ABUNDANCE AND GRATITUDE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Thank You For My Abundance
Know That You Can Live In Abundance And Gratitude
This blog is taken from Chapter 21 of my book, From The Frying Pan To The Jacuzzi, Gourmet Recipes For A Gourment Relationship. The book is available on Amazon or you can purchase directly here at the office in Yucaipa.
I WAS RAISED DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION!
I remember sharing with Mom and Dad that I tell the folks who attend my workshops that I was raised during the Great Depression. While Mom laughed, Dad scrunched up his face and painfully asked me, "Why do you tell people that?" I was tickled that at least Mom got it, and to this day, I often wonder what got triggered for Dad. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes. I was really stunned by his response. Perhaps the memories were too painful.
One Spare Rib And One Shrimp
I was born in 1945. In those days, the closest thing to fast foods and take out were Chinese Kitchens. Our family loved Chinese food. Mom would cook up extra rice, and when the food arrived, you could have all of the chow mein, which consisted mainly of bean sprouts, that you could eat. But when it came to sweet and sour spare ribs, you got one! And one fried shrimp! I will never forget my first time (I was sixteen!) at a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet. Well, it was sort of like sex! I cannot tell you how many sweet and sour spareribs and shrimp I ate that night. It was like being able to pick every thing you wanted from the J. C. Penny Christmas Catalogue instead of having to pick ONE item.
Raised In The Shadow Of 1929
I obviously was not raised during the Great Depression (1929). But we lived under the shadow of that era. There was an unspoken fear that we might run out of money. I was aware of Mom and Dad being extremely cautious when it came to spending. Dad, in particular, counted every penny. I heard once that Dad’s salary was four hundred dollars a month. I had no idea what that meant, except that there was an innuendo that it was not very much, and it required a lot of stretching, and we were best to live our life frugal.
Forty Cents A Week!
There was no such thing as an allowance. Whatever money I had was from collecting soda bottles which were like gold in those days. When I was desperate, I searched under the cushions of the big chair and the couch for change. It was a magic place! There were always deposits there from either Dad or our guests! Finally in high school, I did get an allowance. Forty cents a week!
Getting a new pair of shoes was a really BIG deal. You didn’t have a variety of shoes to pick from. You had that ONE pair of NEW shoes which were supposed to remain NEW until Dad decided that you needed another pair of NEW shoes. The once new pair went into a box for the poor.
Wearing your new shoes out in the rain without putting on your galoshes was paramount to murder! My Dad had a nifty version of galoshes which simply fit over the souls and heels of his shoes. He called them "rubbers." On a rainy day, he would ask one of us, "Will you get my rubbers?!"
When I grew up, the only thing that was abundant in my life were the weeds that grew along the fence between our house and Mrs. Bjarko’s house and the time it took to pull them! We called her Mrs. B. Behind her back, we would chant a taunting song. "Bee Bee, can’t sting me!" She constantly complained about the weeds. She had a knack of tracing any weed on her side of the fence back to our yard. There would always be plenty of weeds, an ABUNDANCE of weeds. Everything else fell under the SCARCITY column! I grew up in a climate of scarcity
There was never enough of the good things in life. There was always the fear of running out of whatever we did have. In general, SACRIFICE and DOING WITHOUT were the VIRTUES of the day. There was something seriously wrong with you if you didn’t practice them. You were SELFISH!
As an adult, SCARCITY has translated to more than just money and Chinese food! For example, there is never enough time, there is still not enough money, there is not enough affection and definitely not enough sex. I can’t just have a small bowl of Rocky Road. I have to have two LARGE bowls and to top them off, a couple of spoonfuls right out of the carton! I can’t make a small salad, the kind of dinner salad you get in a restaurant. My salad is so big that I’m almost too full for the main course. A doctor friend told me that I was the only person he knew that overate broccoli! I can’t just sip and enjoy a drink of any kind. I tend to guzzle and have two or more drinks, coffee, ice tea, soda, beer, whatever, in the same amount of time that some one else slowly slips and enjoys one drink. SCARCITY--the fear of not having or getting enough, the fear of feeling EMPTY, LOST, ALONE.
