As a person of faith, loving others and helping to meet their needs in any way possible probably don't seem like second nature. But the opportunity to do so may have been what drew you to your current faith community in the first place. You may feel that pouring out blessings on others should be a fundamental element of your self-image.
What happens when the well is dry, though? It may seem that any time you reach out, you end up feeling drained and used rather than happy and helpful. Sometimes it feels like there are never enough resources to go around. While it is certainly wise to operate within your means (i.e., budget, time management, etc.), there are things you can do to shake your mindset of scarcity and cultivate abundance in your life.
1. Identify Barriers
The first thing you need to do is look for the things that are holding you back. Do you ignore your own desires? This practice is more common than you think. There is such a focus on service in faith communities that tending to your own needs can feel selfish. That path leads to burnout, though. You are just as deserving of care as the people you assist. Be honest with yourself about what you need and want.
Internal blocks are not the only barriers that could be in play here. Sometimes, there really is a lack of the necessary resources you need:
Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you don't have the tools you need to be fully present in what you're doing, you are likely to view the whole experience as lacking or maybe even a waste of time.
2. Journal Vision
Another common issue that impedes abundance is not having a clear picture of what you want out of life. A gratitude journal is a great way to track all the good things that happen each day, but it's also helpful to write down goals or hopes. Consider incorporating your prayers into your journaling practice. Read back over the things you've written three to four times a year. The lists you make are a way to keep track of how often things actually do work out. You may find that you already have more abundance in your life than you think.
3. Make Room
Sometimes the problem isn't that the abundance you seek isn't there; it may be hidden beneath a lot of busywork or clutter. You just need to make room for it. A good place to start is by clearing out your physical spaces, as it's often easier to deal with tangible excess first. Remove all the things that don't give you joy so that you have room to appreciate those that do. Once you have done this in your home, the unnecessary distractions in your schedule or social life will become more apparent.
4. Chase Curiosity
Every experience doesn't have to be life-changing, but each does offer an opportunity to learn. When you find yourself dreading your next volunteer session or groaning at the thought of going to a certain meeting, don't just make an excuse and skip it. Keep your mind open to why you are feeling that way. Does it pull you away from something for which you have more passion? Do you have to miss quality time with family or friends to make it happen? Do you remember why you signed up for it in the first place? Even if the answers to these questions don't lead to any change in your schedule, they could reveal a source of abundance that you had forgotten.
Cultivating abundance in your life doesn't mean filling it to the brim with activities. In fact, there may be some places where you need to cull your commitments. Hopefully, these tips can help you live the life you want.