I always eat my breakfast, on weekdays, at work at my desk. I keep utensils in my desk drawer for when I need them for my breakfast or my lunch, and I usually have spoons, forks and knives. On a recent morning, I brought cereal for my breakfast, and when I got to work, realized that I didn’t have a spoon in my drawer, only forks and knives. I thought about it for a moment.
I could eat my cereal with a fork if I had to, right?
Before I went ahead and did that, however, I checked our lunchroom, and there was a spoon there that I was able to use. Problem solved. But it got me thinking: what if I had to use a fork? What if I had to make do with what I had? What if I just had to rely on the resources that I possessed at the time? Well, I would have been fine; I would have managed; I would have been just fine.
So, it got me thinking about the difference between managing with what we have, whether it is a fork, or a situation that is bigger; and just taking the bare minimum, doing without even though we don’t have to. The difference between finding contentment in each and every moment, no matter what it contains, and purposely living without something, or somene, just because we think that is what we have to do.
I have existed in both spaces.
I am usually quite happy in the place that I am, no matter what the circumstance. I make the best of any situation, most of the time, even if it is uncomfortable, or less than what I wanted, or even when it is close to what I most want. I always make my best effort to appreciate where I am and who I am with, to stay in the moment, to have a deeper understanding of all of the moments of my life. I am not perfect at it, but do my best to stay there.
I have also been in the space when I do without, sometimes unnecessarily, because I believe that I really don’t need something, or someone, to be present with me. I purposely do without, almost in a martyr type fashion, because it seems like the right thing to do, the humble thing to do.
And that second space is the one that I am trying to break out of.
I believe in not taking more than we need in this world; in being simple in our needs but abundant in our relationships. I believe that more is not always better. However, I also have deprived myself at times just because I didn’t think I should do something more. And, I am realizing lately that I deserve better than that.
I don’t have to indulge every desire; however, I don’t have to deprive myself, either. I can achieve balance without overindulging; I can be kind to the earth and resources without having to do without completely. I am realizing that when I live without, simply because I think I should, it really isn’t necessary, and I am giving myself the message that I don’t deserve what it is I want and need.
So, I don’t plan on finding a way to justify a new car, or a wardrobe or home addition, but I am getting more comfortable in knowing that depriving myself is not always noble, and it isn’t the best way to show love for myself either.
So, if I want to eat cereal with a fork, I will.
But it is nice to know that I don’t HAVE to.