Are you a victim of the scarcity wound?
A scarcity wound is almost universally connected to poverty, and especially child poverty.
In economic terms, scarcity is where there is a limited supply of something. In the context of psychology and mental health, scarcity can also refer to the scarce feelings of affection, love, care and having someone that can help you through hard times, particularly during adolescence.
Typically, you will have the Scarcity Wound if you lost material possessions or grew up with limited resources.
This wound is often associated with loss or inadequacy. For example, when a loved one dies, it’s not just the death that causes grief, but also the period following their passing where you realise that they are gone forever.
The scarcity wound often leaves you feeling inadequate. You may even worry about what others may think of your social or financial status.
It can be described as the fear of not being able to have enough of something that is crucial to survival and wellbeing.
This can be especially scarring to the mental health of those that experience either or both forms or scarcity, and causes issues in mental wellbeing later in life.
There may be some merit in the underlying sentiment that “time heals all wounds.” However, truthfully, time is not always enough to heal what has been lost or never recovered.
How does the Scarcity Wound come about?
Why do we suffer from scarcity wounds? The answer to this question illustrates a very simple yet powerful concept: the human condition. The focus of our time here on earth is – paradoxically – to appreciate life’s passage. But this leaves us with a paradoxical feeling of loss that we must take pains to manage and contain. The scarcity wound (and fearing loss) is one of the most common reasons why people avoid taking risks. It is also a major reason why people are afraid of establishing new friends and love relationships.
Scarcity wounds can also be triggered by events that are beyond our control, but still leave us feeling powerless. This includes growing up without sufficient material resources, or loss of a valuable person.
For example, you may have been born into a well-off family that later lost its breadwinner. As a result, you may have lost both an emotional asset and material wealth. Consequently, you may have had to give up on enjoying material pleasures you previously had access to. You may also grow up with feelings of emotional scarcity caused by losing someone who was always by your side.
Hence, scarcity wounds can make us feel inadequate and leave us with feelings of sadness and loss.
Scarcity Wound and Ancestral Trauma
It’s important to consider the ancestral trauma aspect of this wound too. It’s likely that your grand parents or great grand-parents lived through wars where there may have been rationing or limits on food supply. So even though this has not been your direct personal experience, the memories of these experiences are within your cells and will be having an impact on how you behave today.
When I was a young girl, there was a famine in Ethopia that garnered worldwide attention. I remember my grandmother constantly reminding us about the poor Ethopians who had no food when we were at the table. She also lived through the second world war so she would also be more than happy to remind us about what it was like during the war too. The message was very clear to me growing up: essentials were scarce.
This is why when food is put on the table in our house, that we’re like locusts!
Common fears associated with the Scarcity Wound
The scarcity wound can make you feel worthless because you don’t have enough material assets to offer others. Comparing yourself to others with more possessions or relationships can deepen this wound, taking a toll on the your self-esteem.
Fortunately, understanding these feelings for what they are and learning about their point of origin can help us heal from the scarcity wound.
Fear of abandonment, social shame, and the inability to establish and sustain a healthy relationship are typical phobias associated with the scarcity wound. This is because the wound can make us feel like we, or our possessions, aren’t enough for others.
- Fear of poverty and the possibility that they are poor
- Fear of being judged as poor
- Fear of unemployment
- Fear that the current situation might take a turn for the worse
How the Scarcity Wound shows up
People with a scarcity wound tend to either cling to people or show extreme dependency on them. In either case, they are usually hyper-vigilant of any potential threat that could lead to the loss of their support system. They may also shy away from displaying their scarce material wealth, fearing rejection on its basis.
Those who have experienced material scarcity more strongly than emotional scarcity may go the extra length to impress people with any newfound material assets. Or, if they are still living in poorer conditions, they may withdraw from people altogether to avoid judgement.
- Approaching all things in life from a monetary perspective
- Hate or extreme admiration for people deemed above the person’s social class
- You love discounts, and are often drawn to things you might not even want, need or like because it’s discounted
- You take a long time checking prices or coupons, for very little discount
- You get annoyed when you get a slightly worse price, or if you miss a discount day
- You often remember the past when you were poor, and are afraid of reliving it
- You value everyone’s help a little too much
- You hoard goods when they are on discount, regardless if you are going to use them or not
- You make overly rational purchases and are extremely frugal
- You buy more than you need because you don’t want to run out
- You struggle to buy things that you don’t perceive to be essential or important
Typical beliefs arising from the Scarcity Wound
The scarcity wound is one that is hard to hide in your day-to-day interactions, but only people who know how to specifically look for it may get a hint that you are suffering from it.
