Enough is Enough: Learning to Live with Less

October 9, 2018

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.

What path of living are you on? Do you have enough? Are you living lightly on Earth?

What path of living are you on? Do you have enough? Are you living lightly on Earth?

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

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  1. Marisa Guerin

    I so appreciate this reflection, with its gentle invitation to simplicity and gratitude. I will start paying more attention to “enough”. Thank you!

  2. Sarah Foster, RSM

    Thank you, Cynthia, for helping me to revisit my “enough” and renew my commitment to an evolving harmony with Life.
    Blessings to you from my little corner of the galaxy!

  3. Marian Schultz

    Lovely reflection Cynthia. So timely and so pertinent. It offers me the constant challenge to review my accumulation.
    In fact, those kinds of reflections are what inspired Mercy Living Center, Farmington Hills to begin an in-house occasional sale called A Cut Above Boutique. It offers residents the opportunity to cull from our excess, and has brought in donations from far afield.
    Our employees and residents are both customers and donors, and they as well as friends make a point to come shopping.
    All is recycled, and for every $100 we bring in, a donation is made to a non-profit with which Sisters have a connection from Southwest Detroit, to South Africa. We have dispersed more than $3,000 thus far.

  4. Katie Mindling

    Thank God for the ways we connect and commit together to the care of the earth. Your sharing is a renewal of the reminders we continue to give to each other. Thank you.

  5. Pat Colla, RSM

    Thank you, Cynthia, for this reminder to “live simply so others may live”.

  6. Cheryl Walter

    Thank you Cindy. This is a reflection for all of us. You have put my thoughts in words.

  7. Peg Maloney RSM

    This is a beautiful and challenging reflection with which to begin Lent. Many thanks, Cynthia.

  8. Dusty

    A lovely reflection and something to help me in my daily living. I will try and remember Enough is enough.