Living Within the Story of Enoughness

Into the Light V2 - Oil on Canvas - Jean Forsberg

"The most important day is the day you decide you’re good enough for you. It’s the day you set yourself free."

- Brittany Josephina

Not Enoughness Exercise

Have you ever noticed how news broadcasters in the U.S. often refer to us—not as “citizens”—but as “consumers”. This is fitting insofar as we live in a culture that celebrates “bigness”—e.g., bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger paychecks; and where our appetite for MORE—e.g., more money, more stuff, more food, more likes on social media—is, seemingly, insatiable.

This persistent drive for bigger and bigger and more and more permeates our culture, from the physical world of possessions to the social world of status and prestige. The vexing irony is that no matter how much we possess or achieve, we often remain stuck in the crippling story of our “not enoughness”. How is for you? Are you “enough”?

You could explore this right now by imagining yourself as a participant in a workshop focused on self-discovery. Put yourself there now: The workshop convener has just given you, along with the other participants, a blank sheet of paper, with the instruction to take five minutes to write down all the ways that you judge yourself as “not enough”—e.g., maybe you regard yourself as not tall enough, or not outgoing enough, or not friendly enough, and who knows what else.

When the five minutes are up, your host instructs everyone to poke two quarter-sized peep holes in their papers; and then to walk around the room, looking out through the peep holes to view each other’s “not enough” statements.

Some years back, I participated in this exact exercise; and though the group I happened to be with was diverse in terms of age, gender expression, ethnicity and race, our “not enough” statements were surprisingly similar. For example, many of us judged ourselves as not smart enough, not attractive enough, not successful enough, not creative enough, not sociable enough … and on and on.

Since that time, I have introduced this exercise to hundreds of college students and the results are much the same, with the majority caught in the self-alienating story of “not enoughness”.

Upshot: To the degree that we are not able to fully accept ourselves, just as we are, we become mired in a state of self-alienation.

But the good news is that “not enoughness” is just a story; and we can free ourselves from this story by choosing to believe that: just this moment is enough; just this breath is enough; and that our lives—just as they unfold, day by day—are enough! Indeed, just imagine the freedom and self-healing that would become possible if we were all to choose to forthrightly embrace our innate enoughness!

Rather than becoming entrapped in the soul-crushing story of “not enoughness,” what if you—like Emily Akers in this video—chose to live within the heart-expanding story of “enoughness”, by full-heartedly embracing your, one and only, precious life?

"The human consciousness of insufficiency—of not enoughness—is the root cause of all worry, all pressure, all competition, all jealousy, all anger, all conflict, and, ultimately, all killing on our planet."

- Neal Donald Walsch

"How can I discover my life’s meaning and purpose if I am focused on what my culture is telling me, instead of what my heart is revealing me?"

- Kristina Leung, Steppingstone #21 Guide

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