Monday, 3 November 2014

Producing Scarcity

In the world of western civilisation, most of our efforts seem to revolve around scarcity. The main concern is money, and while we spend all our time trying to make more of it, we lose time to enjoy the things we would like to spend money on. I read somewhere that Nelson Mandela said that poverty is man-made. I couldn’t agree more. I find it ironic that two of the world’s biggest problems are poverty and waste, because they express the polar opposites of lack on one hand and ill-used abundance on the other. I see the world we build as a reflection of ourselves. I wonder if the global waste problem would be solved if we would learn how to use what we had in the proper way. Free energy is another main concern, but I doubt that it would be discovered unless we stopped wasting our own personal energy on unimportant matters, producing the need for more.

I have never truly known scarcity, yet it took me more than a decade to let go of my conditioning around the idea that there might not be enough unless I clung to a predictable income that kept me imprisoned. The idea of scarcity can provide a safety net. It was easier for me to devote my efforts to staying alive than to put my heart on the line and risk failure. As long as I participated in a belief system that everyone else participated in, I could excuse myself for being frustrated because, as I told myself, I was doing what I had to do. It was the world that was set up in that way, not me. In that position I could take advice from well-meaning loved ones with more life experience than me rather than take a stand for what I wanted. Dealing with being told what to do was easier than facing the possibility of hearing “I told you so”. But the problem with taking advice from more experienced individuals was that they had more experience of being them, but zero experience of being me.

When the safety of scarcity falls away, the abundance of time and energy can be daunting. I am currently unemployed and writing fiction. While I was employed or studying, I would face a day ahead of me trying to be positive but knowing that I would be frustrated a lot of the time. I was caught in a cycle of looking forward to evenings, weekends and holidays, wondering why my life was flying by. Now that frustrations are limited, I have days ahead of me that I need to fill with something worthwhile. With most of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ out of the way, my choices come down to building on what is important to me or doing something else. Doing what I love is ambivalent precisely because I feel happy doing it. Negative reactions from others in response to my authentic work and beliefs are much harder to deal with than when I don’t care about what I am busy with. When I have a creative block, I realise that the fear of not having enough is just a mask for the fear of not being good enough.

Now that my resources are limited, I have to rely on others for help where I can. This is also frightening, because I would rather submit my creative writing work to professionals for editing than baring my soul to friends who could help me. If those who work in the industry don’t like my work, I could put it down to their opinions knowing that they would forget my work. The idea of people I have relationships with thinking I would be better off not trying at all is terrifying. But opening up is necessary, because I cannot do anything on my own and I would not be able to find the right support unless I am true to who I am. For all I know, a person who could help me with what I need at any given point could be sitting right next to me and I would not know it unless I am open.

Creativity is unlimited, as is love. I don’t believe that either of these could truly be destroyed, but they often go into hiding when not received with grace. More of ourselves – our creative loving source – would produce the need for sharing and solve the problem of scarcity. The difficulty lies in not letting the hurts received along the way hinder us in expressing who we are.