When is enough enough?

I’ve been working on some crafty projects, a little painting and clearing out some clutter so I hope to have those posts up soon.

But today I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of being and having “enough”.

On the one hand, I am totally overwhelmed by the blessings in my life. There are people who care about me, my home is overflowing with material things, my bank account is healthy and I even have good health, a world to explore and a great business.

On the other hand I do believe the W.W. quote about the nature of growth. That we all, as humans, aspire to grow and have and be more. The question for me is when does more become a hindrance?

For example, I have a lot of candles. They’re in jars, tapers, tiny tea lights, pillars… in every size, shape, scent and style you can imagine. They don’t really go bad so it’s easy to hoard them when I find some on sale or, more frequently, find one that smells good and buy four of them.

I like the look of candles, they’re practical, good to have in a power outage, I love shooting by candlelight… but when is enough enough?

A non-thing example…

I’ve recently talked to some friends about someone in my life who is a person I try not to be. Specifically, a very negative, downtrodden, that-will-never-work attitude that pervades every situation and conversation. For years now I have that criticism ringing in my ears – the accusation that I was “too negative” all the time.

How much realism is enough? How much hopeful optimism is enough? How many encouraging words are enough?

I don’t really know.

In the same way I don’t know when I have too many candles, sometimes we have to define in terms of the negative. I know I have too few candles when I have none. I know there are too few encouraging and positive words when I hear none.

Can there be too much of a good thing? Sometimes. But wouldn’t you rather risk giving too much instead of the alternative?

In the last few weeks I’ve been donating and selling a lot of things. And with every shirt I pull out of the closet, every pillow or candle or spatula, I ask myself “do I have enough?” and “have I given back enough?”

Just as there are people in my community who can’t afford dinner tonight, or new clothes for their children or blankets to keep warm there too are people who haven’t heard an encouraging word, who haven’t been smiled at, who haven’t received a hug.

It seems November becomes “the month” for Thankfulness and if those daily Facebook posts are any indication, people are really blessed and happy. I guess my question is, are you being a blessing to others? Are you making them happy?

If not, don’t be surprised if the people in your life are turning away from your presence this season (or in general). I know I’m making some pretty big life decisions that stem from that concern.

When is it enough? Maybe when you stop giving to keep score and give from a place of abundance and joy instead.

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