Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced historical trauma that has caused us to experience “lack.” “Lack” being a feeling deep down inside that something is… missing. Where is the rest of the water from the glass? For American blacks, it was slavery and ongoing social inequity. For Native Americans, it was indigenous colonization and the boarding schools. For Hispanics, it is the migrant border crisis and living in fear of deportation. For Asians it was racial internment and now COVID-19. Everyone’s grandparents experienced The Great Depression. However, now we all watch Hoarders on Netflix and wonder why?
Isn’t it obvious? Historical trauma affects generations far down the line. If your parents’ parents’ parents experienced a severe amount of “lack,” most likely they developed habits and behaviors around that feeling of needing more. It’s no wonder hoarding has passed to subsequent generations. So many people are preparing for the “just in case” like their grandparents did.
Marketing gurus are aware of these processes. They take advantage of it and feed the population more of the same messaging. “You will be made whole as soon as you purchase this product… this service will finally make you more popular and connected to others.” Of course these messages are not always true. As soon as the purchase is made, the customer feels just as empty as before. This constant messaging from advertisers maintains this status quo of “lack.”
One of our advisors here at Asylum Advising, eliminated television from her home in 2001 in an attempt to escape the marketing messaging that came along with broadcast commercials. In the age of social media and streaming, these advertisements have come back full force, along with a pay to opt out option. It’s an interesting era when consumers have to pay a monthly fee to stop corporate messages of inadequacy, yet here we are.
Which brings us to the idea behind this blog post… how do we get from the scarcity mindset… to the abundance consciousness?
This transition is hard. Scarcity is almost encoded in our DNA through generations of survival-based lifestyles. It doesn’t help that the media bombards us with messages of “lack” on a daily basis either. However, we have more in the way of possessions and niceties than any of the generations before us. If anything, we are living in abundance, even if we do not recognize it.
Enter pronoia… the belief that the universe is conspiring to shower us with blessings. Coined in 1980, and mentioned only a handful of times through the 90’s, the term has only recently been fully published and explored. Many people, if not most people, have been living on the edge of paranoia for quite some time. Why not flip the script? Why not revise our whole internal dialogue and observations to recognize how wondrous our lives are and how many plentiful things we have at our disposal that our ancestors did not?
Seems easy, right? At a very baseline level, we can all start writing gratitude lists, but do we really have time to notice the good? Life becomes busier and busier as technology advances. The question then is not do we have time, but will we make time? At the simplest level, we can pause and appreciate our breath. We can appreciate the marvel that our body is capable of absorbing oxygen through our lungs and carrying that oxygen throughout our body via our blood. Our heart keeps beating… day after day. What a marvel!
These are the ways in which we can start moving into abundance. Notice the blessings that are consistently being bestowed upon us each day. If you begin to have the feeling that you are wanting… remember that it is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty. It is more about questions such as.. What is my glass full of? Am I the glass? What do I have now compared to the glass of my ancestors? Can I be grateful for the things that I do not have? This brings us to the old adage “the more you have, the more you want.” Are we actually less satisfied than our ancestors were because we have so much? These questions may be more worth asking that the age old, “What am I missing?” To get the right answers, you must first ask the right questions.
My ability to write this blog for all of you is a wondrous feat of technology and society. A wise man once said “Turn on, tune in, and drop out, (Timothy Leary, 1966). This could easily be applied to the culture of lack that currently abounds. The same with the marketing that is streamed consistently to our electronic devices. We can “turn on” our ability to see the wonder of our existence. We can “tune in” to our methods of observing our daily blessings. We can “drop out” of the mediocre mindset that tells us to always look for the next thing we “need.” We may “want,” but it is time to start asking “why” instead of “what?”
Living in a state of lack is living in compliance with our historical traumas. Living the opposite way, in a state of abstinence, is in rebellion to our ancestral trauma. Here at Asylum Advising, we aim to find the middle ground, living in harmonious resilience with our traumas, each and every one of them. May you be blessed and live in trauma resilience each and every day.