Enough is Enough: Learning to Live with Less

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By Sister Cynthia Serjak

For a good number of years I have been on a path of learning to live more in concert with Earth. On a day-to-day basis, this means that I try to live with enough. The more I follow this path the more I find that enough becomes less and less, and that not only am I fine with less and less, I am more free and I am more joyful.

It’s not easy to claim enough as your portion when everything around you says that you need more and more, better and better, bigger, faster, smarter. It requires thoughtful commitments that may seem inconvenient, even expensive, but that, in the long run, connect you to what is healthier for you and for the planet and its creatures. Making enough your standard is a kind of fasting: it clears your mind and heart.

I think about this when I shop at my local food coop. The shelves are not overflowing with every possible option, but there are enough choices. They may not have the particular vegetable I wanted to buy today, but they have enough vegetables. If they only have two of something I wonder, what is my enough? What if someone else needs the other one in order to have enough?

This commitment is very connected to being a Sister of Mercy, since we are all working on living more in harmony with Earth. Living with just enough is a way of being in solidarity with those in the world who don’t have enough, and a way of calling others to think about what is enough for them. Surprisingly, the path continues to unfold as the power of enough teaches you what else you can do or do without.

From Earth’s perspective enough is a huge amount. Enough sky, enough sunshine, enough rain, enough wisdom coming to us from generations of creatures that have prepared the way so that we can have enough.

Learn more about the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concern of Earth