Time and again, I find myself in the darker seasons of life with thoughts of enough-ness. Up to this point in my life I have believed that this question brought me to a two path road. One of the paths was the belief that of course you are not enough. You are a flawed, sinful human and without the work of the saving grace of Jesus, you will never be enough. That is a road that while I’m driving, has many dangerous side roads that I have tried to navigate unsuccessfully. I hate that road. But the other road is equally as scary, mainly because of my well grooved belief paths made by the first road. As I have worked to explore self-help and personal growth, I have heard the phrase ‘you are enough’ at every turn. I think I am growing to hate this phrase equally as much.
I am not always enough. I am whole. I am growing. I am committed to the journey of self. But there are big, messy pieces of me that are not completely enough. I don’t want to be labeled complete because that implies that in that moment I am finished growing. I have so much more to learn. I have so many more experiences and goals and dreams to fulfill. What I long to say is I am not enough, and that is perfectly sufficient.
According to MerriamWebster the word ‘enough’ means “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.” For me to say that I am enough, is to tell a lie to myself. I hate liars. I mean, I really hate liars. I’m not lying to myself today. I don’t have all that I need to meet the needs of myself, my children and all people I love. To try and tell myself ‘I am Enough’ is to continue to perpetuate a false belief that I am allowed to stop working on myself, my growth and my learning.
After staring down these two roads, I have realized a third path is required for me. I need to know that I am not enough – not out of a deficiency, not out of sin, not even because I am not capable of being enough. I am not enough because I am not supposed to be self-sufficient. What I need is a basic belief that I am enough-ish. I need to know that I am enough to keep fighting for. Not because I already have all that I need inside of myself already, but I am enough because I am me. In my very own being, my faulty wiring and all, I have the capacity to love and thrive and live and grow and change and mature and risk and fail and love some more. That also means that in my enough-ness, I have to believe that I am worthy of inhabiting the space that my life has gifted me. My ideas and thoughts are worthy. My brain and hopes and dreams are important and relevant.
Thanks to the brilliance of my wise and beautiful youngest child (who just stumbled in to see what I was writing about today) I was given an image of a roadside billboard pointing to my 3rd way road. “Mom,” she said, “your road should say, ‘I am enough for this moment.'” Damn, Ally. You do get me.