A friend’s Facebook post haunted me tonight.
“WHY AM I NEVER GOOD ENOUGH?”
This was her post, and it went straight to my heart. How many times have I asked myself that question? How many times have you?
I know that for me, it has been hundreds, if not thousands of times. We question ourselves, and our adequacy, and our inherent value as humans so much. I know for me, that question resonates on more than one level. The most immediate is as a child, parent and partner. In my most nuclear circle, I have wondered why, at times, I didn’t believe I measured up to whatever expectation existed. Sometimes those expectations were imposed on me. More often, those expectations were self-imposed. Many times, if I dug deeper, those expectations were a reflection of an outcome that I expected, and when I didn’t get the outcome I wanted, I’d internalize it as some shortcoming of my own. I’d fall short of some vision I had in my head of the “perfect” me.
Being the parent of a special needs child amplifies this. So much of the time I feel I am Sisyphus…pushing that boulder up the mountain and having it roll back over me. Why have I not solved all of my child’s dilemmas? Why can’t I get the kids on the playground to include her? Why can’t I teach her to say her name? Why can’t I be more grateful and less pessimistic?
Things for which I blame myself not being good enough:
I am not a good enough wife.
I am not a good enough parent.
I am not a good enough daughter/sister/family-member.
I am not a good enough friend.
I am not a good enough employee.
I am not a good enough housekeeper.
Currently, I am not a good enough Christmas doer…
The grander frame, since our recent election, has had me wondering why as a woman, just a gendered human, I was not good enough to be stood up for by a large portion of my fellow Americans…my basic right to decent treatment and respect went undefended by more people than not. I know I’m not alone in that feeling.
I read this post tonight, from a person I know to be generous, patient and kind. A person who works hard, parents well, and shapes the lives of others through her efforts and example. It made me so sad. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “You ARE ALWAYs good enough, and way better than that, to boot!”
Then I sat around and thought about it. Here’s what I really wanted to say:
You are ALWAYS good enough. You are good enough because you exist. You are good enough, no matter what you’ve done or didn’t do. You came to BE. The beautiful Universe made you, to be exactly you. Maybe you came to be a big, loud, important influence. Maybe you came to be a quiet, strong force. But you came to do something. To teach children. To teach parents. To love others and teach others how to love you. Your influence ripples and you’ve affected someone in ways that are unknown to you. Whether they are beautiful or they are painful. You are a teacher. You are a student.
I reflexively said this in my head to my friend. Why don’t I reflexively say this in my head to myself? Why do I not extend myself this grace? Why don’t you?
We are perfect. Despite our imperfections. So I will work harder at loving to myself. And I ask you, kind reader, to do the same. Give yourself the blessing of Good Enough. Better yet, give yourself the blessing of, “I Am Awesome.”
Because you are. I am. We are. And just to pump you up, always remember, you’re a Big Deal.