How Do You Know When You Have Enough?

What about when you struggle to make a decision on what to keep, what to toss, and where to put it all? Or, when you have so much stuff you decide to buy a bigger house or rent a storage unit? Could that be when you have enough?

Yet, even then, you find you continue to accumulate more and more.

You still hunger for more – so much more. Something inside nags and convinces you that the having of it would definitely bring you more joy or happiness in life.

But then, when is enough, enough?

It is a question I asked of myself, when years ago I had my spiritual awakening. It was a huge turning point in my life to awaken to a vast new world – a world within, which up until that moment, I had largely ignored or discredited.

My life was busy with the external world, the only one I thought existed. Busy earning a living and raising a child. Busy building a career and filling up our home with things.

But then, this vast new world called to me to know more, learn more and to understand what it was all about – and, I dove in with relish. I read books, took classes, went on spiritual quests, and studied to become a spiritual practitioner.

There was a lot to learn and know and I wanted it all.

That is, UNTIL, I hit the ENOUGH place. A place where there is no more room for even one more thing – not even a tiny morsel more.

I was saturated to overwhelm. I was spinning with it all.

That’s when a wise spiritual practitioner said to me, “Joan, you need to drink some!”

She explained that it was like a cup of tea in which I was pouring more and more into the cup until it overflowed into the saucer, onto the table, and then onto the floor. All that knowledge had overflowed. And, yet, I kept pouring in more.

It was time, instead for me to USE it, to LIVE it, to EXPERIENCE it. Not just push to accumulate more and more. It was time for me to drink some!

And that is what we tend to do with our stuff. We pour more and more into our lives and homes, unaware, or inattentive to its capacity, way beyond the rim… and overflow it does!

Visually, it makes sense with a cup or glass – we see the glass as it fills and we stop as it reaches its rim. We know if we continue to pour, we’ll have a mess to clean up.

Yet, in today’s push for “more is better, ” we continue to buy and acquire even more. We are like a robot, programmed for MORE, MORE, MORE!

“And what happens when we get more? We aren’t satisfied… It’s impossible to satisfy that hunger for more, because our culture is not satisfied with what we have, but is geared to wanting more. It’s consumerism, and it’s the official religion of the industrialized world.” (Key Question: How Much Is Enough? By Leo Babauta)

So, what do we do about this endless hunger for more?

We notice our home is already, or close to, packed to the brim, ready to implode. We step back, take a breath, and let it sink in that we may have hit that place of ENOUGH already.

We acknowledge that we may have reached a saturation point. A point in which you simply have no more space to put the stuff nor the capacity to care for, or enjoy it. That stage beyond which more of something cannot be absorbed or accepted.

In other words, DRINK SOME. Not as in GET more, but to USE what we already have. Empty the cup a little and notice the freedom it gives you.

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