Sometimes, I wish I had more to offer this world than this sliver of online space I call my blog. Sometimes, I wish I could write an eloquent speech so moving it would bring healing to thousands of wounded hearts. Sometimes, I dream of big ambitions, of speaking to millions, of writing bestsellers, of having a movie made after me because I touched the lives of countless souls across the world.
Then. I remember. I am happy simply being me.
I smile at strangers in Starbucks. I say things like, “Excuse me. Can you please pass the half and half? Oh, and how’s your day going?” I listen to people tell me their stories. I listen to the undertones of their still-hurting hearts. I offer an ear and a compassionate, “I think I understand, and I’m sorry.”
This work is enough.
It is enough for me to simply touch one life, not the lives of millions.
I am smack dab in the middle of trying to find a therapeutic internship for next school year, and it feels like this internship will set the trajectory of my therapeutic career for the rest of my life.
The. Rest. Of. My. Life.
I am putting a lot of pressure on this internship. I am putting all my eggs in one basket. And I forget that my basket is bigger than I thought.
I forget that I am enough.
I recently ended a meaningful relationship, and the funny thing about endings, whether it’s breaking up with someone, moving away, or quitting a job, is the freedom (and urgency) to speak our minds. It feels like, “Shit! I only have these few minutes, or hours, or days, with this person and I need to say everything I’ve always wanted to say to them! If I don’t say it now, it will never be said. This is it!”
In our final conversation — you know, the one where there’s closure and crying and the ending becomes really real — I made every effort to think of everything I wanted to say, to make some kind of last-ditch, meaningful impact on him, and to be a sage. Instead, I was surprised by how much he impacted me. In that conversation, he reminded me of my strength and my beauty. He reminded me of how meaningful our relationship was to him, that it wasn’t just me who was moved by our care for one another. He reminded me that what I thought I wanted wasn’t what I actually wanted, but at that point it was too late.
I was reminded that I am enough. Just me. Enough.
I wonder how often we trick ourselves into thinking we’re not enough. We’re not good enough, smart enough, driven enough, pretty enough, thin enough, fat enough. Or, maybe you swing to the other end of the spectrum? Maybe you’re too much? You’re too loud, too funny, too organized, too ugly, too charming, too blonde, too smart, etc. etc. etc.
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” – Brene Brown
This is shame.
Like Brene says, shame tells us we’re not enough. Shame shames us into believing we’re not cut out, we have nothing to offer, we’re too much, or we’re not what the other person wants. Shame consumes our thinking, puts pressure on us to be different or better or perfect or nothing at all. Shame keeps us from rejoicing when it’s time for us to celebrate.
Shame steals our joy and lies to us about who we are.
Who are you?
I will not impact the lives of millions of people. I won’t write any bestsellers, and I sure as hell won’t have a movie made after me. I have reconciled this desire to be more than I am, but the peace I have found has come from the understanding that I am already pretty great. I am okay being me. I know that I am enough.