I wanted to write about the feeling of not being ‘enough’. It is my experience that many people fear that they are not good enough, fun enough, slim enough, not a good enough partner, parent, friend, colleague, sister. Enough compared to what?! And what is in the comparison game anyway?
I have had some of my not enough stories running around for the last few days. That feeling of lack, fear, comparison, shame. Comparing my internal experience to someone else’s outside world. And it definitely doesn't feel great!
As we live in this world we are constantly bombarded with information which is being brought into our consciousness (whether we are aware of it or not) about what we need in life to be attractive enough, slim enough, a good enough partner, colleague, employee, parent, friend, daughter, sister…the list is endless. Just go on Instagram to find some more ;P. And some of us were told when we were much younger that we needed to be different to be OK or loved, making the challenge of enough-ness greater. This stuff runs deeeeeeep.
And from my own experience, even if I have all of the ‘things’ that I thought would make me feel ‘enough’ it still doesn’t happen.
I believe it is important to share this because so often we compare our insides to other peoples outsides, we think that others have it together and we don’t. And actually I think this feeling of not-enough ness is epidemic and can cause great isolation and distress. It can make us feel unworthy of love, affection, regard, our rightful space in the world. And as someone super wise said; we all get to take up as much space as we want.
The practices of yoga, meditation and breathwork support me a lot in this. The practice of yoga is all about present moment awareness, whether that be of things that are happening or feelings or emotions. And so often the ‘not enough’ story is just that, a story, that we attach to a feeling or thought or emotion. It is a story or an interpretation of the world based on comparison, fear and lack, rather than coming from a space of love or joy.
My practice this week has been to see if I can disentangle myself from the story. Recognise the facts of the situation rather than my slightly flawed interpretation. And add in a whole bucketload of self-kindness and love. And it is hard to change a story, especially one which has been ingrained. But a daily embodiment practice can sure help things along…
So here I am, doing my not-enough story thing, owning it, and reminding myself that it is a story, and I get to choose which ones of those I listen to. Breathing deep, feeling the emotion, choosing self care over self-destruct (or at least trying!). And mainly reminding myself I’m already enough.
Scott Stabile says it way better than I do:
“Just show up, as you are.
You don’t have to look or feel great.
You don’t have to be prepared for each challenge, or know all the how’s of every situation.
You don’t have to be fearless, or have all the answers, or be 100% ready.
Nobody is any of these things. Nobody ever was.
It’s not about being perfect, at all.
You just have to show up, as you are, despite all the objections and insecurities of your mind, despite each and every fear that threatens to hold you back,
despite the limitations and criticisms others will place on you.
To hell with it all.
This is your life, your journey, your adventure, and all it’s asking of you is to show up for it, as you are.
That’s enough. That’s more than enough.
So the invitation as ever is to be gentle. We are all already enough, exactly as we are, right here and right now.