I believe that much of the problems and drama in relationships comes from an unconscious approach, that looks at love, sex, intimacy, touch, and attention as scarce resources that adult humans must compete for.
What is a scarcity mindset?
A long time ago, I used to have a strong fear of ending up old and alone if I don’t find a compatible love interest and commit to an exclusive life together. From this mindset, every other man became a ‘competitor’ and every other woman a ‘target’ or ‘prize’.
Our parenting rules have not been seriously updated in years. They come from a time when monarchial patriarchy ruled the day rather than democracy. The high divorce rate; violent teenage disorders; massive drug abuse; and epidemic incest, eating disorders and physical battering all are evidence that something is radically wrong. The old rules no longer work. Our consciousness has changed, as has our view of the world.Bradshaw – On the Family
We have inherited a scarcity focused culture that values dominance, competitiveness, capitalism, accumulation of wealth and resources. No matter the political ideology, scarcity is at the root of so many problems that humanity must tackle if we are to thrive as a species. The compounded tragedy is that we also inherited fixed ways of thinking and analysing these issues that limit us, as they are borne of the same value system.
If you have a family background that is resource poor, it will be difficult to conceive a reality where you are not actively struggling to meet your basic survival needs. From this perspective, scarcity is what you have always known and wanting to protect what you have worked for and earned, makes sense.
If you have a resource-rich family background, you may have been brought up to believe that your privilege is well deserved and it is vital to preserve and protect it at all costs. From this mindset, a choice to not hold on to your privilege is seen as a radical and subversive act.
It can be argued that the resources we need to survive are, indeed, scarce. There is only so much fresh water, food and clean air to supply to all living things on the planet. There are countries (such as China) where the gender ratio has been manipulated and there far fewer women than men, which leads to a scarcity approach to finding a romantic/sexual partner. My observation of why we are at this place now, is that it was scarcity mindset that created the problem in the first place.
Vast accumulation of wealth by a small elite creates disparity and a race to the top. So much world hunger is about distribution, fairness and transparency and not lack of resources. Over-population was a reaction to the economic reality in which families are left to fend for themselves, and religious indoctrination. Our reliance on fossil fuels for energy comes from human greed and desire to control finite resources for maximum profit. There are alternative energy sources that aren’t scarce – wind, water, solar – and therefore are not of interest for development by economic interests in the current system.
How we view relationships and our connection with others cannot be separated from the reality of the system in which we exist. When we think of finding a mate, our rational mind creates expectations to help us survive within this framework. We look for someone that ticks the boxes so we can feel safer, have an ally and future-proof our life.
In the talk I gave about this topic, someone came up with a food metaphor to explain their scarcity mindset. I added an example of how an abundance mindset can look:
What would an abundance mindset look like?
For me, the shift towards an abundance mindset came about through discovering non-monogamy and polyamory. Suddenly, it was no longer necessary to find that one person that can be my everything. I did not have the pressure to be their everything. By having a more relaxed attitude towards dating, I have found out that when I am in a relationship, it is easier to meet more people that want to date me.
This mindset is possible to learn, practice and implement with the right support and direction. It starts with UNLEARNING our toxic cultural norms and using our ABSTRACT minds to create a new reality. My journey was greatly helped by attending Burning Man events where people freely give their time, energy, food and other resources in order to collaborate, cooperate and build something that is greater than the individual.
Once we discover that we are capable of self-love, self-confidence and self-regulation, we begin to meet more of our needs by ourselves. This kind of work often involves a journey of self-discovery and can be greatly helped with therapy or coaching, as well as group work.
When we stop thinking in terms of scarcity and finite love, we find ourselves…
- Saying no and yes to things much more authentically
- Connecting to people who don’t tick all the boxes
- Not having crippling anxiety over the thought of losing ‘the one’, or not finding ‘the one’
- Attracting kindness and goodwill from others
The audio recording of my talk about abundance mindset can be downloaded here.
If you would like to receive support and guidance on your journey towards an abundance mindset, no matter what relationship dynamic you choose for yourself, then check out my upcoming course on conscious relationships within an abundance mindset. You can join a small group of like-minded people to go on the journey with, or book a private course with your partner/s or friends.