The words ‘I am not enough,’ ring in my mind over and over again. Especially when I’m overwhelmed they tend to club me over the head. Those moments when I can’t seem to get anything done. That no matter what my efforts, to help others, to teach my children, to clean my house, there tends to be something left undone. There remains a dish in the sink, or a basket of laundry to fold, or someone’s text I didn’t get a chance to think about or respond to. So many of these moments tear at me until I feel like I am being pulled in a million directions at all times. Then as if on a motor, I dig deep and try even harder…
You know how it ends. I exhaust all my physical and mental resources and succumb to the lows of utter depletion. The lows of sadness and depression. The lows of no energy or sickness. The lows of being unable to function when I am needed the most. Many of you can relate to this. As mothers, this becomes our mantra in life. We go until we can go no more.
Too often my conversations with other mothers center around the list of how much they did and what is left to do throughout their days. I hate this sort of conversation, yet I often get sucked into it. But what is the primary dysfunction here?
The idea that if we do more, we can meet the needs of everyone in our lives, including our unrealistic standards for ourselves. The drive to do, do, do comes from a default need to people-please.
But I Stopped Being a People-Pleaser Years Ago…
Yeah, so you may think. That’s what I thought. But this is an area that I’ve had to fight against fervently and continuously throughout my life. It starts in childhood. We naturally seek to make our parents happy and proud of our actions. As we grow we slowly trade seeking our parents’ approval to then needing the acceptance and approval of our peers. We go through many different transitions in life and as we move from differing social spheres and peer groups, we adapt our behaviors to be acceptable to each. This is a lot for our psyche. We often don’t acknowledge we are doing this to receive the approval of those outside of ourselves. When we do not attain what we seek, it is defeating. And often causes us to strive harder. Therein lies the problem.
Whether it is to please our children, our husbands, our family members, friends, associates, or boss, we are placing our own value and happiness on if we can behave in a way that will make another person happy. This is what we learned, and our parents before us and their parents before them. And so we continue the tradition of teaching our children to pander for approval from others instead of teaching them a lesson that will essentially determine how they live their lives and if they are fulfilled in life. It’s a lesson I only learned in my thirties and its one I had to teach myself. That’s the part I find so ridiculous! Here’s another thing our school system did not teach us to prepare us for life and even my parents had no idea about this simple truth.
What is it you ask?
A Life-Changing Truth!
The truth is I AM ENOUGH!
No, I don’t need to meet the standards set by my parents or family members. No, I don’t need to fall inside the normal lines etched out from standardized tests. No, I don’t need to constantly tickle the pleasure center of my beloved seeking his affection. I AM ENOUGH all by myself. If I just sat in quiet not doing a thing, there I was being enough!
Our society tends to measure everything by performance. Then someone decides that a certain performance level is the standard and those above that line are good and those below the line are bad. First of all, who get’s this privilege of setting the standard for everyone? Especially when no two persons are alike. Why did the authorities decide that we must meet the same standard?
What I’ve learned in my thirties, could have saved me thirty years of heartache and pain from feeling like there is some big secret that I alone could not figure out. No, I didn’t fit in, but no one ever told me that that was okay. So I tried harder. I tried different social groups, I tried different sports and activities. I tried what I saw others doing and for some reason, it all felt awkward to me.
But if I’d known that it was okay from the very start, maybe I wouldn’t have had so many drastic lows.
The Gamechanger That Freed Me to Stop Doing & Just Be Me!
*Drops mic and walks off stage.* 😆
All kidding aside. For me, it all changed when I settled once-and-for-all who I believed in and what I lived for. I decided to fully trust in Jesus, and not just identify myself as a Christian. In making that decision it meant I chose to believe all of the Bible not just some parts of it. I chose to believe God had a plan for my life and deliberately created me the way I was, flaws and all. I chose to start believing in myself. There was no point rejecting what God intended to make. It served no purpose to dislike myself or my characteristics. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)
Yes, I can be improved upon, and I get the great pleasure in partnering with Jesus to make better his already awesome creation through His guidance, introspection, and self-development. Once that was settled the world and everyday life held unlimited possibilities. I had hope again. I began to dream again.
That realignment with my Creator took the pressure off of me. He had a plan. He is in control. I no longer needed to figure it out or live from a place of constant action trying to meet others’ expectations of me. I stopped doing, doing, doing trying to make everyone in my life happy. I received God’s GRACE. And finally, I was free to be me!
I allowed God to lead me toward the people and things that best suited me. I now live a more harmonious and more fulfilling life. It took courage, and dogged determination to go the road less traveled, but I am forever grateful and glad I did.
Here Are The TRUTH Bombs Schools Won’t Teach You
I challenge everyone reading this to say the following phrases aloud for the next 30 days. Say it at least once a day, but many times a day is better.
I AM ENOUGH
I AM VALUABLE
I AM WORTHY OF LIVING A GOOD LIFE
I AM LOVABLE
I AM THE ONE
That last statement in particular forces you to recognize that you’re not waiting for anyone else’s approval, or validation. You decide what’s what. You are the ONE!
If you haven’t settled that looming question of belief, decide today what you believe. Come as you are. Offer up your sorrowful heart of repentance, and receive the grace and forgiveness of God. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Be set free to be YOU!