Enough is Enough!

I wrote a lot this week about the “art of doing”. About starting, stopping, committing, quitting, leaping, letting go. And when I look back on it, it feels like a whole lot of struggle. I mean even the simple contemplation and conversation of courageous doing and revolutionary change makes me tired. 

 

As you can probably tell by now, I stand for “playing big” in the world. I believe it is my purpose and my calling to model courage and call people up to their best self. But I often wonder how good is good enough? Is there a measure? When do you know when you’ve arrived? Where did we learn that “playing big” needs to be a haggard, beat-down, depleting wrestling match?

 

Did you know there is actually a word for this?

ATELOPHOBIA; the fear of not being good enough.

 

And it is a slippery slope…this path of “playing big”. Because when we stop paying attention, when we get caught up in the flow and forget why we are doing what we are doing, we quickly slip into a way of being that might “look” like courage and commitment, but is really just a sophisticated form of self-destruction. It is the drive to over-do, over-commit, over-deliver, over-achieve…without ever really experiencing fulfillment. Because all the proving, performing and pleasing in the world is never going to get you what you are really looking for: love and belonging.

 

Somewhere along the way, I learned that love was conditional. That the attention of my loved ones had to be earned and won. And so from a very young age, I became a perfectionist and a do-aholic of the highest caliber. And there it is - my motivation, my drive, my fuel. To do until I am loved. Then it will be enough.

 

Brene Brown says “you are imperfect. You are wired for struggle. But you are “always” (I added that) worthy of love and belonging”. Suffering is what is left over when we there is no love or belonging. Enough is not what we are capable of doing, it’s what we believe about ourselves. Because the playing big, the doing epic shit, the hard-core activism is never going to get us what we really want, which is a feeling of worthiness that only comes from within.

 

So that is our practice. We can get more skilled at how we “do” the world, but it will never be complete. It will never be enough until we discover for ourselves a love that is unconditional, infinite and enough.

 

And so amidst all that is still undone, the mess, the mistakes of this past week (and there were many), I turn back towards my practice.

 

And I assess “was it good enough?” not from a place of what did I do/accomplish, but rather how was I being in relationship to my work, my people and my wellbeing. Here is my checklist-

 

{C}§  Did I show up and commit myself to my work?

{C}§  Did I harm anyone? Did my action or non-action impact others negatively?

{C}§  Did I move something forward (Not did I do everything? Or did I do it perfectly?)

{C}§  Did I act from purpose?

{C}§  Did I tell the truth?

{C}§  Did I learn something new? Or realize something I didn’t know?

{C}§  Did I work with others? Did I connect?

{C}§  Did I have fun?

{C}§  Did I take care of myself?

 

And the last question I ask myself (and this is the big one), is “did I show up in spite of myself” - my ego, my shame, my self-doubt, my sense of unworthiness. And that is when I remember who I really am and it is enough.

 

“I decided that that them most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed”. Anne Lamott

 

(PS-Perfectionists Anonymous intensive coming up in April featuring the amazing Dr. Melody Moore. Stay tuned for more).