Pattern detecting

untitled / Jessica Lucia / cc

The first step is always being in the stuff.

Right? And of course, not quite understanding it, even though I think I do. I always think I understand it, at first, because I can see quite easily what it’s made of.

This particularly potent brew of stuckness was made up of this kind of stuff: Holy crow, I have an intense and desperate need to change Thing A, Thing B, Thing C, and also Systems Q through S and shift Priorities VI through XVII and also stop drinking coffee.

And each of these things and priorities and coffee cups was connected to its own little spider web of stuff — peculiar reasons, histories, patterns, monsters, coping techniques — making those little spider webs quite gigantic, actually. A million tiny universes (universi?) and no simple answers, no easy choices or solutions.

In fact, it was clear to me that I could spend years on any particular one of these things, and the idea of it was massively, depressingly fatiguing.

Except then a kind of clue appeared, a foggy sort of awareness bubbling up to the surface, something more than the Gee this feels familiar feeling that always accompanies this kind of spelunking. After about twenty pages of mad journal scribblings, things started to coalesce around one word:


Scarcity of money, of sustenance both tangible and intangible, of time especially, of space, of the right things. Most especially: phantom scarcity, the kind where you are holding onto something you don’t want or need and in fact might actively cause you pain and it’s taking up space you’d rather devote to something else…but you can’t let it go.

Scarcity, everywhere.

Why did it stop me? Because of its shadow, overwhelm.

Scarcity drives the craving for change, but Overwhelm says, It’s All Too Much, Let’s Hide In The Closet Instead.

And together they whisper Don’t Forget To Keep Your Eye On All The Things Troubling You Because If You Relax And Stop Thinking About It All You Will Also Die.

Pretty dire stuff.

(And this is the part where I stop. Because I’m still not ready to talk to those monsters. Or figure out what I need to be safe or move forward or heal the fear of scarcity. But I thought you might like to know where I am.)


About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
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9 Responses to Pattern detecting

  1. Claire P says:


  2. Little pebble of acknowledgement: o

    Also, I love your sharing of this, much recognition for me. And is this not like, the ultimate pattern? Like, that fear/scarcity/lack stuff seems to always be underneath every single freakin’ issue and stuck thing I run into, when I break it down.

    More stuff for me to take to the infernal Dance 😀

    Mucho love

    • jesse k. says:

      Thank you so very much (belatedly!) for this little pebble of acknowledgement. I do agree — the scarcity/not-enoughness is one of the deepest, oldest patterns.

      And I’ve been hiding from the dancing for a while now…but I think perhaps this is the day I go back to those Level 4 notes and boogie down with my scarce self and see what I can find. Thank you for the encouragement and the empathy — it means a lot to me 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    Hey, Reba – thanks for the tip-off to this post!!!
    Jesse – Oh, so Yeah! The GreatScarcityPattern – it’s behind so much of what’s “wrong”, for nearly everything and everybody – but so damn hard to recognize in ourselves.
    Bright Blessings! Karen J

    • jesse k. says:

      Many thanks, Karen! So glad you dropped by and found something helpful and recognizable. The deepest thing is I Might Be Rejected because isn’t that what we all fear? Not being loved for who we truly are?


      • Karen J says:

        and another BigScaryFear, closely related to “not being loved…” , but different, maybe even worse, when you read it carefully: “Being *not-loved* because of who we truly are”

  4. Pingback: The hardest thing | my seed house

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