When I was a teen I was a jealous little shit thing. She had this, he got that, they have everything… Days went a little like this. Not always but in my private school environment I saw plenty of people getting more than their fair share {I’m sure plenty of people thought the same thing about me}. It was frustrating and sometimes I just wanted to cry with the inequity of it {believe me, I get the irony of this}. Sometimes I would let slip and whinge to my Dad.

Dad would shrug and say, that’s nice.

I  would continue to complain.

Dad would give me a warning look.

I would continue. Now I can’t have them. They took them. They don’t deserve them. I wanted them more. What about me. I worked hard too. Harder probably. I paid my dues. It’s my time. People just don’t like me. I wanted them first. It was MY thing… On and on I would go. Then finally when the spiral of complaining just got too much for him and Dad would intervene. And it would go a little like this;

Melissa {serious face} let me tell you something it took me a very long to time to learn. A long time of growing up. A long time of having less than nothing. Of envying others for what they had. Wanting it. Resenting them for having it. There’s enough for everyone, he said. Did you hear me. Enough. For. Everyone. My teenage mind was running overtime while responding sarcastically in my head recounting the millions of I grew up poor stories my Dad would tell. Eye roll at the ready.

You have a scarcity mentality, he said. You don’t believe there is enough to go around. That’s why you want what they have instead of going to get it for yourself. You want theirs because theirs feels like the last one. He would explain that having this mentality would always put me in competition with people. Small things would seem like kill or be killed. The number of opportunity’s for me would seem finite. Chances gone were lost. Wins stolen from you. You need to get past this.

At the time I thought he was being dramatic.

He wasn’t.

It turns out he was right.

It’s a lesson I’m still learning today.

You remember this post. The one where I boiled with resentment because people, other people, kept taking MY chances of having a baby. Same thing. Different guize over 10 years later. It appears I need to sit on the kitchen bench and hear it from Dad again. A reminder that you cannot truly be abundant until you believe in abundance. You cannot truly believe in abundance if you believe in scarcity. It’s one of those these two things cannot exist at once things. A mentality based in scarcity feeds greed {why give something away you might never get back again, eeeek!}. It feeds competition. It feeds tearing down someone to get ahead.

It’s toxic. And it’s got to go.

  • Dorothy @ Singular Insanity

    Great lesson, Melissa. It’s one I’ve been trying to teach myself over the last couple of years. The jealousy/envy still rears its head, but eventually I remember that there is enough. For all of us.

    • Thank you. Good luck with your experience of this one. It’s a tricky one. xo

  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    Great advice from your dad. Some people never ever learn this lesson, this generosity of spirit that means being happy for someone replaces feeling resentment of their happiness. Great post.

  • Yes, this is an issue for me as well. Nothing’s ever fair. I seem to love playing the victim!

  • Leish

    Melissa I want to tell you something – I’m 30 – married and childless. Out of choice, we r working hard so when we r ready for baby; things will b easier financially. We r very much in love but have travelled the world and have lived our youth to its fullest. I was talking to my gran the other day saying how it’s so annoying how everyone is consistently asking when we will have a baby? – a lady at work even told me I better hurry up as I might b infertile soon. I find these comments harsh and mean but I know when a baby comes just like u guys it will be right. All in gods timing – I’m not religious but I truly believe this, my gran proceeded to tell me her sister was this twisted bitter women she said she tired for 12 years to have kids ( while may I add my gran had 5, in 5 years). Nana said that her sister eventually adopted a child and then 14 years down the track fell pregnant three times all in three years. I told my nan that her sister had every right to be bitter and twisted but every story has some gold lining. I hope this gives u hope! I cried xx 😉

  • river

    Your Dad is very wise. Most people, including me, have no idea that what they’re thinking is “scarcity mentality”. I didn’t even know there was such a name for it. I think this is something people subconsciously learn from their parents, the whole “keeping up with the Jones’s” thing. They have one so we must have it too, and so it goes on. Most of the time I don’t envy people what they have, I know they’ve worked for it, while I haven’t so I shouldn’t complain, but this scarcity trait shows up very strongly when it comes to the Lotto draws. Why do “they” always win and not me? It isn’t fair, I deserve it too, etc.

    • Thanks River. I’m not sure if that’s an official term or a manifest your destiny type book term. But it works. 😉

  • My dear friend, I wish someone had said to me years ago what your Dad said to you. What amazing wisdom! I truly struggle with feeling everyone else is better off than I am, have all the things I want etc and it was only through reading this post that I realised that my reaction largely comes out of the fact that I feel, or am scared that there isn’t enough to go around! I must remember this. I must keep it in mind and pull myself in line when needed. Thank you for sharing this and, thank you Melissa’s Dad for your wise words!

    • I am a lucky girl, that’s for sure.
      You’re welcome. I’ll let him know. 🙂

  • C

    So right, I haven’t read it articulated like this but…dad=genius.

  • Gillian James

    wow- awesome dad advice. Your dad is right on the money. Great post.

  • sheribombblog

    LOVE this post! Thank you for writing it and thank you Suger-Dad for such amazingly awesome advice! I must remember this.

    • See how Suger-Dad doesn’t really work out as a nickname? It’s a bit too close to Sugar Daddy. Ick. Haha.

      Thank you and you’re welcome. xo

      • sheribombblog

        Oh man, you’re SO right! Sorry bout that…eeuh haha

        • Did it once myself. Wrote Suger Dad in a post and was like, eeeew, yuck. HAHA.

  • One wise Dad you have there. I can definitely take on some of that wisdom myself.