Abundance and achievement, or acceptance of the present? Thinking about having to choose one or the other is a false dichotomy that obstructs most people from making progress in their lives. You want to experience abundance, achieve goals, and realize your deepest dreams. Yet at the same time, you want to experience joy and peace within your current situation.
On some level, many people think that in order to be happy all desires must be exterminated and radical acceptance of the present must occur to find true happiness. Any desire for change in the future is seen as a threat to derail that happiness.
On the other hand, it can sometimes feel like accepting the present, when you really know you want something different, is complacent and apathetic. If in your heart there is no question that you want something to change within your life, but you’re denying it because you’re supposed to be happy “where you are” or “with what you have”, then you’re always going to feel like you’re settling.
But do we really have to choose between the two?
Do abundance and sufficiency really have to clash?
I don’t think so. I think they can coexist. In fact, I think that you’re always going to feel fragmented if they don’t.
I’ve spent a lot of time chasing goals while being continually dissatisfied with where I was, and even when I achieved those goals, it was on to the next thing nearly immediately. So I was always pushing the present away, seeing it as something to just churn through to reach some other future. I was always left feeling empty.
I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to accept where I am. I’ve experienced immense happiness and then beat myself up for wanting something else because I thought I was supposed to be supremely content with “what is.”
The first thing to realize is that if in your life, in your current situation, you don’t like “what is,” that’s okay. That may be your current “truth.” But realize that it’s only the truth because you created it. It can and will change.
Once you accept that the present can and should change (nothing is stagnant), then you realize that acceptance is the doorway to your desires and the doorway to abundance.
In the present, accept your desires. Desires aren’t meant to cause you suffering or torment you because what you want is not here right now. They’re meant to pull you in a new direction and shift the present moment into something new and exciting. Something that, yes, in-the-present you can accept and be happy with.
The true nature of desire
You are not meant to stomp out your desire to try to be content. You are meant to radically embrace your desires. They are the unfolding of you, and what makes you incredibly unique. Embracing your path right now (sufficiency) is actually the path to abundance itself.
You don’t have to choose abundance or sufficiency. But you can never experience abundance without first feeling sufficient, because without that rootedness you will always be experiencing a shortage. If your desires feel like a shortage, like they are pulling you away from being content, it’s because you see them as making your current reality incomplete.
They don’t. They are an unfolding of what is already whole. Your desires spiral out from the core of who you are, always remaining connected to it.
At least, that’s the way they should be if you’re in touch with what you really want. If they take you away from that core then they’re someone else’s desires; you’re trying to follow someone else’s path.
But if your desires feel good, and then make you feel guilty, it’s a good sign that you’re feeling a false conflict between accepting the present and accepting your journey. They are in fact, two ends of one spectrum. Always dancing together to create a beautiful life experience.
So, yes you can have both. The core of sufficiency is the completeness of who you are right now. You are always whole and always unabridged. Once you realize that, the radical accept of that allows the abundance of your desires to flow and spiral out from that, continually expanding and evolving.
This is something that I’ve struggled with personally for a long time to figure out, and I hope that it helps you find more acceptance and abundance within your own life.