Abundance begets abundance

A while ago I wrote about how I often stopped before things got hard, doubted in some fundamental way that I was not enough for a task in front of me.  I want to clarify something important about this.   First, I’m not sure that my resistance to really pushing myself – whether physically, emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually – is about fear of failure.  It might be about fear of success.  It might be abhorrence of discomfort of any kind.  I really don’t know, which is why I shared it.

Secondly, when I write “not enough” I mean it in terms of myself, only: my own resources of strength, forbearance, intelligence, trust.  I am absolutely not a zero sum kind of person, and I wasn’t speaking about the world.

Last week I re-read Molly Jong Fast’s article in Bazaar about the New York fear of there being “not enough preschool spots, enough Mandarin speaking nannies, enough David Netto-designed $1600 cribs.”  The wording of that sentence, the not enough, sent me back here.  Sure, I write about my deep anxiety about being safe, but essentially I don’t think there is limited abundance in this world.  I really, truly care about supporting others, for example, and don’t do that with any agenda of my own but instead out of a sincere wish to help others.  I am not a competitive person, which surprises some people.  Ask my husband: he hates playing all games with me, whether tennis or bridge, because I simply don’t care about winning.  I am uncomfortable with shows of excess, to the point of over-correction.  I believe in my core that one of the best ways to remember how fortunate we are is to give of ourselves: whether it’s to listen to a heartbroken friend, to put a dollar in the guitar case of the man playing on the subway platform, or to cook a meal for the local battered women’s shelter.

I don’t know how I feel about The Secret, and I wouldn’t call myself a law of attraction disciple, but I do believe  that abundance begets abundance.  I think that there is a great deal of good in the world, and by noticing it, acknowledging it, we can add to it.  In a quiet and somewhat dark period of my own life, I am grateful for the reminder of this.

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  1. Posted November 10, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    “I think that there is a great deal of good in the world, and by noticing it, acknowledging it, we can add to it.” This is the thing. Noticing good.

    Noticing is powerful stuff. So subtle is the power to notice that it is overlooked. But how do you feel when a stranger notices you long enough to linger in a doorway to hold it open, or smiles because you stumbled and you are allowed to laugh at yourself instead of feeling stupid?

    Noticing is the way I allow myself to change, little by little. I cannot GRAB hold and force, but I can notice, and, as if by an unseen tide, the waves of the ocean begin to peel back the layers on the stone, smoothing away my rough edges.

    It is enough to notice the good.

    I am here, noticing.

  2. Posted November 10, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink


    In noticing, in acknowledging what is – what is right here – we see that there is good. In everything.

    There is so much good in you, Lindsey. I wonder if, “In a quiet and somewhat dark period of my own life,” you are really in the depths of it all.

    Thank you.

  3. Posted November 10, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I love this idea – that there is enough goodness and warmth and hope for everyone to have some. And that one of the ways to remember that is to do something good for someone else.

    Thank you for this, Lindsey.

  4. Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    YOU are amazing. Just amazing. I am so lucky to have found your space here, back when I was in a dark period. Thinking of you.

  5. Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “Quiet,” “Dark” — to me, these words speak of fertility. And it seems clear that in your quiet, dark place, much rich and meaningful work is going on. May the pain of transformation be worth the risk it takes to grow. Thank you for sharing the process.

  6. Posted November 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    This is by far one of your most moving articles I have read. It highlights the blight that many of us get caught up in, the loosing sight of, and falling short of. Superbly exceptional!

  7. Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    One of my deepest beliefs is that there is not enough. I struggle with it every day. I am always afraid that the cereal will run out when I get out my bowl. Isn’t that silly?

    Thanks for this lovely and honest testament to Good. Ahhh.

  8. Posted November 13, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I firmly believe that we are more afraid of our successes than our failures. At least I am. It’s a sad little commentary that I am more comfortable with the idea of failing than succeeding, isn’t it? Secondly, one of the best pieces of wisdom I’ve ever heard is from fellow Tribeswoman Sarah, who told me last June, “The Universe has room for all of us.” Sometimes I feel myself getting greedy and covetous, and I remind myself of these words.

  9. Posted November 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Lovely post, Lindsey! I love (and constantly need to be reminded) that abundance begets abundance. So often I get stuck in a cycle of want and deprivation — I want more time, more energy, more things, but when we focus on the abundance of even one moment, we are reminded that we are enough and we have enough.

  10. Posted December 18, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Isn’t this funny? I’m back re-reading this post and what line did I grab to comment about, not remembering my previous visit? “I think that there is a great deal of good in the world, and by noticing it, acknowledging it, we can add to it.”

    There are certain lessons that just speak to us I guess. That line is my lesson. I’m learning it in a 1000 ways.