Monday’s Meditation: On The Fear Of Few
If I had a nickel for every time a client has claimed that they can’t get rid of numerous items they’ve already professed not to truly love because, if they did, they’d be left with too few alternatives, I’d have enough nickels to buy us all one-way flights to Rome, transport us to the Trevi fountain, and then supply the nickels for everyone to toss into the fountain.
Plainly stated: somewhere along the way, we have learned a Fear of Few.
People are truly uncomfortable with the idea of having very few things. That each one of the select items they’ll continue to own is one they’re completely and totally obsessed with does little to assuage this discomfort.
Is it fear of commitment? A fear of being boxed in, of being closed off from further options? (well, it is the latter, but that’s a delusion we’ll unpack some other day.)
At its deepest level, the discomfort we feel about paring down speaks to our reliance on external items to support our inner fulfillment.
That is why we not only tolerate, but insist, on the presence of filler.
Because some part of us still believes that the right outfit is going to be the reason we finally and fully love our reflection. Because a part of us clings to the notion that feeling as though we’ve impressed others through surface means will help us to feel successful.
Because something to do is better than nothing to do, and a kind-of-sort-of friend is better than spending time alone. Because more is better than less. Because full is better than empty.
Full is better than empty. But until we begin to understand that feelings of fullness are not predicated on quantity nor significantly substantiated by judgment and appearance, but are brought about through authenticity and honesty, will we continue to rely on filler to create a false sense of fulfillment.
But filler will fail us every time, until the end. It will let us down, and leave us emptier. It is not few we should fear, but falsehood.
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