I don’t know about you, but I struggle with feeling like I didn’t do enough or didn’t do well enough. It’s an exhausting mental loop I get caught in that always leads to increased anxiety and this sense of being a complete failure. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I’m 50 now. I’m tired.
I love the idea of letting go, of standing on the edge of the pool and falling gently backwards into the waiting water that will always welcome me. The water that will always accept my offering of my body, never spitting me back out and stamping me as “not enough”. See there’s the actual issue: not enough. How on earth can I ever DO enough when I don’t feel like I am enough? When I walk around feeling like a have to prove my worth and my value. When I believe somewhere in my core that I simply can’t possibly do enough…ever.
My friends, who are amazing, tell me things like I’m brave or I’m a badass and while those sentiments make me soar in the moment, I don’t really believe them. I know me better. I couldn’t keep my family from moving across country when I was a kid. I couldn’t keep my parents from getting divorced. I couldn’t stop my violent step dad from terrifying me. I couldn’t stop myself from finding some kind of peace in alcohol as a kid. I couldn’t stop him from shutting his door and assaulting me. I couldn’t keep my own marriages together. I couldn’t stay sober when I drove and got arrested. Somewhere in my under-developed brain, I’ve absorbed all of these situations, and many more, and decided that my lack of control meant that not only was I not enough, I could never do enough no matter how hard I tried.
As I watch my lovely daughter launch into adulthood, brilliantly I might add, I am plagued with the question, did I do enough? Will she be safe? Will she make all the right choices? Will I be able to rescue her when she needs it? So many anxious thoughts that my stomach hurts often and, I’m missing out on being fully present because I’m living in fear. Fear of things I can never control, and blame for things I could never control.
So what now? Deep breathes and faith. Faith that I did all I could with the tools I had in the moment. Faith that what happened in my past was both painful and beautiful and, I have used every experience to help make the life I now live better. Faith that there is a God who knows it all and is always present. Faith that when my friends say I’m a badass and brave, they mean it and I can believe it. Faith that my sweet daughter will find her way well. Faith that I am doing all I can and that, my friends, is ultimately enough.
I am enough.
You are enough.