Thoughts On Not Winning The Powerball Lottery-

Like millions of people across the country, I plopped down a few bucks and even participated in a couple of pools of fellow dreamers, hoping to wake up this AM and find that the numbers on the little piece of paper exchanged for a couple of bucks matched the numbers on those ping pong balls that fell out of the machine at Powerball HQ Wednesday night. Like everyone who did the same thing, I did a ton of fantasizing about what it would be like to suddenly be inundated with cash and then be able to do so many of the things it takes disposable funds to do: travel, support friends and family who are going through a difficult time financially, buy things, build things, donate to charities, start a foundation or two or twenty to help out others who need the means to fulfill their own dreams . And I'll sleepily admit that in this opportunity was a wish that I could end some of my own ongoing beliefs (that in turn create struggles) around lack. In this plight I know I have plenty of company-
So there was a tinge of disappointment to find out that none of my little chances was now exchangeable for millions of dollars. All of the hopes and dreams I entertained in my mind from the time I got my tickets until the drawing were dashed. Millions of people -all but two in fact- found themselves in a similar boat. You could nearly hear the dream bubbles bursting all across the country. No doubt there will be a rise in the number of people who spent way more than they should have on this grand opportunity who will seek out professional help with a gambling issue; some folks bet a lot more than they should have on tickets, hoping to buy their way out of their perceived impoverished state.
But here's what I've learned of late: money in and of itself is not the answer to our woes and all of the therapists whose phones are ringing with forlorn new clients today are going to have to coach folks to this understanding. I once worked with a really interesting guy who was always always always dressed to the nines and drove a tired old pick-up that was falling apart. On a piece of sheet metal he'd riveted over a large rotted out part of the bed he had written 'depravity is a state of mind'. It took me awhile to decipher what this message was ultimately saying, and in one of the many conversations I had with him in the brief time I knew him asked him where he lived, and he pointed to his heart and said, 'right here'. Immediately I think I dismissed him as some sort of weirdo, but over time, the wisdom in his reply has seeped into my psyche as one of the most profound things anyone has ever said to me. All too often we allow this crazy culture of ours to measure a person by the size of their bank accounts or the home(s) they own, their financial means to move through the world. But it really isn't an abundance of money that makes life worth living, and it's not anything that's 'out there' that we need to obtain in order to define our self worth. Each one of us has within us a sacred temple, a Divine spark, a Home among homes. In my opinion, the only way to measure a person's net worth is by their relationship to this fire within. Here is where we are all equals; here is where we find the critical ingredient in our ability to truly know joy and satisfaction with life. This is the cornerstone to creating a healthy mind. With a healthy mind we create a truly abundant life. More than a few lottery winners squandered their prize thinking that self-indulgence was the way to happiness, only to find that after the money was gone they were still hollow inside. Try as they might have, nothing they bought or did could fill up the space.
So, if you too may be experiencing a bit of nostalgia this morning for all of the fun things you wanted to do with millions of extra dollars. But that shouldn't stop us for being grateful for our lives. Not having millions can't stop us from pouring out to others the gift of human kindness that overflows from a grateful heart. To be grateful for what we have is the only way to bring more of those things into our lives. Each is a gift, and the greatest gift of all is love. Cognizant of my own spiritual journey through this world I sometimes forget that.
Maybe every lottery winner should be assigned a mental health counselor to constantly remind them of that love is what matters most, and it starts with that place inside-
VTMarkus VTMarkus
46-50, M
Nov 29, 2012