Abundance is a state of peace, prosperity, and deep happiness. It’s characterized by gratitude for the things we have, even in situations where—to others—it may seem like we have very little. Abundance is a literal and emotional solution to poverty.
All of us experience some form of poverty in our lifetimes. The most common is financial, but there are dozens of other types. We can lack healthy relationships, feel spiritually disconnected, or have poverty of physical health. Any state where we experience feelings of lack is a state of poverty. The solution to this is understanding the impact of poverty and then choosing to focus on abundance.
The Emotional Burden of Having Less Than Enough
Poverty takes a toll on us. When we’re in a state of lack, we’re focusing on trying to gain things, rather than spending our mental and emotional energy enjoying the things we already have.
Poverty can exist in any part of our lives—from relationships to finances to physical ability. Many forms do not discriminate against class, age, ability, and gender identity. Any of us can feel lonely and have few friends. Many of us have struggled with finances at some point. Others of us feel spiritually unfulfilled, effectively living in poverty of purpose and happiness.
All of these situations limit our freedom. Every decision becomes calculated when we consider losing the little bit of what we do have. Financial decisions are measured and stressful. Arguments in relationships become more tense when we only have one person in our support system. We’re constantly fearing loss.
Focusing on abundance is a cure for all of this self-doubt and stress. It allows us to go from thoughts of ‘am I going to do something wrong?’ to ‘I am thankful for what I have and at peace with it.’
The Difference Between Inner and Outer Abundance
This is a concept that is vital to understand. We can be financially poor, but feel abundant. We can also feel abundant and continue to strive for a greater income. Inner and outer abundance are two very different things.
Outer abundance is our situation in comparison to the needs of our lifestyle. For instance, if your cost of living is $1000 a month and you’re only making $700 a month, you’re in a state of outer poverty. If you make $2000 a month, you’re in a state of outer abundance.
Inner abundance is possible no matter the outer situation. There are people with low incomes that feel abundant and people with more wealth than we can imagine who feel emotionally poor. This inner abundance comes from how we view our situations. If we count every dollar with gratitude, even if we need more to pay rent this month, we’re fostering inner abundance. If we count every dollar with fear, we’re focusing on lack and poverty.
Fostering inner abundance allows us to logically handle situations without being emotionally overwhelmed. Someone who feels abundant but needs more money to pay rent isn’t going to neglect their finances. They will recognize what needs to be done and do it without feeling too stressed out. It becomes nothing more than a neutral obligation.
Feeling Abundant in the Face of Poverty
Gratitude is the foundation of abundance. Essentially, it’s a modified version of counting our blessings.
Typically, the phrase “count your blessings” is very invalidating. It’s often spoken when we’re struggling and it’s said in a way that tells us to just “get over it.” Truthfully, counting your blessings really means “notice your hardships and your blessings.” It’s all about finding a balance, not ignoring very real and valid hardship.
When we start focusing on the abundance around us, the hardship feels less dominating. We still feel it, but we also feel gratitude and hope and all the other wonderful emotions that come with abundance.
Related reading: Overcome Adversity Through Love and Compassion
Examples of Shifting to a Perspective of Abundance
This shift in perspective can take a little practice, and that’s okay. It’s all about reminding ourselves to look beyond our hardship. We notice it, but we also look a little farther into the realm of gratitude and abundance.
With my own finances, as I’m paying off student loans, I’m anything but rich. I know that there are options where I can refinance student loans and that’s always there if I need to turn to it. When I was first starting my business, I had my fair share of financial scares. To turn this around, I once looked at my bank account with $1000 in it and said ‘wow, $1000 is enough to buy over ten weeks of groceries!” Sure, it was barely enough to cover my rent that month, but shifting to what it could cover (and cover a lot of) made me feel more abundant. I knew I needed to buckle down and make more, but I felt calmer about it. This made me happier and helped me focus better on work.
We can also shift our perspective about relationship poverty. Let’s say you only have two friends and you’re always nervous you’ll say something wrong and lose them. Since you don’t have many friends, this would be tragic. Instead of focusing on this fear, you can choose to focus on the joys of seeing them once a week or the chances you get to laugh together. You can work on growing your support system too, but, in the meantime, you’re not as stressed in your current relationships.
We can also experience poverty with health. Recognizing our limitations is important, but we can find abundance by also focusing on our abilities. Our brainpower, our emotional intelligence, the fact that our body is still keeping us alive. This focus creates feelings of abundance.
All of these inner shifts happen even when we can’t immediately change the outer scenario. That’s the magic here.
Creating Inner Abundance In Your Life
There are a few basic principles to creating more inner abundance. The first is to change how we look at things, not what we’re looking at. We still notice the problematic parts of our life, but we focus on the bad and the good. We make sure not to neglect the things that are going right, even if they are simple ideas we rarely consider.
Another important idea is to examine our beliefs about the problematic situation. If we feel like we are lacking something, we usually have some limiting belief about it. Ask ‘am I carrying a burden I shouldn’t be? Am I trying to control something that is really out of my power?’ Anything from trying to control others to shaming ourselves for not making more friends can be a limiting belief hiding in plain sight.
Next, recognize the feelings you have about your situation and differentiate between what you can and can’t control. We can always control where we focus our attention, we can’t always control the reality of a situation.
Finally, work towards an abundance mindset. This happens by consistently reminding ourselves to look for the blessings in our life, even in the midst of difficult situations.
So, what is a current situation you can change your perspective on? Comment below, I’d love to hear!
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