The Problem With Having It All

“Having it all” is one of those marketing catch-phrases that nearly everyone says they want. Yet the best understanding we have of what it means is a mild sense of what it would be like if everything we desired was miraculously easy and available to us and lined up in accordance to our version of the perfect life.

There are so many things drastically wrong with having it all. So here’s my piece. Take it as you will. But this has been coming up a lot in recent client sessions, so, here’s what I hope you will think about the next time you wish you could have it all.

Do you really know what having it all means to YOU?
I don’t mean by society’s definition–which often declares that having it all includes some version of a house, children, a loving partner, and a solid job with financial ease. I want to know if you know what it means for your soul to be so lit up with love, for your life to feel so alive, that abundance, gratitude and YES! are the only possible frames for any state of mind. Having it all can be old jeans, a t-shirt and the freedom to set out on foot to explore the world — if that’s what you crave.

Having it all implies that there’s an end goal.
“Enoughness” is a complex feeling to understand if we haven’t figured out what our boundaries are for getting there. I’m a believer that we should clearly define what’s enough to us, because we do need to have guideposts of what we’re aiming towards. Does that mean that we should expect to reach some point in time where we have everything we want and time just freezes and there we sit with it? I hope not. Life is a constantly evolving experience. In life, you’re either growing or dying. Redefining and refining are essential parts of moving towards what we want.

Having it all is STILL a decision about limitations.
Whenever we make a choice about what we do want, we’ve automatically made a choice about what we don’t want. Choice creates limitation because it requires we set our attention on what we are moving towards. It is necessary to determine what we want when we’re deciding how we’re judging our receipt of “all”. Otherwise, we’re in pursuit of “more” rather than “all” to begin with.

What timeline are you using to measure success?
Overwhelm is a feeling. It’s our body’s way of communicating “too much, right now”. Freedom to have it all comes from the choices we make about what this means in any given day. Honoring that we can have everything we want, just not always at the same time, allows us to think about what we want on an elongated timeline. Maybe today you have your alone time and tomorrow you have your healthy gym time. Not everything needs to fit into every day. When you look at “having it all” as a cumulative experience of life, it’s a total reframe.

Know how to enjoy it now, as much as you will in the future.
Having it all can be created in milestones. It is a state of mind. It’s a self-imposed standard. We measure what we want against a future point in time, instead of setting milestones of appreciation for all we have here and now, along the journey. Far too often, we look back and say, I had so much going for me then that I didn’t appreciate. If only I could have it all back again. We tend to do this as we’re looking forward at what will make life better in the future. Stop. Appreciate where you are at in this moment. Find gratitude in the journey, in the all that this moment has perfectly and abundantly created.

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