In my less enlightened days, when I found something I loved, (a well-fitting T-shirt, for instance), I’d sometimes buy five at a time (well, at least two). Just in case one wore out, got a stain or broke, I’d still have plenty to get me through. It was silly, wasteful, and fell headlong into that ugly vat labeled “conspicuous consumption,” but it made me feel a-b-u-n-d-a-n-t. I had a cushion; I was protected from loss. I had MORE THAN ENOUGH.

What I came to realize is that having too much of something diminishes its value. Even when I value it highly.

My husband and I built a house together about a dozen years ago, a new foundation for our new marriage. To celebrate moving in, we bought our first (and only) bottle of $100 Dom Perignon champagne.

I like champagne. The gentle bubbles tickle my nose and the first few sips bite my tongue. But I’m no expert; I couldn’t tell the difference between the Dom Perignon and grocery store sparkling wine. I saved the empty Dom bottle, though, a memento of our shared excitement. Even now, remembering makes me smile.

If I’d bought five bottles of Dom (assuming I could afford them), I doubt the experience would be so sweet.

I’ve learned that quality really does have a leg up on quantity. These days I am better at savoring my life, drinking it in small Dom Perignon sips, letting the flavor linger and tantalize. Conversations with friends, hanging out the sheets in the summer heat, even cleaning up after my accident-prone Sheltie: those tiny moments point me to to inevitable conclusion: that I live in expansive abundance. Poignant abundance. Grateful abundance.

I never did need those “back-up” supplies. It was a pinprick of fear in my head that said: there might not be enough for YOU. They call that a scarcity mentality. And there are only two choices in life: to live from fear or to live from love.

I’ll be drawing loving hearts on my scarcity mentality, thank you very much (do you suppose it will be scared away?). I buy one T-shirt at a time. Then I lay in a (moderate) supply of stain remover.