“How much is enough?
Without asking this question, we blindly pursue excess.
We have been acculturated to act rapaciously.
Acquire, consume, indulge. More, more, more.
How much is enough?
Without an answer, we don’t know how to proceed.
Because we don’t know when to stop.
Mindless desire takes us by the hand.
Of course, enough is different for each of us.
Enough changes as our needs and circumstances change.
Your enough may include a sofa, coffee table, and TV.
A dining table that seats six.
A three-bedroom home.
A two-car garage.
A backyard trampoline.
Or that might be too much.
Enough changes over time.
Yesterday’s enough may be too much today.
How much is enough?
Less than enough is depriving.
More than enough is indulging.
Enough is the sweet spot in the middle,
the place where intentionality intersects with contentment,
where lust doesn’t get in the way of creating something meaningful.”
Have you ever indulged yourself in a huge meal, maybe on Thanksgiving or Christmas, only to deal later with the misery of a bloated stomach?
Have you ever let yourself oversleep only to wake up groggy and lethargic?
Have you ever worked overtime to the degree that you felt burned out and exhausted?
I, too, found myself pushing myself beyond limits with food, work, or sleep. Greed, I had to learn, is the other side of passion and enthusiasm. But while passion for life and eagerness to find your purpose and fulfill your meaning in life, greed results in overindulgence that rubs you of your consciousness at the present moment.
Excess is a sign that we do not experience the abundance that we are blessed with. If you observe the number of American people that are obese or the number of self-storage units, you get the impression that we are a culture of excess.
Even good things like yoga, meditation, or good diet become harmful when done in excess.
Why do we move past the “enough” state?
In my mind, excess in one area of life might be a way to self-medicate. If I feel lonely, unsafe, or in pain, I might try to numb these feelings with an excess of my favorite indulgence, be it alcohol, food, or work.
When indulgence becomes a habit, emotional satisfaction follows, and before you know it, the habit controls you. Soon enough, the “need” for a particular food or a certain lifestyle becomes a story that limits you from fully manifesting yourself.
Unraveling the stories you tell yourself about what you need and what you should do to have it will free you to be who you are.
The first step into this kind of freedom is to slow down and consciously acknowledge the abundance in your life.
Maybe this year, on Black Friday, you spend your day with your loved one’s sharing the gift of recognizing how much is enough.