Friday, March 8, 2013

Good enough or enough is enough?

Ever wonder if you are good enough?  If good enough is indeed, enough?

Are you an exemplary human, spouse/significant other, parent, co-worker/employee, child or friend?  Perhaps you are the best at all of those things.  Maybe you are the worst.  Maybe you are perfectly average.  Or maybe, you are just plain good enough.  Who decides that?  You or them?  Does it matter?  It's different for everyone, right?

We tend to be a society that likes hierarchy.  There are levels of everything.  We compare ourselves endlessly.  Many want to be the best.  We want to be loved, appreciated, complimented and rewarded for our 'goodness'.  We want to be remembered for being wonderful.  No one wants the eulogy at their funeral to be 'they were a schmuck and that's the best I can say'.

Women in particular obsess about being smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or sexy enough.  We *think* others want certain qualities in us that we never think we have enough of.  Perhaps because of the media and the often unrealistic portrayal of societal roles and expectations in love, work and life.

Men seem to obsess on being attractive enough, funny enough and successful enough in work, sports, love and life in order to feel as if they are good enough.  They tend to focus more on the material 'stuff'.  The higher up on the corporate ladder, the hotter the wife, the cooler the car, the better they feel about themselves.  Granted, not everyone feels this way, but many do, whether they admit it or not.

Why?  Why can't we just be happy with who we are as we are?  Provided we are not negatively impacting anyone else intentionally, and doing the best that we can with what we have, why can't we just be who we are?  Why isn't that enough? At the end of the day we are so much more fortunate than so many others in this world and yet, we always seem to want more.

As humans, we have consciousness and emotion.  Our intellectual self sometimes has a difficult time reconciling with our emotional self.  We can't always fully comprehend why we feel the way we do.  We just feel the way we feel.  It complicates the human experience tremendously.

Feeling is one thing.  You can't help how you feel.  Action is another entirely.  You CAN choose how to act on those feelings.  You SHOULD consider how your actions potentially impact others.

Enter ego.  It's like an addiction sometimes.  We get a little praise, a little more money, a few people to compliment or flirt with us and we want more.  We want more because we feel what we have is not enough.  Otherwise, we wouldn't want more, right?  It becomes a game for some people.  Seeking relationships in which they get their ego stroked, changing jobs frequently to try to get more money or prestige, changing the way you act, dress or who you hang out with or where you choose to hang out because it makes you feel better about you, seeking status through personal or material change and gain.  While in theory, that can be good if done with purpose and good intention, and we should all be the best person we can be, it can become a dangerous game if you are not aware of what drives your actions.

It is often our own feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that cause us to think we are not good enough.  Consequently, it often drive us to seek situations and relationships that fill that void rather than stopping and being grateful for what you have right now.  More isn't always better.  Nothing we do happens in isolation or in a vacuum.  Everyone whose lives we touch and whose lives they touch are impacted by our choices and actions.  All too often we don't consider that because ego is too busy thinking "me, me, me".

Other people's opinions shouldn't matter.  We can certainly listen to them and consider them, but we are masters of our own destiny.  We need to be responsible for our choices and aware of the potential impact of our choices on others, intentional or otherwise.  It's great to want to better yourself, but for YOU.  Not to impress or appease someone else.

I challenge you to think for a day about every choice you make.  Notice what you say when interacting with others.  Your words, your body language, your intention.  Think about what you eat and why, why you drive the way you do, who you talk to and who you avoid.  Be mindful.  Be honest with yourself.  Go about your typical day but be mindful of what you do and why.  Notice how you feel with regard to what others say and do and ponder why.

Our 'issues' with other people are really about ourselves.  It's eye-opening and insightful.

So, are you good enough?

1 comment:

  1. It's very powerful isn't it to spend a day being mindful. You can become painfully aware that a lot of your reactions are not really "you" but rather unthinking automated responses that have never been tested or examined. What freedom it is to allow all that to fall away and just be left with what really matters, love. Love for ourselves and for others. No conditions, no agendas, no control...
    Your bravery and honesty move me beyond words. I think what you write is beautiful, important and life changing for many and for that I thank you.