What did you see the first time you dressed and looked in the mirror?
What did you feel the first time you admitted to yourself that you were different?
Not man enough, not strong enough to resist, not responsible enough. Not enough.
Or perhaps. Not feminine enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough. Not enough.
Under the goading of society your brain led you down a path of guilt, of shame and of insufficiency. It created a thousand reasons why you could never be enough. And if it ran out of reasons those closest to you were sure to oblige – “You’ll never pass”, “You’re not going out in public like that are you?”, “Haha. hahahahahahhaah”.
In time this one, small part of who you are became the stigma that branded “Not Enough” on your heart. A tattoo on the inside for you to read on days you might be feeling good about yourself, or when a carefree moment takes hold of you for an hour.
That feeling inside of you, that ‘not enough’ – it has a peculiar trick up it’s sleeve – a special looking glass lends you to examine yourself.
When you look through this looking glass every perfect, beautiful and noble thing about you is diminished. Every accomplishment and sacrifice is minimized. Even as every flaw is blown up large enough to fit on a street side billboard. Every failure and rejection is played back on an endless loop for every part of you to relive. And relive. And relive.
The secret is, you’re not alone. Everyone has their own reason for feeling they’re not enough – yours just happens to be experienced by fewer people, so others have further to travel to find empathy.
The other secret is, you don’t need to do or be anything to be enough. Least of all pretend to be someone society thinks you should be. I happened across this video the other day, and I encourage you to spend a few minutes listening to her talk. More than that, I encourage you to put into practice her suggestion.
For many years I struggled with self esteem, and there are still times when my self doubt creeps in and subverts the truth. I know what it is like to feel not enough, and I’m also blessed to have had moments – days or weeks even – of knowing that I am enough.
Give yourself the gift of being enough. Once you unwrap this truth you’ll be able to smile at yourself in the mirror each morning – whether or not you’re wearing makeup.