Reflections on enoughness & dipping my toe in the ocean of vulnerability
When I first wrote this post, I fired up some rad language. I channelled my power and wrote some kick-ass lines about why enough is enough and that we should all stop trying to improve our awesome selves.
But it didn't quote feel right. So the post has lingered in my draft box for some time now.
Until tonight. As I'm writing this, it's 2 am and I can't sleep because I have too much on my mind. I've had quite a few of those nights recently. And each night brings about a new painful insight.
Tonight I've decided that it's about time I come clear and let you all know that I don't always practice what I preach. It's about time I practice showing a little vulnerability instead.
So here comes a heartfelt piece of writing about enoughness.
Because so many of us walk upon this magnificent earth believing that we are not good enough. Or smart enough. Tall enough. Thin enough. Caring enough. Loving enough. Lovable enough. Pretty enough. Productive enough. Friendly enough. Fill-in-the-blank or all-of-the-above.
I know I've been feeling that I'm not thin enough. I constantly worry that the work I'm doing isn't good enough. Or that my writing isn't interesting and worth reading. When all these things (and a lot of other areas of my life) are added together, I'm starting to think that I am not good enough. period.
So I've been thinking a lot about the concept of enough. I'd like to share my two cents, even though think this post never will be perfect and ready for publishing.
1. adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire: enough water; noise enough to wake the dead. –adjective
2. an adequate quantity or number; sufficiency. –pronoun
3. in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire; sufficiently. –adverb
4. fully or quite: ready enough. –adverb
5. (used to express impatience or exasperation): Enough! I heard you the first time. –interjection
—Synonyms 1. ample. 3. adequately, amply, reasonably.
So, when we say we don't feel good enough, what we're basically saying is that we don't feel good to a degree that satisfies a need or desire. We don't feel sufficiently good. The question is obvious: which need? Which desire? which purpose?
I'll use the example of me not feeling good enough in general. (God knows I'm not quite ready enough to tackle the thinness question just yet). I worry that being who I am, doing what I do, isn't good enough. I catch myself thinking it over and over. again and again and again. But I don't think I've ever stopped and questioned that belief. I'd like to grab myself by the collar, look me in the eye and say "hey! Good enough for what exactly?!"
For people to love me? To make me popular? To make my dreams come true? For me to like me? If this sounds familiar, give yourself a moment to see if you can find some answers to your own needs to be enough. Is it success? Self-esteem? Self-love? It is about you, or others?
Have you ever questioned how much goodness/smartness/thinness/prettiness is enough for you to reach said goal? I know I haven't. But if we don't set a limit somewhere, the goal will always be unreachable. It's eternal. And we end up never feeling quite enough.
So who makes the decision and set the limits? And here is the insight that is my wisdom & painful lesson learned: You set the standard. You have the power over you.
The only one who can measure your worth is you. You decide when enough is enough. Time to set some new standards for yourself.
And this just brings up more questions. Where do I set this goal? How much effort, improvement, energy and power is required before I can be satisfied with my enoughness?
It's so easy to fall in the trap of thinking that if we just set the goal a tiiiny bit further down the line, we'll reach it and be happy ever after. But it doesn't work that way. Because we reach our goal and -- surprise! -- realize we're still not happy about ourselves. Have you ever found yourself stretching that goal further and further? Well, here's the second insight, and I know you know it already: Happiness is not reached by the drive to become a better version of ourselves. In fact, if we continue to think that way, chances are we'll never be happy.
I say this to myself as much as I say it to you: You will be happy when you decide to be enough. Just the way you are.
I don't have all the answers yet, but I know it's got a lot to do with my own feeling of worthiness. I know I'll figure it out. (And I'll let you know when I do.) And in the meantime I'll give myself the benefit of the doubt and just assume I'm good enough by default.
When do you feel you're not good enough? What is your wisdom? Anyone who wish to dip their toes into the cold
pool ocean of vulnerability with me?