Abundance – what does this truly mean ? When asked to reflect upon this for the TAW, I immediately thought of money and all the things it could buy. After all, isn’t that how society programs us to see abundance ? Splash out the fancy car, live in the big house, wear the fancy clothes and put it all out on view for everyone to see. It doesn’t matter that the bank is about to come and take back your car that you can’t pay for. It doesn’t matter that inside the big house you have lawn furniture and your kids are sleeping on the floor. It doesn’t matter that you’ve maxed out various credit cards to pay for the fancy clothes for everyone to see. What they see is abundance in all its glory. I don’t see life like that anymore but I did once.
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Elizabeth. She grew up in the small town of Rosemere, PQ in a small house. This small house had room for everyone, nice furniture, food on the table and quite a bit of love floating about in it. It could be viewed as an abundant life. Then her father got the chance for a promotion and they moved to another country and in to a bigger house. Now there was nicer furniture, more rooms to move around in and the good food kept coming. The love was still floating around but maybe not quite as high as it was before. Most would say it was even more of an abundant life by the looks of things. Then her father got another promotion and the family moved back to the same country but a different province and another big house. Now came the fancy cars and the boat and the nicer clothes and more nice furniture and the fancy gadgets. It wasn’t the life of the Rockefellers but most would consider it an abundant life by the looks of things. But now the love was almost on the floor. It couldn’t float any more. Not enough time or effort had been put in to creating an abundance of that. That wasn’t something anyone could see.
This is where the view of abundance that I grew up with and the one I’m developing now diverge. I live in a nice house. I have decent used furniture. I wear pretty good clothes that I get on sale or used. I actually do have a boat in my backyard but it’s here for storage and I can’t wait until it’s gone. My car doesn’t have a symbol of prestige on it but it gets me from A to B which is its only purpose anyway. My sense of abundance does not come from any of those material things that I used to think it needed to. I don’t place a whole lot of significance on what my life looks like to others looking in anymore. If you want to judge me by my material possessions and deem me worthy or not by things, that is your problem. That is what made the love stop floating in our house when I was growing up. It became more important to work for things than it did for family. It became more important that those looking in saw what appeared to be an abundant life. It became about names and symbols and self gratification. But what does any of that mean if the love is on the ground being used as a stepping stone to other things ?
I consider my life now an abundant one. I spend an abundant amount of time with my kids to whom I show an abundance of love. We go all over the place on day trips to farms and weird stores and waterfalls. We go to movies. We play board games. We go hiking. We are abundant in memories and experiences together that will enrich us far more than Nintendo and whatever else is popular out there to buy. I am abundant in creativity. I can bake, cook, garden, write, paint, decorate cakes, take great photographs and all kinds of other things. I am abundant in praise for my husband whose love and support is one of the most precious things I am privileged to have. I am abundant in friends who are smart, funny, talented and unique. I am abundant in crazy love for my mother who inspires me even when she is making me a scootch nuts.
Time, love, creative expression, relationships, opportunities – these are the things we should strive to be abundant in. These are the things that we need to work for and take care of. I’ve chosen to fill my life with an abundance of love that floats around me and will carry me from this life to the next as a stepping stone to heaven. I’ve chosen to create a sense of abundance through spending my time helping others and giving to them some of the abundance I’m lucky to have. I’ve chosen to learn from the mistakes of the past and not relive them. If I come to the end of my life and someone can look in and see nothing more than photographs of a life well lived in creating abundance for myself and those around me, then I’ve lived the right way and have had a full life. After all, you can’t take it with you and I’ll be floating about anyway. What do I need a $6000 sofa for ?
I used to think that I didn’t deserve this type of abundance but I’m starting to see that I do. The only way I viewed abundance before was by the things I owned, what I wore and what I was driven around in. Love and memories and time ? Opportunities to express myself creatively ? Giving time to others so that they may also find a sense of abundance ? These were not things I needed nor really viewed as important. I’ve worked to change that for many years and through TAW it’s becoming more clear to me all the time that I made the right choice. Money is not something I strive for or judge others by anymore. It’s not something I need lots of to be happy. I used to think I did once. Now it’s the love I see floating around me every day in every way. In the eyes of my children, in the gentle touch of my husband, in the conversations with my friends, in the hugs from my mother – all of these things are what glorifies the abundance in my life. This is what I have been looking for all along.