Well, here we are. It’s 3:13 pm on Thursday, and…maybe it’s because there was an arctic cold snap here in NYC, or maybe it’s because my dad just called and said he thinks coming home for Thanksgiving is not a good idea, given the CDC’s most recent report…but things right now…seem pretty overcast.
I don’t want to say “bleak,” because…well, that’s depressing. But it just feels a bit like overcast skies have rolled in and settled in the past 12 hours.
Allow me to tell another jogging story…
I was running this morning through my neighborhood in lower Manhattan, and I passed, not one — but two separate women, each carrying two-24 packs of Charmin toilet paper.
Cue the slasher music.
My very first instinct, I’m ashamed to admit, was “Oh no! I’ve got to stock up too!“
Then, after coming to my senses, I thought, “What a sad reality we find ourselves in.“
Granted, this is coming from the girl who is still working through the off-brand, single-ply brand of toilet paper I had to buy during the pandemic last March/April. (I’m lookin’ at you, Angel Soft…we are not friends.)
But as I was running along — not getting flipped the double bird this time, thankfully — I couldn’t help but think about those two women panic buying toilet paper for a second wave that hasn’t even hit — yet.
And two words came to mind, that haunted me the rest of my run: Scarcity Mindset.
These two women were living from a mindset of scarcity. A mindset of lack.
And sure, maybe four weeks from now, I’m going to have to go find these women and beg them for three squares of toilet paper that’s now non-existant in NYC, and sure enough, they would then prove to be the smart, prudent and visionary winners at life.
But the fact of the matter, is that — planning ahead, or not — they were living from a scarcity mindset.
And actually this is something I know a lot about. Eating disorders are, by definition, a manifestation of scarcity mindsets: living from a place of lack. A place of emptiness. A place of anxiety and fear.
In anorexia, you live from a state on unworthiness – of love, of comfort, of food, of gentleness, of self-kindness. And as a result of this scarcity of love and self-worth, you turn to food — or rather, withholding it — as a way to affirm that scarcity. Because stepping out of your comfort zone — your eating disorder — and then actually discovering that the preceived lack of love and worth is actually true — would be too much to bear. So you clamp down on the restriction, and living from lack becomes the cage where you feel safe.
This is true, not only for eating disorders, but for so many other areas in life. The scarcity mindset can bleed into our relationships — turning to infidelity or promiscuity to quench this insatiable feeling of lacking love or stability or value. It can bleed into our finances, our shopping impulses, alcohol consumption, material things we hold onto, achievements or accolades we tirelessly chase after. All stemming from a place of lack. Of need.
So what is the fix? What can get us out of this terrible cycle? Becuase ask any addict — be it of food, alcohol, drugs or designer shoes — the answer is never at the “bottom of just one more bottle.”
It’s a shift in thinking.
A shift in world view.
Instead of operating from a mindset of scarcity, we must adopt a mindset of abundance.
For example, instead of focusing on “the lack,” run a gratitude inventory of all the things you do have. This small shift makes you realize that, in fact, your cup runneth over.
Instead of dwelling in anxiety over all the ways things could go wrong, imagine all the endless possibilities resulting from things going right.
But most of all, we must replace the negative “lacking” thoughts of anxiety, with truths: that we are loved, created by a good and trustworthy Father, and that we have the power to choose our thoughts, and our choices in life.
And usually, the decision to make that mental shift has to be radical. At least it was for me. I had to choose to radically believe those truths that, at the time, I didn’t believe were actually true for me. But I knew that in order to heal from the insidious disease that was actively trying to destroy me, I had to live from that new mindset.
Because at the very heart of it all, it comes down to this: the scarcity mindset — one of fear, lack, need, anxiety — it comes from the enemy.
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.“
God wants us to have an abundance mindset, because that’s precisely what God came and established for us on the Cross: an abundance of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. And if that doesn’t demonstrate just exactly how much we’re worth, I don’t know what does.
So. Toilet Paper.
Perhaps it’s a little bit of a reach to say that stocking up on toilet paper or other essentials during a global pandemic is part of the enemy’s arsenal of tricks and slings of arrows, but hey…it’s 2020 –I’ll believe just about anything, anymore these days.
What is true, though – is that I really do have a lot to be thankful for — a family that loves me and is healthy, friends and loved ones that I care for dearly, a place to call home that is warm and safe from the outside elements, a job that fulfills me, my own heath…and oh yeah…a stock pile of single ply. 😉
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A huge shoutout to Reason Nutrition Beverage! Their all-natural, high calorie drink is not only delicious, but it has no “garbage” in it! Utilizing the wholesome goodness of coconut oil, it’s a phenomenal option for those needing to gain weight in recovery, or for those simply looking to supplement their diet with convenient and fast nutrition. Check them out!
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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