How much is enough?
Americans spend over $2-trillion annually on traditional and alternative healthcare. And in our never-ending quest for a healthy, happy life, we fork over a sizable bit of our income for healthy food and dietary supplements, sports and exercise, therapists and spas. We spend kazillions on pleasures–entertainment, travel, gourmet indulgences… we part with all that money, and yet statistics show that we, as a nation, are neither very healthy nor very happy.
Let me share with you one of the keys to finding a good life. It’s not costly. It is almost too simple for words. It’s this:
Enough is enough.
Or in other words–
It’s impossible to feel well when I am dissatisfied, displeased, resentful, envious of those who have what I want. Discontentment is at the root of unhappiness.
So why do we constantly wish for more wealth, more status, more youthful energy, more influence, more say, more wine, more sex, more friends, more flavor, more room, more trinkets, more beauty, more vacations, more love?
Why should enough not be enough?
I shall resolve to be reasonable. Let me remember that I don’t need to chase after happiness. Let me understand that if I choose to be content, right here, right now, in my present circumstances, happiness will find me.
Therefore I will be satisfied with what is sufficient. I will notice all the plentiful abundance in my life, and instead of allowing small pleasures to make me greedier for more, I will choose to be grateful for this goodness, knowing that right now I have enough.
I don’t need more than I need.
So I will not pursue, or hunt for, or scramble for more. I will still have wants and desires, but I refuse to allow discontentment–mine or anyone else’s–to make my life unreasonable or unmanageable.
To be satisfied when my basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, rest and kindness are met, is to become liberated:
- I will stop living up to the stupid expectation that I must work tirelessly to gain more money, more power, more popularity.
- I will stop using my wealth and influence to acquire endlessly more wealth and influence.
- I will be generous.
- I will play with children.
- I will laugh often.
- I will share my meals and my stories with my dear ones.
- I will love my life and the people in it.
- I will be attentive to the remarkably beautiful light glimmering on wet grass after a storm.
- I will sit quietly beside the ocean listening to the surf, watching a loon bob and dive and surge.
- I will sketch the loon or write a loony poem.
- I will walk in the forest for the pleasure of moving my body, for the delight of smelling earth and pine sap and leaf mold.
- I will sing to the clouds.
- I will praise my Maker, thankful that I live.
Let’s all be more thankful for our sufficient blessings,
because contentment is the most important ingredient in the recipe for living well, despite everything.
In the conviction that I have, after all, enough, I become extravagantly and exhilaratingly free from the bondage of wanting more.