When will being enough be enough?
Something that comes up in my work time and time again is that feeling that people are on a quest to be more confident, more loved, more in control, more successful, more popular, more accepted, more wealthy, more beautiful…., well more of anything that they don’t feel they already are. The common denominator in that sentence, of course, being more.
My usual question is: When will you know when you have more confidence, more success, more love, more of what you are looking for?
My sense is that whilst we are searching for that more we are quite possibly doing ourselves a great disservice. Why? Because the chances are if we are continually chasing something external there is huge potential to reinforce a feeling that, in our current moment, we are not enough!
By repeatedly fortifying that message not only are we feeding our own lack, but I would hazard a guess that it prevents us from ever truly finding a satisfactory more, and most importantly it robs us of our freedom to ever really being enough.
I have, in the past, had quite an internal war around people being cruel and in my quest to stop both having a fear around it and indeed somehow desensitising myself from it I have come to understand that giving any kind of power to it has been the very thing that affected my own enough. In the process I have chosen to learn about myself and allow a greater understanding around what lies behind the cruelty of others.
Although I can not stop another’s behaviour and it does affect me; what it doesn’t do is define whether I am enough or not, I do that. Ultimately it is something I don’t have to feed with fear or indeed react to or absorb. These days the best I can offer is an openness to explore and understand the intent behind the actions. The reason being that I have the acceptance that I am enough.
The cruelty behind some of the words and actions I have experienced still hold a degree of discomfort to me. Not so much because I give either truth or power to them, after all they are just words and more a reflection of perhaps someone else’s pain; more over it saddens me that people would use those kind of tactics in an attempt to strip the worth of another, over and above searching for their own worth. Call me radical but that to me does not make a whole lot of sense.
You may ask why am I drawing on cruelty as an example of finding our enough? Well that has been the predominant issue that I have personally had to deal with to gain my own understanding and therefore it gives me a platform to help explain just one of the many reasons why we may not feel enough. Ironically it is the plethora of negative experiences I have encountered that have organically lead me to where I am today. I have an acceptance around that and if the trade-off of being subjected to other peoples projections is what it has taken to find my enough then it would seem that it has been a worthwhile cause.
Today I have peace around being enough and to be honest quite a lot of excitement. The excitement comes, not just from how liberating it is to feel that, but also how it enables me to grow and expand as a person from a much more natural and solid foundation. Also, with equal excitement, I believe that if I can find my enough I now know it is possible for others to do the same.
Ultimately it is a choice to be at war with our own enough or quite simply to surrender to the fact that we are. If someone tells you or perhaps implies that you are not enough then perhaps ask yourself why they would even do that in the first place? Is their statement really about you or is it a belief that they hold because of their own expectations? Do you challenge their truth? Do you reflect something that they struggle to understand within themselves? There are a whole host of reasons why some people choose to project negativity on to others. What I am certain of though is you have a choice as to whether you determine that negativity as a measure of being enough. If such a statement penetrates you, whatever the context, then I would urge you to call off the search to find some kind of external validation.
Take some time to look within and understand what is being triggered for you and where that feeling of not enough comes from. I would place a pretty large bet on the fact that it never originally came from you, unless you are an absolute glutton for punishment! You have always been enough you were just influenced to believe by someone, somewhere, intentionally or unintentionally, that you were not. Whichever way you approach it by berating yourself or berating others, or indeed both, essentially that will most likely lead to both internal and external conflict and no-body ever really comes out on top.
I am realistic enough to accept that throughout life we will never be fully immune to situations that will challenge our feelings of enough. At the very least by using ‘being enough’ as a benchmark we are much better equipped to have a healthier approach to how we then go on to process and move forward from those experiences; and may be you will incur some more pain but hey at least you will know you are alive and connected and you could also take the view that you have been given another opportunity to further sit in to fully being enough!
What I personally love is to find the natural beauty within people because generally speaking I believe it is there. However, what I have learned through experience is that I can not force someone to accept that aspect of themselves. Only you can fully encompass and acknowledge your inner beauty and then allow others to experience it. When you do you will genuinely attract acceptance from those who are open to receiving it. That feels a damn sight more abundant than the perpetual misery of not being enough.
I believe that is it pretty fundamental to point out that ‘being enough’ is not about being perfect, but more about having an acceptance and understanding of the good, the bad, and the different both within ourselves and others.
So in answer to my own question when will being enough be enough? I believe that when we can truthfully say ‘I am enough because I no longer seek external validation’, or ‘I no longer hurt others to make it look like I am more ‘enough’ than they are’; that is when we will be enough.
In the words of Don Cheadle – ‘But I think it is intoxicating when someone is so unapologetically who they are’. ‘Be unapologetically enough and then may be you will see just how spontaneously inspirational and stimulating life can be.’