I sat on a Zoom call with a friend of mine, a woman of immense character, intelligence, skill, wisdom, and humor, and listened to her cry as she spoke out loud the fear that had plagued her for her whole life: “I am not enough. I have never been enough, and I will never be enough.”
What is “enough?” I asked. “What goal line would you need to cross to be happy with who you are?”
Her face went blank as she tried to think of some accomplishment, some goal, some key benchmark that would mean that she had made it, had arrived at “enough.” “Holy shit,” she said, “I have no idea. I’ve been striving for this thing and I have no idea what it is – so how will I ever know if I’ve made it?”
Let’s explore an idea
Your belief system may not allow you to agree with my understanding of how life works. That’s ok. For the purposes of this exercise, open your mind to the idea that you had some hand in choosing who you are – all of who you are.
I believe that we live many lives. Many, many lives. The purpose of our many lives is to have experiences that allow us opportunities to grow and develop toward the ultimate goal of enlightenment. We get to choose our bodies, our personalities, our families, our meaningful life relationships, and specific challenges to face. That isn’t to say that every person we click with is a soul mate, or every good or bad thing that happens is pre-ordained. We also have free will, which can cause us to go off course, but that’s a topic for another article.
So if that’s true, if your personality was designed, that means that the helpful and unhelpful aspects of you are all there for a purpose. So the next question is… why?
Do you tend toward stubbornness? Are you firey and passionate? Quiet and shy? How have your personality traits caused discomfort in your life, and how have they helped you? When you’re done reading this article, create a list of attributes you carry. For each item, identify the benefits and challenges they have brought about. Are the traits that have gotten you in trouble in the past potentially beneficial when they’re brought in balance or used for a positive purpose?
For example, I have a tendency to be stubborn. For a long time, my stubbornness caused problems: I took positions and stood by them, even when I saw that I was wrong, because I was unwilling to be wrong, which subconsciously I equated to being vulnerable. Being strong and right was more important than being open and expansive. My stubbornness has also helped me quite a lot. There have been periods of my life where my grit and determination, my ability to put my nose to the grindstone, and git ‘er done has yielded great rewards. So with the understanding that I chose that element of me for this life, my goal is not to eradicate it. My goal is to love and appreciate that part of me, to find balance, and to allow it to be an ingredient in the fuel of my evolution.
Let’s bring it home
Now, with all of that in mind, with all the elements of you in play with the purpose of aiding your evolution – haven’t you always been enough?