HOW DO YOU DEFINE ENOUGH?
Is it the feeling of wholeness in your chest or the intense satisfaction with who you are? Is it the lack of pressure to be more or the belief that you’re already complete on your own? For so long you’ve repeated this sentence in my head, like a mantra. You’re just not enough you said whenever you looked at yourself in the mirror, whenever people disappointed you, whenever your expectations were not met. It was either verbal or the statement itself reduces into tears that flowed into your pillow every night.
Having very high internal locus of control, you blamed yourself for everything that went wrong, although it was obvious that you were powerless at life just happening. Not enough in what sense opened a whole lot of new doors to more negative self-talk where you sabotaged yourself by bringing in every one of my insecurities. You’re not pretty enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not curvy enough. You’re not loving enough. You’re not important enough. Trust me, you could go on forever. But it took you too long to arrive at this one particular question.
WHY WASN’T I ENOUGH?
Wasn’t I enough for my parents to stay together or care about what I feel is where it started? Yes, marital satisfaction is more than how your children turn out to be. It’s more than how big birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated. It comes down to the tiniest moments and littlest things. But this isn’t an obvious fact for kids who can’t contemplate the complex relationship between two people who are falling out of love and into despair.
Being put in an impossible position of being forced to pick sides and having their own feelings neglected and overlooked, children often end up feeling like they are not important enough to be taken seriously. I felt like I wasn’t important enough to be taken seriously. Because the battles between two individuals will triumph over the emotional needs of the child. It triumphed over my emotional needs where all of you live under the same roof but still, your parents don’t have the faintest ideas about your depression that has been eating you inside out.
Wasn’t I enough for him to fall in love with me is where the belief was reinforced? It was the kind love that made all the things I used to call love as dumb crushes. It is the kind of love that swoops in and saves you from drowning, moments before you suffocate and gone forever; dead. It’s the kind of love that made you feel like you wanted to become a better person. You know what else it was? It’s the kind of love that isn’t reciprocated. Unrequited. He is out of my league is what I felt, is what I deeply believed.
BUT I GUESS I HAD HOPED.
Hope they say is the most important part of being human. It is always what makes you human. Even in the face of death, hope is all you have. But what if it has secretly been a poison that you’ve been consuming so much for so long? To the point, it is what causing you to die a slow painful death in the first place. I was hoping that it’ll be me and him someday, in the end.
Guess I still do hope but it’s depressing cause I also know better. To be in love in the most poetic way where you’re this old school romantic who writes away love letters and proposes in emails yet it’s still not enough to be loved back. Knowing that he chose someone else over you and she decided to stomp on his heart, but you were there helping him pick up those pieces yet it’s still not enough to be loved back.
When something is repeated too many times, even if it’s unfounded, you will start believing in it. And I began to believe in it too like, I knew every part of me that I deemed to be not enough like the back of my own hand. But, I guess life just happened and I learnt a thing or two about self-love and I met people who taught me how to not let things that happened to me define me of who I become, people who believed in me and the potential I had, people who just saw me for who I am, with all my flaws and completely loved it all.
Strangely, it was empowering as maybe I’m not unlovable as I once thought after all. But the struggles haven’t ceased to exist. The questions comprising of enough with question marks haven’t gone away. My search for wholeness is still under progress, I’ve only slowed down and directed inwards into myself instead of the outside world.
But here’s the lesson I learned that matters the most: Who defines how much enough is?
I wish this was the question I asked myself before anything else as it would have saved me from so much of the downfalls and breakdowns. Because who defines it anyways for me to compare it to some superficial measures to conclude I am not enough? If there is no perfect, there shouldn’t be enough. There should only be what it is because it is what it is. How can one stand out, be authentic, or be beautiful if it is forced to meet some measure of enough that only causes it to lose its distinctiveness? I shouldn’t be losing my distinctiveness. I’m choosing not to lose my distinctiveness.
Maybe the entire construct of enough came from the obsession to achieve expectations to the point we lack coherence. We have so many versions of ourselves that adhere to so many different expectations set by others that we follow just to gain their validation.
But in the pursuit of such expectations, we lose the connections we have with our truest selves. We mistake the achievement of expectations as in who we are as people. The dichotomous life that we create meeting these expectations makes us lose our true selves to the point we never really know who we are, truly. But the reality is, we have only created something so superficial as being enough—when in truth it doesn’t really exist.
IT’S A LIE WE’RE TELLING OURSELVES EVERY DAY.