12. Name what is enough for you
I chewed on this for a long time because I kept coming up with an answer that isn’t pretty. I guess I thought if I thought for long enough and avoided this prompt for long enough I wouldn’t have to share the real, raw, ugly truth of my answer. Answering this requires a lot of vulnerability from me, because you might not like the answer. But I’m going to Dare Greatly and tell you the truth:
Nothing is enough for me.
And that is a problem.
I am not enough for me. No amount of sunshine or coffee is enough for me. No amount of ice cream or pizza or steak or potatoes. There are not enough hours in a day. There is not enough time with my friends. There is not enough time with my husband. There was not enough effort on my part. There was not enough emotion in that text or thought in the other one. The project wasn’t done well enough. There weren’t enough people there. The colors aren’t bright enough. Nothing. Nothing is enough.
And this is so scary for me to say because what if someone I love reads this and thinks, “Am I not enough for Liz?” because the answer is YOU ARE ENOUGH! Really- I almost wrote this on how other people, about how YOU, are enough for me. Because I would never tell someone they aren’t enough. I have no trouble seeing other people and their ‘enough’-ness. But I cannot see my own. And the way I see the world, except for other people, there is never enough.
But I wanted to write this, because it’s something I am working through. And have been for a long time.
I have a lot of journals. I’ve been keeping a diary in some form since 1st grade. It started with a little Hello, Kitty journal from 1996, but I got more serious in 3rd grade. Like- “Dear Diary” and I wrote down everything and I journaled through elementary, middle, and high school. I journaled through the start of college but it turned into “prayer journals” when I was a freshman at some point. I was on a women’s retreat with my mom and the speaker during her first session had us trace our hand on the paper and write “I am enough” in the middle of the palm. I did not believe that at the time at all. Not one tiny little sliver of belief. What a journey those three words started. I eventually discovered that who I am is enough, which is a much longer story, so it’s at my core, but somehow Not Enough still silently dictates almost every aspect of my life.
A perfectionist to my core, ENOUGH, is a scary word. It has an air of finality. It implies completion and DONE. It implies that no more or no less is needed. And it a way, that is scary to me. Enough is the opposite of scarcity. The book I’m reading, Daring Greatly, talks about this at length. That we have a culture of “never enough” and scarcity and fear, and the solution is believing we are enough. That’s it. We just have to believe.
One of my favorite snippets of dialogue goes like this:
Alice: “This is impossible.”
Mad Hatter: “Only if you believe it is.”
I mention that because I know, that I know, that I know that if I believe in the core of who I am that I am enough, then that is it, I will be enough. If I believe that what I have in my hands, what I see with my eyes, the time I am given, the amount of sunshine in a day, the coffee in the cup I have, if I believe all that is enough, then it will be enough. I can overcome the ‘never-good-enoughs’ I hear all day long.
But oh gosh it is so easy to cling to the security blanket of Never-Enough. It’s safe to complain and still attempt perfection. It is not healthy, but it’s all I’ve known. And I know it’s not okay. And I know it’s not what God wants for me. It’s not what I want for me. I want enough. I want to believe every day, all day that I am enough, that this day is enough, that it is all ENOUGH. God says I am enough. And in the very depths of me, I believe that and I stand on that. But I am not very good at living it out.
I want my answer to be EVERYTHING. Everything is enough! But I’m not there yet.