“Are you enough?”
We hear this phrase all the time.
I am enough.
Is it true? Can I believe this? Are we ever enough? Does that mean it's time to stop growing, stop learning, stop healing?
If we say we are enough, does that mean we have achieved the highest quality of perfection and we can finally rest?
Um… No. Enough does not mean perfect. Enough does not mean done. So what does it mean?
The Webster Dictionary defines it like this:
determiner & pronoun
determiner: enough; pronoun: enough
as much or as many as required.
to the required degree or extent (used after an adjective, adverb, or verb); adequately."before he was old enough to shave”
This is my theory: If we can start to really grasp this concept of being enough then we can move through this world without having to work for our worth.
If we can believe “I am enough,” then when we do our jobs we can complete our work from a place of passion and not trying to prove something. We can be a parent, be a spouse, a friend, a neighbor, a sibling, and work from a place of love and compassion and worthiness, not from a place of frantic spinning.
My kids can tell if I am doing something with them because I truly love giving to them and spending time with them versus feeling obligated to do something because other moms do it, or good moms do that. In my own life this was tricky for me. For most of my life depression and an eating disorder ruled my life. The eating disorder obviously never let me believe I was enough. I had to prove my superiority by not eating. Every time I saw someone eat, or need to eat, or think about eating, I thought to myself: You are weak. You need food? Not me. I am better than you because I don't need what you need to live. I know how irrational that sounds. But my pride and my false ego kept me “safe” with that flawed thinking. It was a coping skill to make myself better than everyone around me. We do this with lots of things, like clean eating, paleo diet, counting macros, exercise, achieving goals at work, picture perfect parenting, shopping.
Now, none of these things in and of themselves is an unhealthy coping skill, but when we use them to prove to ourselves that we are worthy, they are dangerous. If we begin to eat from our worthiness we can choose foods that are best for our bodies (we decide what foods those are), or exercise from that place, we do it for our enjoyment, or our careers, we can work with passion and excitement, or in our relationships, everything we do can motivated from love and not from expectations.
This video says it all. Michael Phelps, the most decorated olympic athlete of our time, speaks about how he had no self esteem, and was suicidal. He wasn’t at peace so no matter how much he achieved it wasn’t enough to fulfill him, until he realized he was already enough. The gold medals were just an added bonus. You can watch his story here.
Trying to live life this way is exhausting, it's draining, and we are constantly pouring out what we don't even have. When we own our value, and believe it to be true, then everything we do adds to our existence. In addition to experiencing some freedom from the addiction of doing then we also free up some space within ourselves to extend grace to those around us, and who doesn’t need more of that!
Start to practice this in your own life. Start to breathe in those words.
Notice what comes up for you, how do you feel, and what are your thoughts.
If your thoughts are negative where did they come from?
How can you give yourself a break from those intrusive thoughts?