With great abundance comes great responsibility

by Rebecca A. Watson on May 22, 2014

in life, Values

A few weeks ago I signed up for a new class with Tanya, my friend and coach. Working with her has been on my vision board since we stopped this winter, and I’m really super-excited. Giddy even.

Wishes do come true!

Wishes do come true!

One of the first things she had us do was to write down what our values were. She named a few and said, “If you’re stuck, just go and Google values.” So I did and came up with a list of more than 400.

I went down the list, at first trying to be really stingy, like “I shouldn’t pick more than 10 of these right?” I mean, how could I focus on all those? But then I decided this was like a brainstorming session, and no ideas were bad. Besides, if one list can come up with 418, I should be able to get a little crazy picking them right?

As I went through there were things that were important to me and obvious now by how I live my life, but there were others that I really did value but hadn’t made it show up in my life yet. I just went with what my heart said. I came up with 52, and I’m pretty sure I weeded out any that have relatively the same meaning.

I thought it’d be interesting to talk about some of these on my blog, partially because the idea of values (and living in harmony with them) really resonates with me and partially because, well I love a good topic and I think I may have stumbled onto one here.

light

I wasn’t sure where to start. Should I begin with the ones I listed first before I went to the trusty Internet for more ideas? Or should I just sort them alphabetically and start there? As soon as I sorted them, I had my answer.

The first one is something that is important to me (obviously), but I have a very, very complicated relationship with. Like, I’d rather skip over writing about or even discussing it. And as I’ve heard and read so often, if you’re resisting it, that’s probably where you need to start.

Value: Abundance

Meaning: 1: an ample quantity, profusion; 2:  affluence, wealth; 3:  relative degree of plentifulness

Synonyms: boatload, gobs, loads (Sante’s favorite), oodles (tied with gobs for my favorite), plentitude, plethora (another good, but often over- and misused, word)

My Meaning: I believe abundance equals enough. Enough love, enough fresh air, enough space to exist comfortably, enough stamina to run how I’d like, etc. This isn’t just cash we’re talking about here. It’s everything from food in your fridge to sunlight in a day to calm in your mind.

Abundance’s Light side: I think that everyone can have their definition of abundance. There is enough for everyone. For me this brings up the story of Jesus and his feeding of the multitudes, where he blesses a few measly fish and loaves of bread and ends up feeding a boatload of people. There is always enough.

There is so much I want to do with the life I’ve been given, whether it be for myself or someone else. When I live in abundance, I’m operating optimally, which is good for me as well as all the folks I want to help on the planet. Abundance brings forth our realized creativity and passion.

Abundance is like a river, bringing with it the riches of life: water and food for all who live near it, a way to clean, a place to cool off and play as well a place to meet. So in order to have it, we must go with the flow, roll with the punches (the floods and trickles of drought) and trust that we’ll be cared for.

When I think of the light side of abundance, I think of The Lady in The Druid Craft Tarot.

the lady tarot card 3 major arcana

Bearing riches of all kinds, she sits upon her throne, peaceful and filled with a knowing that comes from being provided for. She’s even got the river to her left.

Abundance’s Shadow Side: There is a serious shadow side for me when it comes to abundance, mostly because of my past, which I’m letting go. I always get balled up with the money portion of this. Part of me thinks I should leave the cash out, since wealth is also on my list of values, but that’s kind of a cop out if you ask me.

Growing up there was a lot of arguing about money going on, and I’d be lying if I said Sante and I haven’t had our fair share of tussels around the issue as well. No surprise really, since it’s pretty much the biggest thing couples fight about.

But abundance’s dark side isn’t just about the weird issues we all have around money. It’s also got that big, ugly word greed attached to it. Hell, that’s a deadly sin. No laughing matter.

Like anything, when taken to an extreme it just makes you cringe. Think Bill Murray in The City of Ember (which, incidentally, is an excellent YA read if you’re interested).

This is that “more than enough” thinking. Someone told me a story about some folks who were at an all-inclusive resort who would pile up their plates, eat a few bits, throw the rest away and head back to the buffet. It can be as glaring as that or as little as someone telling me, “I don’t care about saving water. I can pay for it,” when I suggested he shut it off while he puttered around before a shower.

When I think of the shadow side of abundance, Cernunnos pops into my head.

cernunnos devil 15 major arcana

Labeled The Devil in more traditional decks, this card uses the Lord of the Animals, some call him Pan, who governs all the raw powers of instincts and nature. While there is promise of awakening and using these gifts for good, there is also the danger of falling into obsession and abuse or greed.

Abundance’s lesson for me: In the more traditional deck, the two lovers are bound in chains. But the bonds are so loose they could easily walk away from the excess, from the delusion. I’m rather frightened of being chained to such illusions, whether or not I can walk away, mostly because I have a pension for excess. I’ve got a track record after all.

Because of this (and a few other issues), I’ve shunned the idea that abundance could ever last in its true and beautiful form as The Lady. I feared it would always melt into some mutant form of addiction or ugly compulsion.

But even the promise of Cernunnos is that having freedom and abundance in the physical world is possible. And this happens when we take responsibility for our lives and the way we live them.

So that’s the challenge, the lesson I must learn in order to truly embrace this value and have the abundance and freedom I desire. Own my truth and speaking it. Live authentically.

I know writing more honestly on this blog has helped me do just that, but there are other things I can do as well. Listen to my heart, connect with my higher levels and do what I know is right. So there you go. That’s one big lesson but I think I’m up for the challenge.

Abundance’s Keywords: Flow, Enough, Passion, Creativity, Giving and Receiving, Cornicopioa, Gratitude, Optimal, Greed, Waste, Obsession, Materialism, Delusion, Excess, Illusion, Addition

What about you? How do you take responsibility for your life and how you live it?

This is an ongoing series about values. You can read the archives here or check out my entire list of  those that are important to me.

Photo Credit: Juan Buchelli

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nameless Here May 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I love this post. I just wish I was lucid enough to even concentrate on finding values. it seems everything I want to do is overwhelming. My head is all spacey. I am three days “lucid” now so hopefully the fog will clear soon. I am thrilled you reference the tarot. I use them often to do inner work. Abundance is very much something I would like and yet something I should beware of in it’s shadow form. If only I had all the money I ever spent of booze and cigarettes and just plain stuff that made me feel better, for the moment. I want the good abundance hehe. 🙂

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SueW May 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Had I read this when I first started the 100 day challenge there is no way I would have wished for abundance! I took too many thing to the extreme! Now there are things I wish for in abundance because I get it. Love, my family, health, beautiful days – the list can go on. I’d be liar to not admit to some material wants but I get it that there is so much more than just things. It took four starts and me finally being 100% honest with myself to get it.
Now – values are probably a good thing to start to wrap my head around.

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lacey May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

Hi! I am really appreciating your honesty in your posts. I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon your blog but obviously I needed to. I’ve had to relive some very embarrassing moments to get to the point I’m at today(day1 of being lucid) and find it comforting that I’m not the only one. Looking forward to more of your wisdom. Thank you

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Rebecca A. Watson May 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Hey Lacey, Welcome to my blog and happy day 1 (maybe day 2 now?) to you! Congrats on making a really tough decision and for having the courage to take care of yourself. Glad you’re enjoying my posts. Please feel free to comment or email me any time 🙂

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