This sense of not having enough or things being in limited supply can show up a lot in your relationship with money and how you spend it.
You might find it hard to spend on items that you don’t consider to be essential. So you might often tell yourself that you can’t afford something, when in fact you can (or at least you have the money for it). It’s that you don’t feel able to spend your money on something like that because it’s not an essential item.
You might look down on what you might see as frivolous purchases. This can lead to internal conflicts and feelings of guilt when you purchase a product of service that is meant for fun, or is a luxury item.
This is not always a bad thing though, as you may also benefit from a frugal way of life, regardless of your living standards.
- There isn’t enough to go around
- I don’t have enough
- I need to get this while I can (in case it runs out)
- I can’t afford this (even if you do have the money for it)
- What if I run out?
- I can’t let myself run out of this.
- What if I lose it all?
How to heal from this wound
As with most wounds, understanding where this wound comes from can be an important part of the healing journey. This knowledge alone can often collapse wounds.
But real change comes from doing the inner work, and that’s easier than you think.
My experience of healing this wound
This wound has been a huge one for me. I remember when I did my clearance* on Scarcity because it blew me away. (*see below)
I used to be the kind of person who bought way more than I needed when it came to living essentials. A quick look in my cupboards would tell you all you needed to know. I clearly had this wound in bucketloads because I had back-stocks of essential items. I simply couldn’t run out of stuff.
What if I can’t get hold of any more?
What if I run out?
What if this is it?
There would be 4 packs of pasta, 3 bags of sugar, 4 tubes of toothpaste, 3 packs of butter… you get the idea!
This was despite the fact that there was a 24-hour store a 2-minute walk away from my home. My living situation did not call for this level of stockage at all. A far cry from today where we are actually facing food and energy shortages.
Anyway, I did the clearance and forgot about it. Then about a week or two later, I ran out of a couple of things. I think it was butter and sugar.
I NEVER ran out of things!
It really stopped me in my tracks. I remember taking a moment to look at the storage cupboard and thinking “Wow! There’s quite a lot of room in here!”. My stocks had clearly started to run down. Normally it was stuffed full. Full of stuff I didn’t need …. quite just yet!
So what did I do? Well, I just wandered to the shop and bought what I needed. No biggie. Before I had done the clearance, there’s no way I could have run out like that…. because for me, running out equalled death and starvation.
If you would like to start healing the loss wound, then here are come clearances you do using Head Trash Clearance;
- things running out
- having too little
- not being enough
- not having enough
- having no money / food / love
Would you like to heal this wound?
I’ve created a Wound Healing Activation for the Scarcity wound. These Wound Healing Activations have been created so that you can start healing your emotional wounds yourself.
My Wound Healing Activations include;
Wound Healing Journal
My Wound Healing Journal includes lots of prompts to help you explore this wound in yourself. The questions help you to explore the various facets of our emotional wounds so that you can better understand where the wound may have come from, who’s connected to it for you, and how it shows up for you.
My Wound Healing Journal also helps you to track your healing as you work through healing the wound.
Mini-masterclass on the Wound
I’ve created a video on this wound to help you think through how the Neglect wound might be showing up for you. Watch this with the Wound Healing Journal to hand so that you can make notes and identify the various aspects of this wound you need to heal.
Healing Activation Session Audio MP3
This is a Wound Healing Activation audio that will explore the various aspects of this wound. This is deep working audio healing activation that will activate the healing within you by releasing a lot of the deeply buried memories and conflicts. This audio is equivalent to a session with me.
Explore other universal wounds
The Scarcity Wound is one of many universal wounds that we all suffer from. Find out more about these in these related blog posts
- The Injustice Wound
- The Trust Wound
- The Betrayal Wound
- The Loss Wound
- The Neglect Wound
- The Guilt Wound
- The Abandonment Wound
- The Rejection Wound
- The Humiliation Wound
Healing audio tracks for all of these wounds can be found in The Clearance Club. The Clearance Club is a vault of head trash clearance resources to help you free your mind of stresses and anxieties, and let go of those things that getting in the way of your happiness.