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My Second Lesson in Sufficiency

At the start of this year, I set the intention to spend the next 365 days studying, examining, being mentored by, and (hopefully) experiencing sufficiency….or, as “The Soul of Money” author Lynn Twist terms it, “enough.”

On January 1 when I began my study, I only knew one fact about sufficiency: it is the opposite of scarcity.

Well, make that two facts: I also knew that I was already quite familiar with scarcity.

A couple weeks ago, I received (and blogged about) my first powerful lesson in sufficiency, which is that sometimes “less” feels more like “enough” than “more.”

In other words, when I have less stuff, less debt, less on my to-do list, I have more space, more options and more freedom to spend my time in high quality ways.

I have discovered I feel surprisingly sufficient with less.

But after the excitement of finally learning something tangible about sufficiency, I felt at a loss for where to look to find the next lesson.

So I re-read a section of “The Soul of Money,” one specifically focused on the meaning of sufficiency itself. When I got done reading, I realized I didn’t understand anything I had just read.

I felt really frustrated.

After that I fell asleep, and when I woke up the next morning I decided to meditate. Fairly immediately a thought popped into my mind:

Could it be that “sufficiency” isn’t a thing outside of you, but is inside you?

Hmmm. I decided that it could be indeed, and promptly went hunting for it. 

That led me to make a list of my good qualities, like “has no debt” and “excellent credit score” and “cares about animals,” that sort of thing.

When I got done I was feeling better about the person I had chosen to strive to become, but I still wasn’t feeling a click with sufficiency itself.

I went back to meditating.

Then I realized I was still viewing myself as if someone else was grading me – giving me a score on my personality or ability to manage money or relative level of physical fitness and calculating my degree of sufficiency from there.

This didn’t feel quite right.

My mentor always says she knows she is worthy for one reason: because she is a child of God.

To be honest, every time she says it she loses me. I think it is a wonderful thing to say, and very beautiful to hear, but in my world that kind of awareness is right up there with scaling Mt. Everest….something I am unlikely to ever experience firsthand.

But I took that idea and started turning it around, and from there came up with a hypothesis that felt more workable:

What if sufficiency isn’t a what but a who – as in, I am sufficient because I AM?

In this scenario, it wouldn’t matter whether I had tons of debt or no debt, whether I was nice or mean, whether I could climb Everest or couldn’t make it up the front steps.

I would be sufficient because I am me, and for no other reason than that.

This felt….revelatory.

So revelatory, in fact, that I think I have just received my second lesson in sufficiency.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you have a relationship with the word “sufficiency” or with the word “enough?” Do either of those words mean something to you as far as who you are or where you are in life? 


My Second Lesson in Sufficiency

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2019). My Second Lesson in Sufficiency. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Dec 2019
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