In James Arthur’s “Say you won’t let go” he sings “I met you in the dark, you lit me up. You made me feel as though I was enough”
Those last three words hit me deep, and I’ve wondered why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve rarely felt I was enough. For most of my life I’ve always been trying to become someone better than the person I felt I was, to attain something that would make me better, worthy, … complete, and I know I’m not alone.
We’re surrounded by a culture of growth, striving, acquiring, winning and becoming. The new American President is a particularly perverted product of the me-first, my-country-first, and I’m-so-much-better-than-you culture that constantly reminds us to keep up or get left behind, like the loser we’re afraid we might really be; and Western culture—particularly American culture—is so driven by the zero-sum game of getting ahead, being successful and winning that we pretend the anxiety, frustration, stress, ill-health and general unhappiness it generates is an affordable and acceptable consequence.
We certainly accept it, and it’s more than just affordable—our neuroses and ill-health feed billion dollar industries.
Maybe it’s something about getting older that’s required to appreciate the joy and peace, … peace… that comes with just being enough; no need to strive or become. I can imagine young me reading these words, going “Huh” and then speeding off somewhere to drink, dance and dalliance. Nothing was ever enough. It was always
“What’s next? What’s next?”
“Want more. Want more.”
Who knows. Maybe living life that way is necessary to eventually appreciate being enough. Maybe this is just another example of duality i. e. to appreciate something, really appreciate it, you must experience its opposite.
But I wonder how life would be if we brought our children up to believe they are enough as a starting point—nothing to fix, nothing unworthy, nothing needing improving.
What kind of adults would they become?
Sofa staying, binge watching, fast-food eating non-achievers?
But if children grew up really feeling they were enough, “whole, perfect and complete” then … perhaps not.
I expect they would still pursue growth, success and want more, but they would not be chasing them to please someone else, or to fill a hole in their spirit.
They’d be able to find that balance we all seem to crave because they would be naturally centred.
Growing up feeling we are enough would allow us to relax. We could choose what really matters and give up the rest. Instead of trying to fix ourselves and keep up, we could spend our days deepening our connection to each other and this truly awesome planet we call home.
Imagine how that would be … if we didn’t need one special person to make us feel that we are enough, that we all feel that way because we get we just naturally are, and thinking otherwise is just plain silly.