One challenge I faced throughout my life was the feeling that I wasn’t enough. As a child, I didn’t think I was smart enough. As a teen, I wasn’t pretty enough. As an adult, I wasn’t educated enough. All of this stinking thinking held me back from living my true potential. Or perhaps I needed to experience the not-enough mentality in order to be where I am today? Either way, I’ve put a lot of energy into healing each of those stages of my life.
When I was school-age, I distinctly remember coming home with my report card, which was neatly sealed in an envelope that only my parents were allowed to open. My mother was the one who opened it, but she never gave it too much attention. She told me to bring it to my dad. The dread began to build as I knew his typical response. True to form, he said, “Is this your best?” and my response was, “I think so.” Then he replied, “Well I don’t think so. I think you could have done better.” So being a “B” average student wasn’t good enough in his mind. Try as I did, I just couldn’t get to the point of having straight “A’s”; therefore, my conclusion was I wasn’t smart enough.
Others influenced my thinking as well. There was Mrs. Short, my art teacher kindergarten through second grade. Surely, I could get an “A” in art class, or so I thought. I loved to color and draw pictures. I vividly remember Mrs. Short walking slowly around our table, peering over our shoulders at our work. I was very aware of her nonverbal responses and how her eyes lit up when she saw a drawing she liked. As she moved behind me, I felt like a tight rope ready to coil, wondering what she was thinking. I got a “humph” sound instead of the “ooo” sound she made when she saw something she liked. That response stuck with me until I went back to school when I was in my thirties. I enrolled in a required art class at Alverno College. The first question our professor asked was, “How many of you think you are an artist?” Of course, my hand didn’t go up. Then he asked, “How many of you are convinced you are NOT an artist?” Most of the class held their hands up. His next statement eventually changed my life: “Everyone is an artist. Some people are able to make a living by being an artist and others are not. But it doesn’t change the fact that EVERYONE is born an artist.” Now that is a truth I can believe! I’ve come to discover how our thoughts distort reality.
Our thoughts can debilitate us or empower us. It’s our choice. I found out how much comparisons can get us into trouble. It happens so naturally that we aren’t even aware of its effect until years, sometimes decades, later. The truths we take on are what the ego wants us to believe. Many of the self-help books will refer to the truth of the ego as the small “t” truth and the true essence of who we are as the big “T” Truth. Who are we listening to today? Are we listening to the voice of the I’m-not-enough small “t” truth, or are we listening to the voice of the I AM enough big “T” Truth, our True essence?
I do have the tendency to slip into the old patterns of thinking. Clary Sage brought me an affirming message one morning as I had slipped into the lower vibrational energy of the not-enough mentality. I had fallen into the ego trap of thinking I didn’t know enough, that I wasn’t smart enough to make a viable contribution to our family income. This is what I heard:
You can enjoy the peaceful moments of nature at all times. You are trusting the guidance of the plants and trees more and more with each person you encounter. Be in that place at all times. Release the “not enough” mentality that creeps in to distract you. Think abundantly and trust the universe to do the rest. Listen to the still small voice within and follow guidance. You are always supported.
At times like this I am especially grateful to have a meditation practice. It is in these quiet moments of contemplation when I can return to the still small voice within, connecting me to the Truth of who I really am. I encourage you to seek out your Truth. Take time to discern if the not-enough voice of ego is clouding your ability to hear the voice of your inner Spirit, which is truly who you are.
"You are enough, simply in your being." Jeff Foster