As I’ve written many times before, when it came to polyamory, I was not someone who was a born natural. Where a lot of other polyamorous educators I’ve known and worked with say they’ve been polyamorous their entire lives, I honestly haven’t always known it was a relationship style I’d be interested in pursuing. Instead, polyamory is something that came and found me later in life, when close friends opened up their marriage and began to explore other connections.
I was confused by the news that my friends were polyamorous. At that point in my life, I thought monogamy was the only healthy way to conduct relationships — and I was admittedly secretly judgmental about my friends’ open marriage. But I tried to keep an open mind, and I learned a lot from watching them. And one of the biggest lessons was that maybe I didn’t know as much about what constituted a healthy relationship as I thought I did.
Later that year, I would go on to open up my own relationship and continue to question not just the idea that monogamy was the only viable way to have a romantic relationship but also to question many other things that I’d been told my whole life were obviously and universally true.
Several years down the road, I began writing about those experiences, sharing some of what I’d learned from that process with other people. And much to my surprise, I built up a fairly sizable readership.
In some ways, it’s no coincidence that I finally broke out (a bit) as a writer because of doing the self-work to adapt to polyamory and then writing about what I did.
That’s because a lot of the work I did on myself to become more secure and trusting of the people I love transferred beautifully over to being a writer.
The most obvious of these transfers is the abundance mindset.
Abundance Mindset Versus Scarcity Mindset
One of the principles that a lot of consensually non-monogamous people find helpful is challenging the idea that love is scarce, tough to find, and easily lost. Scarcity mindset is the one that’s often marketed to us, for a variety of things. This includes love and romance and also happiness.
If happiness is considered rare and contingent on basically impossible conditions (such as being universally admired or being “the best,” whatever that really means), then we’re more likely to feel defective and want to buy things to correct our imperfections.
So we’re told that love is special, singular, rare, and difficult to find. And because of this, we go on a quest to find The One. Once we find this mythical larger than life relationship, we cling desperately to that person, trying to be their Everything All the Time, and if we don’t, we’re a failure and will probably lose them and end up all alone. Unhappily ever after.
It’s easy with a scarcity mindset to become competitive and petty with other people on the way to achieving our goal. And even if and when we do end up in a relationship, we’re both more likely to be possessive of that person AND less likely to end a bad relationship even if it’s making us miserable.
An abundance mindset, conversely, believes that there are lots of opportunities to connect with and know other people. Sure, only a small percentage of folks might meet whatever our requirements are — but it’s not one person. Even the pickiest folks are probably left with an incredible number of people that they could have happy relationships with. Thousands and thousands.
Whether they’re monogamous or not, people with abundance mindsets do tend to fare better in their dating lives. Since they’re not spending a lot of time clinging to unsuitable partners, they have time for those who are better for them. And they tend to bounce back more quickly from breakups.
The benefits of adopting an abundance mindset particularly as a polyamorous person are fairly obvious. It really helps with the brain weasels and the fear that if you lose someone from your life that you’ll be doomed to a lonely existence.
How Abundance Mindset Can Help You with Creative Endeavors
What isn’t obvious, however? Is how much an abundance mindset can help you as a creator.
I look at my own career. I used to get really attached to whatever cool piece I had just written. I would lord over the thing, become practically obsessed with it.
And while I had a fair number of publications back in the day, I was far from reaching my potential… and part of this was because not only did I love my work so much, I loved it with a scarcity mindset. My work was special to me. Who knew when I would write something anywhere near as good as the last thing I’d written? So I didn’t just want to submit my pieces anywhere.
This resulted a lot of times in my writing things privately and then spending forever trying to figure out where I wanted to send something and in some cases never submitting the work at all.
Because I had a scarcity mindset about my own work. I could only produce so much. And definitely only so much of the really knockout work.
I’d run out of ideas eventually. So I had to ration them.
Readers, this turned out to be bullshit. The funny thing is that when you’re forcing yourself to write every day on a personal blog and also trying to come up with clever ideas to pitch editors, you don’t run out of some finite store that exists within you.
No, instead all that idea generation is practice — and you actually get better at doing it.
Don’t Worry, You’ll Make More
I remember about a year ago when I finally accepted a premise I never would have believed before… that we can generate countless ideas. There really aren’t limits, other than how long we live.
Having an abundance mindset changed everything. True, even now I’ll occasionally feel that old twitch when I submit a piece I’m terribly proud of. The one that says, “Are you sure you want to send your baby off to school THERE? What if someone is mean to it?”
The one that tells me to lord over my ideas and guard them jealously, holding out for a better opportunity.
I still feel that way sometimes every now and then.
The difference is that now I’ll just laugh and tell myself, “Don’t worry, you’ll make more.”
Books by Page Turner: