Enough

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“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” [Zen Shin]
You know that story—the one you tell yourself about how you’re not enough? Not fit enough to go to the gym, not pretty enough to wear makeup, not smart enough to take that class, not brave enough to speak your truth, not worthy enough to love? That one?

It’s a bad story. By which I mean poorly written. It’s flat-out boring, and that’s a problem. I’m bored with this narrative I have of myself. Yeah, it can keep me safe, but it also keeps me in. It holds me back.

A lot of times, there’s no way of knowing whether I am enough if I don’t try the thing more than once. Or, more likely, being enough just doesn’t have much to do with it. And pretending like it’s all that matters is lazy—a poorly written, boring story. It’s a stereotype—girl gets a makeover and finds out she’s pretty after all, smarty-pants guy gets the professional recognition he deserves. Neither of these are about the journey of acquiring enough-ness; they don’t show us the real grit and failure of an honest story.

Because I’m mostly not enough. I could be better—a better teacher, a better writer, a better listener, a better friend, a better daughter, a better student, a better climber…. But all those take work; they’re risky and difficult. And they’re also not boring. If “enough” were really the goal, how boring it’d be once we got there!

So instead of denying that story, instead of telling it, “No, you’re wrong—I am enough,” next time it stops in for a visit, I’ll be honest: “You bore me. I’ve heard enough of you, and this life I’m getting to live is too interesting for me to stop and listen to another boring story.”

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