There are times in life when treading water is all we can do— swimming, breathing, staying alive.
We see the shore in the distance, but we can’t propel ourselves forward yet. We are where we are, and by all accounts, that’s enough for today. But being satisfied with enough is a daunting idea in today’s fast-paced world of iPhones, gadgets and speed-of-light communications. It’s just so damn easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with what we hardly ever feel we’re caught up with.
Add to this the treacherous ideals of getting to the next level, seeking the job promotion, making more money, spending more money, saving more money, driving the newest cars—all while bragging and posting about it on every social media channel to a following of fans who will in turn, feel inadequate because they don’t have those things. They’re just out there swimming, treading water. They have what they have, and it’s not enough. Or is it?
A friend of mine recently shared with me a simple yet powerful philosophy that’s carried her through a very difficult time. She recently suffered a devastating job loss that led to stressful, scary financial times, her job search has been brutal and soul-crushing, her dad is dealing with a cancer diagnosis and her grip on the greasy bar of control is slipping.
Yet, through it all, she and her husband have reminded each other to stay strong and positive with the simple phrase “daily bread,” borrowed from a biblical story of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus knew he had enough. This idea of daily bread has helped my friends be grateful for what they have today. Even though it seems scarce, it is enough. Today they have what they need.
I find this idea of daily bread refreshing in these modern times. It’s a reminder that through the rat race of life, it’s important to shut down our need to keep up in order to focus on what’s right in front of us; what really matters to our health, our minds, our spirits.
We all have enough. Stop seeking, stand still and give thanks for all we have now. Taking a moment to inhale a deep breath of gratitude will do wonders to stop the spiraling fear of inadequateness. Gratitude sets everything in our lives back to center. It forces us to focus on the positive, letting the negatives fall away into silence. It puts our minds back into a place of grace and love and light, allowing us to be more open to the possibilities and opportunities we couldn’t see before because we were so busy keeping up.
Remembering our daily bread is a reminder to take pleasure in what’s around us, what is in the here-and-now rather than to beat ourselves up on what we don’t have, or coveting what others have achieved. What we have now is our daily bread and it can feed us for a lifetime. We don’t need more. We have enough. We are enough.
Our needs as humans are so basic, really. Air, water, bread and love. Nowhere on this list will we find a place for money, furniture, stilettos, or fame. If we can take the time to stop and focus on our daily bread, the light will shine brighter for us all. The circle of gratitude will grow and expand, encapsulating more and more around us, attracting more and more goodness to our world, fulfilling us with more, more, more.
Sometimes, I don’t even have the proper words to sit and give thanks for all my blessings because the abundance is so plentiful: my family, my health, my family’s health, friendships, physical abilities, food in my pantry, the roof over my head, air, water, bread, love…this is my daily bread.
So I just stop, stand still and breathe.
I inhale “thank,” and exhale “you.”
It is enough.
I am enough.
You are enough.
What we have—today—is enough. It is our daily bread.
Author: April Adams Pertuis
Editor: Evan Yerburgh