In recent years, I have experimented with living every day feeling RICH and FULL and having PLENTY of everything I need. Throughout the day, I constantly utter, sometimes quite loudly, "THANK YOU FOR MY ABUNDANCE!" On weekends, when I am afraid that there will not be enough money come Wednesday to pay the electric bill that is due, I take a chance that there will be, and I go grocery shopping and buy everyone everything on their lists. The lights are still ON.
When I’m buying paper for the office, I sometimes force myself to buy a supply that will lasts more than the week. When we go shopping together for clothes for Dianna, I work hard to put aside my crystal ball vision of the price tags as we are pulling into the parking lot, and encourage her to buy the clothes that she likes and that are going to enhance her professional appearance or that will make her feel like she is one of the RICH people on our trip. Why not?
LIVING IN ABUNDANCE
I’m not trying to fool myself into thinking that we have more than we do. I’m simply letting myself live in abundance rather than scarcity.
When Dianna asks me to rub her legs, something I don’t find particularly enjoyable when I am tired, I push myself to rub them with abundant energy and abundant time. When I’m rushing about the house on a given day, trying to get everything accomplished I have planned for that day, I remind myself that there is an abundance of time and what is most important is the two of us feeling abundant in our relationship rather than short-changed because of all of these things and projects that tend to take priority. I am far from perfect in pulling any of this off. I’m batting about three hundred actually!
I’M ON MY WAY TO BECOMING A BELIEVER
When it comes to receiving Dianna’s attention and affection, I catch myself competing inside my head with her work, the kids, the dogs, and sometimes even her health. I shift gears into believing out of sheer faith, that she has an abundance of energy and time, and I will not be left out. I act as if I really believe that even though I am probably more agnostic about it than a true believer. However, the more I act as if, the more I am able to believe. Remember EVERYTHING takes practice!
THANK YOU FOR MY ABUNDANCE
When I wake up in the morning, I utter something to the effect, "Thanks for a wonderful day." Who am I saying that to? For me, it’s God. For you, it can be whoever you hold responsible for your waking up another morning!
When I find a penny, I purposely pick it up, put it in my pocket, and utter, sometimes quite loudly, "Thank you for my abundance." When I go to the post office box each day looking for payments, I always say, "Thank you for my abundance," no matter how many or how no payments are there! When I was walking the streets of New York recently on a trip I figured we could not afford, I said numerous times, "Thank you for my abundance."
WANT FOR NOTHING
This is not about being Godly, holy, spiritual, or anything else. It’s simply about being grateful for what we have and living in abundance rather than in scarcity. No matter how much one has or how little, it can always be abundant, just like the woman in the Old Testament who shared her last drop of oil with the prophet.
It’s also about living a truly RICH life and coming to the awareness of just how RICH your life is regardless of how much of anything you have or don’t have. There is an abundance of RICHNESS for all of us. There is no good reason to live in scarcity.
Those of you who live in poverty and dire conditions may think I have lost my mind. I too have moments when I have barely enough money for whatever money is needed. I never focus on it. I spend what money I have making room for more. I live RICH. I then remind myself of all my other treasures: Dianna, our children, this writing, a voice, music, legs to ski on, a Jacuzzi to sit in at night and look at the stars, and even a frying pan to cook eggs in!
No matter how much energy I have or Dianna has for our relationship on a given day, I live RICH in the assumption that we both have PLENTY of energy for each other, plenty of love, plenty of hugs, plenty of kisses, plenty of laughs, plenty of tears, plenty of whatever we need for today.
Again, I am not living in this spirit of abundance and gratitude perfectly. I work at it. I practice. Sometimes, I slip into the spirit of scarcity and drive everyone nuts. So I invite you to work at it and practice it as well. I invite you to LIVE RICH in your relationship.
At the end of each chapter are sharing questions
1. What is SCARCE in your relationship? What do you withhold or hoard in your relationship?
2. Talk about ways that you can create abundance in your relationship.
3. What will cost absolutely nothing but could exist in abundance in your relationship and would make you both VERY RICH?
4. Talk about supporting each other envisioning an abundance of time in your relationship, an abundance of sex and sexuality in your relationship, an abundance of compliments and kind words, an abundance of compassion, and even an abundance of money in your relationship.
5. How do you practice abundance and or scarcity with your children, with your extended family, with your friends, with your neighbors, with your community?
6. Talk about one way that each of you could become more abundant in your attitude toward life in general.