I Have Enough
Or I wouldn’t be here.
From time to time I notice that I have enough. On easy days, I notice that my refrigerator is stocked with apples, spinach for salad and sweet bell peppers. I see that the pantry is full. On challenging days, I remind myself that the bills are getting paid, that I have a very cool reverse osmosis water filter and that I’m not hauling water bottles around, and that there is gas in the car. I remind myself that I have some money in the bank to pay for car repairs if need be. I have noticed that after I spend money, it keeps coming back. I have gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.
I have made a habit to notice that I have enough. As I look back on my life, I’ve noticed that all of my life, I’ve had enough. Somehow, whatever I have needed kept coming to me. Or I kept finding it. I sometimes remind myself that I must have enough right now, or I would not be here. I guess the universe needs me as much as I need it.
As a living being, I need space, time energy, and mass to exist. I need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat. I’ve noticed as I get older, that I need less food to eat. I need more water to drink. I seem to write better when I’m sleep deprived. Not sure yet, but I do need sleep.
I have friends and family. We share stories, we do things together. We write to each other, talk with each other, and visit each other. I love them and I don’t worry if they love me. Long ago, my wife told me that if she’s still here, she loves me. So I don’t worry if I can’t remember the last time she told me that she loves me. Whatever I get from her, it must be enough or she wouldn’t be here.
When I consider my immediate surroundings, I notice that everything I need is right here, right now. The necessities are here. As I sit here writing, my computer, the monitors, the desk and the chair are all luxuries, and I find them very helpful as I write. But as I think on it more, I remind myself that someone else made these things that I now own.
In fact, there isn’t a single thing that I’m touching right now that I made myself. All of it was made by someone or something else. My clothing? Made in Vietnam, Thailand, and India. My keyboard? Made in China. My desk? It’s from Ikea, so it’s made in China, but I assembled it in my bedroom when we got it. So I was involved. But I can say for sure that nothing in this room was made by me.
This house was built by someone else. The walls, the paint, the plumbing, the wiring, and the A/C, that was all done by someone else. They were all made with materials from some other location, far from here, by someone else. The raw materials were not made by humans, they were appropriated from nature by humans and fashioned into something that could be sold and used by humans. I’ve added a few things to spruce up my house, but everything it is made of and filled with, all that stuff was made by someone else. I just happened to be of service to yet another party and got paid for that service, and used that money to buy this house and its contents.
The air I breathe, the water I drink and the space within which I exist, that was all made by something else. Even the time that is given to me to exist, that was made by something else. The atoms of which I and my surroundings are composed? They were made in stars more than 4.5 billion years ago. Some of them are radioactive. Most of them are very stable. We can’t tell one atom from another, except by their location, and even that is based on indirect observation. Something else made the light I use to see those atoms, too. I’m sure that I didn’t make them, and I have enough atoms within me and without me to exist.
Then there is consciousness. We still don’t know where it comes from. We can’t step outside our consciousness and say, “on the left is my consciousness, and on the right is the universe”. Something else made our consciousness. And I have enough of that to know that I exist and to exist.
Our brains are constantly recreating reality. According to Dr. Donald Hoffman, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, one-third of our brain is dedicated to creating our visual perception of reality. This is probably the only thing that I create, and even then, I’m not sure. Hoffman also points out that what I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, is all created by my brain. My brain is an interface between my consciousness and everything around it. And as I sit here, I can assure you that for the moment, all of that processing effort is enough for me.
So I’m not terribly worried if I get what I want for Christmas. I think I have enough for today. I see everything in my life as a gift. I don’t know where it came from, so I don’t question it. I just accept it all as a gift and when I rest my head at night, I let all of that be enough for today.