You Are Enough
I don’t know you all that well. In, fact, the chances are quite high that I don’t know you at all. I see your name on my mailing list or sometimes you pop up in my social media notifications feeds. You quite possibly have never met me but you may have come to recognise my name from my website or this newsletter.
A while ago I wrote a post about love. It was titled, “What Does Love Look Like?”. One of the points I mentioned in that post was that you won’t always be able to give people the love that they’re expecting i.e. the idea of love that they have.
This means that some people might believe that expensive gifts are a sign of love and expect gifts from you as proof that you love them. Others may use their emotions to manipulate you and expect you to be okay with it if you claim you love them – ”If you love me, you’ll let me do this”.
Regardless of what expectation of a love another person has, the chances are quite high that you won’t always be able to present them with the idea of true love that they have in their minds. And that’s okay.
Because you are enough.
Everyone needs to know that they’re enough. Today I’m writing about some people who need the reminder the most.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have any children even after desperately wanting them for years; remember that you’ve never been nor will you ever be anything less than a complete human being.
I don’t know why you don’t have children and neither do you (I don’t create children and neither do you). What I do know is that you are no less of a human being than someone who is a parent.
You don’t need to live in constant doubt and fear, imprisoned by the thought that you’re not bringing enough to the table. That you’re not holding up your part of the marriage. That you’re letting your husband / wife down by not having children; that you’re incomplete.
People will pry. They’ll ask (hurtful) questions about issues that don’t concern them at all. You’ll smile or evade the discussion but deep down you feel the pain. When you’re alone you’ll nurse the hurt, the scars, the deep wounds that never heal because someone is always making themselves available to open them up again. Maybe you’ll cry yourself to sleep because nobody understands that there’s nothing you can do and if there was you would do it. Maybe you’ve worked out a way to numb the pain. Maybe you think you’re numbing the pain.
I don’t have a solution for you, but here’s what you need to remember: You are complete and you are enough.
Maybe you have the means and you feel you’re ready and you really want to get married but things just don’t seem to work out. Maybe you’ve been ready for the last 5 or 10 years. Maybe you’ve been ready from the time your first friend got married and now they’re all married.
Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think off. Maybe you’ve tried so much that you’re tired of trying. Maybe you “just don’t care anymore”.
People will ask, “So when’s the wedding?” or “Isn’t your younger brother / sister married already?” or say something inane like, “Now it’s your turn”. Someone told me that they were reminded, “If you don’t get married now, all the good ones will eventually be gone”.
Note: People will always make time to leave their lives to comment and render opinions on yours (This applies all the time, whether you’re married or not).
2nd Note: Random opinions are free and generally worthless, which is why people are always distributing them.
They’ll subtly, and sometimes, inadvertently make you aware of the fact that your life isn’t living up to the rules they believe it should adhere to. Does it need to? I don’t think so.
While we can’t control the ideas that people have, we can control the responses we have to those ideas. We can control how much of power we’d like to give to their words. We can choose not to allow ourselves to be enslaved by the expectations others have of us.
When will you get married? I have no idea. I don’t know the future and neither do you. I don’t control destiny and neither do you. What I know is that you don’t need to fixate all your energies on getting married to the extent that you automatically exclude yourself from life’s greatest moments that are happening all around you.
If you’re always worried about how your future is going to pan out, where you will find the time and energy to enjoy the present moment; which in reality is all we have.
You are exactly where you are meant to be right now and you will use what you have to craft your happiness.
You need to remind yourself that you are complete and you are enough.
Some parents find themselves trying to prove that they are great parents and that they are doing a good job. They believe that their child needs to:
a) Get the highest marks in the class (or go for a dozen different types of tuition and / or therapy )
b) Be dressed in clothes that are more exclusive / more expensive than any other kids they may know
c) Outshine, out-perform, out-work and outdo every other kid in the neighbourhood in everything from karate lessons and speech contests to hairstyles and holiday destinations.
This isn’t a competition and there certainly aren’t any prizes if you think you win.
If you’re already trying your best as a parent to give your child a safe environment to live, food to eat, an education and clothes to wear, how much more can you do?
It doesn’t matter if your 9-year old’s friend is learning French. It doesn’t matter if your neighbour’s child can read fluently at age 5 and yours can’t. You don’t need to populate weekends with a dozen different activities. You don’t need to keep-up with other parents. You don’t need to prove anything.
Your kids don’t need to have the best show-and-tell or art project at school (which you worked on). They don’t need to outshine everyone else. They don’t need to always be impeccably dressed or behaved (and they won’t). They don’t need to be approved by society, the school mothers’ club or anyone else.
They’re unique and they’re yours. If there’s 1 thing they need, it’s you and you are enough.
When people make us feel uncomfortable about our lives, especially about issues over which we have no control, we are at risk of falling into the trap of trying to live-up to the expectations they have of us.
We believe that we need to do this (get married or have children or be super-parents etc.) to be ‘normal’. We convince ourselves that if this 1 thing gets sorted out my life will fall into place and I’ll finally be happy. While this inner-struggle is happening, our lives are passing us by.
Please, don’t let your life pass-by while you’re looking at goals you don’t need to be achieving.