I am enough.
Not in the shallow “yay me…I’m perfect” sense of the phrase. Rather, in the “I am enough because I’m learning every second I’m alive and who I am in the moment is what it is. “
It’s not as if we can suddenly jump to as good as an eighty year old when we are half that age. With time comes experience, wisdom and a kind of acceptance that can only come from a lot of life lived. Of course not everyone who reaches a ripe old age is wise and endearing. In fact, some senior citizens are grumpy and bitter, with a great big chip on their shoulder. And yet, in the season that they are, they are enough.
You may have heard that most people are doing the best they can. I have come to believe that is a generally accurate statement. Even if someone is further on in years, perhaps they haven’t had the opportunity for growth yet. Maybe they weren’t raised with an understanding of teachability. It’s important to come to every relationship with a great deal of empathy for what a person may have lived through.
This is true when it comes to ourselves. It’s easy to discount the things I have gone through without another thought. But that’s not really realistic. When others hear your story, they recognize it for what it is— a difficult journey that has ups and downs, deep dives and turns more times than you can count.
We should be easier and kinder with our hearts when it comes to the what, when, how and why of our earthly existence. And then, sometimes we raise ourselves to godlike status, both in what we think we deserve and in how we assume we should be thinking. As a Christ follower, I do believe that he makes me into a new creation, different from who I was and who I would become without his grace. But, at the same time, I can’t ever assume that I am on equal footing with the creator of the universe. We say we don’t believe that, but our actions and even our thoughts prove otherwise.
I think we know instinctively that we were created for more, so we strive for it continually. Maybe not everyone of us, but certainly the vast majority. While we might not be gods, we want to be like one. We want absolute authority and say over our lives and we want to direct what happens to us and through us. Even though it’s not realistic, and a part of us knows this, we will fight for our piece of earthly status every single day.
I’m not asking myself or those I advise to live as if everything of importance isn’t important. We certainly should live as though what we think, say or do is impactful on our society. If we say life matters, then we should make it matter. But, there are times when we go a little too far with our self-reliance and search for significance. You are enough because you are a beautiful human with unlimited potential. The measure of our worth is not bound up in how much of that potential we live out. Our worth is simply there, no matter if we end up becoming a entrepreneur who donates millions to charity, or a paraplegic who encourages people with notes and phone calls.
The fact that you have a brain, a heart and cells that work together in some manner of equilibrium is fascinating and important enough. Add on to those features the idea that you embody an eternal soul which has a capacity for more than we can imagine. You are uniquely wonderful no matter who you are, what age you’ve reached and how much you’ve done.
Why is it hard to sit in that truth and accept it? At least it can be for me. I have a lot of “but, I need to…” statements that come to mind whenever someone reminds me of my worth as a created being. It’s a worn out analogy, but I think of how much worth we place on a baby when they are born. They literally can’t do anything except be cute, cry and sleep. And yet we can’t get enough of them! We practically bow to their every whim and want nothing more than to invest in their flourishing.
And yet, we look at humans who have added years to their life, or even at ourselves and assume we aren’t deserving of the same kind of affection. Perhaps it’s because of the baggage which inevitably comes with life itself. We learn to think of ourselves as less than favorable. These thoughts are kind of engraved into our psyche from a young age, even if we have the most thoughtful, caring people surrounding us. There’s always something we feel we are lacking in.
And the truth is, we are lacking. We truly are. It’s part of the human existence to be reaching for another level in some area. If it weren’t, we wouldn't live very long. We would just let whatever was going to come our way come and we wouldn’t think it important to try something different for our survival.
So how do we navigate the tension between good enough and not good enough? You know…the inward understanding that we are beautiful no matter what and the intuition that we have so much more to learn about and a great deal to do on this earth. I suppose it comes down to the idea that we work and grow from a place of satisfied acceptance that who we are in this very moment is okay and also not okay.
And that’s truly okay.
Image via: Unsplash
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