As the US loses its AAA credit rating, the Dow Jones tanks and we face the probability of another (did we even leave the last one?) recession, we are tempted to allow fears around money creep into our consciousness. As we move along the spiritual path, growing, awakening and searching for enlightenment, we are invited to choose another path. How did we get into this mess and how do we get out of it?
Why did the US government have to raise the debt ceiling? Why is the Dow Jones crashing? Why are our investments losing money right and left? Why has the US lost its AAA credit rating? Why is our government considering another “stimulus package (because the last one worked so well….)? Why are investors and investment bankers and advisors in a state of alarmed panic? In a word: GLUTTONY!!!!! While I am often tempted to get on my soapbox and pontificate about all the things wrong with the world….this is not one of those times. Gluttony is a behavior that is not to be judged or fingers waved at, instead, it is a behavior motivated by fear and one that calls for compassion and healing. Gluttony is known by the behaviors of excess consumption and fearful deprivation that come from an even deeper cause and the cause is one of the seven core spiritual fears (see my book,Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy). The fear is : There is not enough.
The Cause of the Behavior
Gluttony is the behavior through which we seek rampantly to acquire the “stuff” that we think will soothe the deeper fear within us that there is not enough. This fear of “not enough” has within its roots very real survival fears and urges us to seek the food, clothing, shelter, safety and partnering that we need to survive. Once these basic survival needs are met, however, this fear should be calmed and we should live in peaceful contentment. Unfortunately for many (if not most), this fear isn’t calmed and we find ourselves creating more fear and out of this fear comes the false belief that there is something outside of us that will create the peaceful contentment that we crave – and the stuff outside of us that we think will make us feel peaceful are: money, power, control, stuff, more stuff, more stuff, fame, status, time. What began as a simple survival fear now morphs into something that drives us to seek more stuff, to use more than we need, to consume without regard for others or for our environment, to feel anxious about time, to seek fame, power, status, etc. We think that if we have the most stuff and the right stuff, then we will finally be happy and content. Instead, what we find is simply more fear and more discontent. The end result in a society consumed by this fear and this is exactly what we are facing in our economy today: THE RICH getting richer, THE POOR getting poorer and THE MIDDLE CLASS getting ticked off! (Are you familiar with the French Revolution???? “Let them eat cake” simply doesn’t work!)
The Upside Down Map
Every single one of us wants to feel peaceful, content, loving and joyful, right? These qualities of peace, love and joy are our DIVINE inheritance…our truest nature…why we are living on this ball of mud in the first place. We are genetically programmed to be peaceful, loving and joyful AND we are compelled to seek this out…NO MATTER WHAT. The problem is that our fears lead us down the path that will give us everything BUT contentment and joy. Instead, our fears only lead us to more fear and more discontent. The fear, “there is not enough,” is one of those misguiding fears. This fear makes us think that there is some magic something outside of us that will help us get this peace. It is like someone gave us a map and we are reading it upside down.
The truth that we are invited to embrace is that “All my needs are being met in abundance.” I know, another pie in the sky promise. Let me explain. The truth is that THERE IS NOTHING outside of us that will give us the peaceful contentment and joy that we desire and is in fact our truest nature. There is no job, no person, no amount of money, status, power, prestige that will magically make us happy and content. As the state of our economy reflects, we have been looking in the wrong place. We have taken too much, deprived others of what they need, wasted valuable resources, gone to war, destroyed the environment…all in the reckless search for “that magic something.” The peaceful contentment that is our truest nature IS NOT OUTSIDE of us. This peace ONLY COMES FROM WITHIN.
The Economic Solution
I’m not an investment counselor, or banker, or financial advisor….BUT I do know the solution to our current economic problem. And…the solution is simple……CULTIVATE inner peace and contentment. As we work toward believing the truth “all my needs are being met in abundance,” as we grow in our ability to embrace the peaceful contentment that is our truest nature, as we let go of our fears that “there is not enough”, then we stop looking outside of ourselves for the stuff, the money, the power, the status, the time, and we find that we have EVERYTHING we need…right here, right now, within us. Yes, our stock portfolios might take a hit, we might enter another recession, the dollar might even crash, but in the end, even that cannot deprive us of the compassion, peace and joy THAT WE ARE! And all you need to do is believe in the joy that you are and allow it to be true. (For tools to help you in the journey toward remembering this truth, see my book, Authetic Freedom).
Where are you aware of the fear, “there is not enough” as present in your life?
Where have you indulged in the behavior of spiritual gluttony?
How are you being invited to release this fear and its resulting behaviors?
Authentic Freedom Ministries