I was raised to be very frugal, with the mantra of “waste not, want not” being drummed into me at a very young age. Frugality certainly has its place and, with the economy being the way it is right now, I am not suggesting anything different for people. Still, there comes a time when the ideas we are raised with no longer serve us.
I thought of this when I recently read a newsletter sent out by Feng Shui expert Carole Hyder.
In her article, Carole talks about people who save things just in case they might need them later. Whether it is your “skinny” clothes that you might fit into again one day or the tool in your basement you never use but might just need, Carole says the message you are giving the universe is the same. As Carole puts it: “If you keep something with the thought that later (next month, next year, after weight has been lost, after the kids leave, after you retire, next time you go to Hawaii, next time there’s a costume part, etc.) you may have a use for it, you’re making a proclamation and an affirmation that you will not have the money to buy what you need when you need it. If this is your mindset, this affirmation of ‘not having enough’ will surely program itself into your life.”
I think Carole is right. And, I think, this mindset goes way beyond possessions to many other areas of our lives. After I read her article, I thought about other things I have kept in my life “just in case.”
For years after I was positive I would never again practice law, I dutifully continued to keep my license up to date, taking continuing legal education courses that had absolutely no relevance or interest to me. Why? Because of my fear that I might someday need to return to the active practice of law.
I have been known to keep up relationships in the same fashion. Even though both the person and I know that we really have nothing in common, we continue to “have coffee” once a year or so. It is as if we are keeping a friend “in reserve” just in case we might need one. (Not a pretty thing to admit, but I suspect I am not alone in doing that.)
I have seen people stay in marriages or other more intense relationships in the same way. Fear of not being able to find another lover keeps a lot of bad relationships going.
As we enter into an era of massive change and new beginnings, it seems more important than ever to look at what we are clinging to out of a fear that we will not be able to replace it with something equal or better.
As a society, we are clinging to a lot of things that are no longer working. We are afraid to let go.Â Many of our most treasured institutions (a job with benefits, a retirement plan, a single family home) may, in fact, not be the norm for people in the new age. We are, as a society, terrified of letting these things go from our lives, even though they are being yanked away from more and more people.
Why? Because we don’t know what is going to take their place. We are afraid that without them we will not have what we need. And, as Carole so aptly described it, “If this is your mindset, this affirmation of ‘not having enough’ will surely program itself into your life.”
I am not certain what the solution is, but I am positive that this mindset is keeping us from joyfully entering into the new era. We are beings who always have enough. We are born into a world that joyfully gives us what we need. Embracing and believing those truths is the challenge of 2012 and beyond.