Week 10 MKMMA...Extravagance, Lavishness, Wastefulness...
The Law of Abundance...for so long I have allowed myself to feel unworthy of truly living an abundant life. Somewhere along the way I learned that being extravagant and lavish was a wasteful, bad thing. Honestly, as I type this, my mind goes back to the summer after I graduated high school and an incident that happened just before I left for college.
I grew up in a home with the family income falling below poverty guidelines. We qualified for free lunches and would sometimes get the surplus cheese and butter. Because my family possessed large excavating and farm equipment, we didn't qualify for food stamps...because we could sell our assets and buy food. (Give a man a fish, don't let him go fishing???)
Money was scarce and even though all of my friends were wearing ESPRIT, Guess, Swatch, and Gloria Vanderbilt, I wore hand-me-downs and thrift shop finds. (If only I was a child of the 2000s, where thrift store finds have become the rage with all of the hipsters!)
As is customary, I received several monetary gifts after my graduation. After I purchased all of the necessary items for my dorm, I had some money left over. My university was rather conservative and we had to dress up for almost everything on campus. I went to the mall on the lookout for some nice dresses and skirts and after a few smaller purchases, I decided to peruse Dillard's. I found THE most beautiful dress that I had ever seen and immediately fell in love with it and HAD to have it! Then I looked at the price tag...$124.99! (I had never purchased ANYTHING for over $20 in my life!) I decided to splurge and bought the dress. I was so ecstatic to have such a beautiful dress to take with me to college!
I went home with my purchases and my mom wanted to see what all I had bought. I was so happy to show her the dress because it was SO perfect! As soon as I showed it to her, I regretted it. Her facial expressions changed so drastically that I knew she didn't approve of the purchase. She was upset that I had "wasted" that much money on one dress and in the heat of the moment of her reaction, she asked me if I thought I was a princess or something? I'm not going to lie, it stung. My elation was gone and now I was angry.
I always grew up in a frugal family, we always had food on the table, clothes to wear, and our utilities were always on (unless the electricity was out due to weather or the water froze in the winter). My mom made sure that I had well-rounded experiences. I played sports, was involved in 4H, Girl Scouts, Student Council, yearbook, played flute in band, learned piano from my grandmother, took dance and ballet when I was young, and even got to take art classes at the local museum. Many times the things she exposed me to were free, or she won as a prize (art classes, season passes to the local theatre). But she worked hard to make sure that we were always involved and doing things to build character and have experiences.
As an adult looking back, I'm sure that money was extra tight with my parents needing to drive me 15 hours away from home to college and I didn't even think about the finances of such a trip for them. So I am sure that was part of the reason for her reaction. But it stuck with me for the rest of my adult life. Lesson learned. I needed to be frugal and conservative in my spending, purchasing only the necessities.
But nature doesn't work that way. Nature IS extravagant, lavish and wasteful in creating. Look at the intricacies of flowers, details of insects, and the grandiosity of the mountains and oceans. Nature doesn't hold back anything. The Norwegian fjords awash in the glow of the northern lights is the epitome of extravagance, lavishness and wastefulness. Nature creates everything with abundance. It doesn't hold back, nothing is done unless it is profuse.
My mind and visualization needs to follow the example of the extravagance of nature. I can be what I will to be...no holding back, extravagant and lavish.
*Afterthought...that dress was totally worth the price I paid. I got compliments every time I wore it and it lasted for years!