feel comfortable in Abundance’s playground.
Most people widely accept that abundance pertains to wealth (money, friends, health) and lack is the absence of it. The characteristics of these two are so ingrained into our culture we rarely question it. It’s easy to complain about what we don’t have — money, status, satisfying work, willpower, a loving relationship.
There’s always someone to commiserate with about everything we’re missing out on if only there were more. But a lacking mindset is a self-defeating mindset fuelled by fear. Fear of failure, of not making ends meet, of being alone. A focus on lack becomes a deep, dark hole where depression and resentment live. It’s a place that keeps us stuck and resistant to believing that another reality is possible.
May I suggest that it’s just as easy to interpret lack as a positive? Yes, you can lack confidence, hope for the future, or respect from others. But you can also lack stress or fear about the unknown. Imagine if you were to replace your anxiety with excitement; self-doubt with self-compassion or patience. Lack and Abundance are not polar opposites; they are interchangeable if we try them on differently.
That anxiety of losing your job can throw you into fear about the future and the ability to pay your bills. But that same fear can also motivate you into exploring alternative options that are a better fit for you.
Your failing relationship can highlight loneliness and uncertainty but it can also inspire self-reflection and more clarity about what you want. You may still lose your job and your partner, but you get to choose which side of the fence you’re on. Is the grass green or are you standing in the weeds?
Of course, we can’t eliminate the dark clouds simply by blowing hot air into them. That would be naïve and irresponsible. Inequities exist everywhere. However, a different mindset can inspire a new skillset to make space for light to get in.
If we can see Lack as the companion of Abundance instead of its mortal enemy, then we can take the sting out of difficult and scary situations. Instead of lamenting, we can move into action, even celebrate the opportunity to reframe our perception of lack. Even if you have an abundance of fear you can muster the courage to act and look forward to a time when your renewed mindset promotes a lack of distress and worry. Abundance and Lack are closer friends than you think and in the playground of life, there’s room for everyone to get along.