What is too much?
It is immensely tempting, in this age of racing time and systems-wide failure, to get caught in urgency, to try to fix everything. We are powerfully called to DO, to ACT, to “be the change”. We are called to engage social and spiritual action in every direction and dimension of our lives – from recycling, to gardening, to political action and citizen lobbying, to supporting schools, to fundraising for Haiti, Chile and the rainforests. Indeed, all of these sectors and more need help, but in reaching out to all of it, can we be truly effective at giving back to the world what it most needs?
We are called to become integral spiritual beings, to map our inner worlds in totality, to hone our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. Great idea. But, where is the ground? We measure ourselves against the achievements of activist giants like Paul Hawken or Lynn Twist, and we feel inadequate to the task at hand. So, we become generalists. We become greatly skilled at navigating an integral playing field, but we become less connected to the specific dimensions of our own experience that inform the shape and tone of our greatest service.
In expanding to hold the ALL, the temptation is to take it ALL on. Isn’t this just another excess? If we make ourselves responsible for engaging the total system, working to change the whole by engaging all the parts, we loose track of the simple sufficiency of our unique gifts and inspirations. The shadow here is that nothing we do, nothing we give, nothing we are can actually be enough if we have to “do it all”. We end up recapitulating one of our deepest human wounds – the myth that “I am not enough.”
Yes, it is more than time to “be the change we want to see.” It is time to step up like never before. It is time to give. It is time to serve. It is time to fearlessly engage. But, isn’t it also time to step down, to relax into our humanity, to cease our seeking and finally, actually ARRIVE home to the simple grace, abundance and meaning inherent in our lives and relationships.
It is our “not enough-ness” that causes us, after all, to seek so ceaselessly to expand, be more, get more, do more. It motivates endless consumption loops and a reflexive grasping towards what we do not have. It is our not-enough-ness that causes us to place the value of the dollar above the value of our relationships, our moment to moment states of consciousness, and our connection with the earth and the animal worlds – things that are available to us all the time. It is part of the root sickness that generates the degenerative cycles of global capitalism and human addiction.
No human is designed to be everything. And this is a key point. As long as we are trying to do it all, we recapitulate the core wounds of inadequacy, self-loathing, jealousy, greed and insecurity that perpetuate our addictive behaviors, poverty and despair.
It seems to me that we need to restrain this impulse. Instead, we need to get specific, humble, anchored and real about what it is each of is specifically here to be and to do. We need to align our actions meaningfully with the SHINE of our SOULS, with our passion and our joy – in ways that are both powerful and calming. We need to root into the fundamental sufficiency of our hearts and spirits and our capacity to CHOOSE this enough-ness in every moment. This is foundational for alignment within the greater harmonic of evolution happening at this time. No one of us can or is meant to do it all. Rather, we are here to co-cre-activate a personal, cultural and spiritual ecosystem of wholeness within which each of us is uniquely designed to fill a specific niche and play a specific role.
You are enough.