Monday, December 19, 2016

On Not Being Enough

(BE AWARE: I don't usually share these things, because I don't want to hurt people that are or have been close to me. I still won't mention names, but since there are only about 100 of you who read my blogs, I'm sure you can puzzle things out.  It is not my intention to shame anyone, but to share what I have learned. Thanks)

     I wasn't enough. Ever. I grew up with that idea being constantly reinforced. I wasn't thin enough, I wasn't pretty enough, I didn't sing well enough, I wasn't smart enough, I didn't follow directions well enough, I didn't learn fast enough, I wasn't considerate enough, Or I was too much of something, which was not enough.  Then I got married, and I was enough for a while. And then I wasn't.
     That isn't to say that I was never complimented. But I'd been conditioned well enough that I didn't believe it. I'm sure the people that were giving me my identity were not intending to do so. I'm sure it was a by product of having received a negative identity themselves, in most cases.
      I was told, often, by the wrong men, how pretty I was. Men that were adults when I wasn't, and that were married and had children. I feel rather lucky now that I wasn't physically violated by any of these men. I did feel sick to my stomach sometimes, though. I wondered what I had done to encourage the kind of attention I was getting. I was sure it had to be something I had done wrong, because of course, I wasn't good enough.  It was years before I realized that I hadn't knowingly  presented myself in a way that would invite such attention. So I wondered instead if I had some sort of mark, or aura, or body language that shouted vulnerability. Did I exude the need to be accepted? Was it abundantly clear that I was lonely in need of affirmation?
     Then I met someone that accepted me. He accepted who I was when we met. He continued to accept me as I grew and changed. Changes in my physical, intellectual and spiritual self were not merely accepted, but encouraged and celebrated. In turn, I learned that affirmation from my spouse is priceless and lovely, but I need affirmation from God. He's my ultimate measuring stick. As I pursued a relationship with God, the relationship with my husband grew, too. And for each other, we are enough. Finally.
     I know this idea could be fleshed out, almost infinitely, with specific stories, but I don't believe that is necessary, here. If you struggle with being enough, look to Jesus. He makes you enough. People don't. Most people won't every be pleased with anyone that isn't themselves. Unless they find their own worth with Christ.  That's why my husband saw that I was enough, and that's why my children will learn that they are enough.
Go, be enough.

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