I sometimes wonder when it will ever be enough. I wish I could define “it” for you, but I am not exactly sure what that entails. All I know is, with each passing year of my life (and I have only had 25), my wants increase. Normal, I know, but I feel myself becoming needier. I can’t just buy one, I have to buy two. There is no way I can save this amount because how does someone possibly live on this amount. I want to have a color of each because one color just doesn’t suffice anymore. I have lost the ability to choose wisely because all I am doing day to day is choosing and wanting and needing. Sometimes I feel like contentment has been thrown out the window, and I am on that vicious hamster wheel repeating the same negative thought patterns. I don’t like how I always want more. My defensiveness blames the world. Silly excuse though. The world will always tell me I don’t have enough. If I am being honest, it is a scary concept when I think about how my thought process is evolving. The less I have, the less I want. The more I have, the more I want.
A very transparent example. I have a great life. Actually, I have a really amazing, abundantly blessed life. I have a job where I can support myself, friends and family who love me, a roof over my head, and I live in one of the greatest cities. What more could I possibly need? More money to save, more clothes to wear, more trips to take, and more things to buy. More, more, more. Now, I am not going to sit here and be naïve. We live in a constantly changing world that will always leave us with a yearning for more stuff. I get that, but I just feel like the balance we are all desperately striving for is getting harder and harder to find. When life is bad, it could be good. When life is good, it could be better. When life is at its best, it could be great. Never ending cycle. My fear is that I will keep getting caught up in this and never feel satisfied. I am scared that at the end of my life I won’t be proud of what I created. Why? Because I am always playing catch up. I am always wanting more. Sometimes I wish I could buy a ticket to watch my life as a movie. Maybe then I could see the moments in my life for what they are. Maybe then I could slow down, pause to look at what I created, and savor the good. Sometimes pulling yourself away is the only way to see the truth. I don’t want to regret missing the show.
A teacher once gave me this analogy, and there is so much truth in its simplicity. Just to make this real, I am going to throw in some context to really paint the picture. You gave up sweets for Lent and haven’t had dessert in several weeks. You know what your first “splurge” will be. It’s your guilty pleasure…cookie dough. But not just any cookie dough. The giant Pillsbury log of chocolate chip cookie dough that screams your name every time you pass it in the grocery store. You’ve waited long enough and now it is time to cave in. You make a trip to the store, make your purchase, and speed home anticipating the decadence you are about to experience. You take the first bite…heavenly. It has satisfied all your cravings, but naturally you want more. You take another bite. Again…heavenly. You’ve waited almost two months for this! You’ve yearned for this sugar rush, and there is no way you are cutting yourself off now. You keep taking spoonful after spoonful when all of a sudden you don’t feel so good. Your stomach becomes upset and your long awaited sugar high is now a sugar crash. You don’t just feel uneasy, you are now actually sick. How could something so good make you feel so bad?
Is it possible that too much of a good thing can make us “sick.” Yes, indeed. Sugar is sweet and can make you feel really good, but too much can cause havoc on your body. You must counteract that ‘good’ with what some people may see as ‘bad’ and that helps you create balance. It would be nice to only have the sweet stuff flowing in, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, too much good isn’t good at all. All days aren’t cookie dough days. Sometimes, we have a brussel sprout day thrown in there to balance us out. To change us.
How do you balance out boiling water? You throw some ice cold water into the pot. Together, they create harmony and balance. Together, they create the perfect temperature. Life is not and will not be exactly how we want it. It’s not a perfect equation. We will always want more and always need less, and a lot of times it just won’t make sense. But what I do know is this. Gratitude turns everything into enough. I am thankful for my cookie dough days AND my brussel sprout days. Only having one or the other would keep me out of balance.
I pray I am grateful for what I have, aware of what I want, and content with where I am.
And for all of you experiencing a strand of brussel sprout days...get ready. The good is coming to balance you out.