Excerpt Let Food Be Thy Gift
Enough of the Enough Talk
We have been told that we are enough.
Who and/or what are we enough for?
We have also been told that we are not enough.
Who and/ or what are we not enough for?
So, which is it? Are we enough or are we not enough?
How many times have we been told that we are not enough? How many times have we told ourselves that we are not enough? How long have we tried to be enough for ourselves and others? How is that working for us?
Aren’t we tired of trying to prove we are enough? Have we had enough of always failing to be enough? Who gets to determine what is enough anyway? Who sets the enough standard? Is it our parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, kids, spouses, siblings, spouses, peers, government, religion, culture, mainstream media or social media?
Have you actually tried to be enough? Were you able to be…smart enough, tough enough, hard-working enough, successful enough, nice enough, thin enough, strong enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, religious enough, holy enough, kind enough, obedient enough or moral enough?
What if we aren’t enough, then what? How do we become enough? Do we play the game or work the program of enoughness?
Have you ever thought how the whole pursuit of being enough and doing enough are nothing but a law/rule/standard put in place and used to not only control and imprison us, but we have used it to imprison and control others?
I have to ask, “Is there any such thing as enough?” Can we honestly say that we are enough? Are we enough to control our bodies? Are we enough to control our thoughts and emotions? Are we enough to control our relationships, our world and our day-to-day life? Do we believe that we are enough to control what happens on a plane or in a car? Do we walk out into a storm and believe we are enough to control the weather? How do we get a divorce, go to a funeral, or have an accident and believe that we are enough to keep hurt and pain from happening? How do we send our kids to kindergarten or college and believe we are enough to protect them from all things hurtful?
What if life wasn’t about living to prove that we are enough but life was supposed to free us to ‘not be enough’ and being not enough set us free to live life? What if our human being design constantly testified that we aren’t enough and it forced us to look beyond ourselves to discover who or what is more than enough to cover our not-enoughness?
What if the only way to connect to love, truth, hope and joy was to not be enough? What if every circumstance and every relationship were designed to expose us to the reality and the truth that we are not enough and the greatest “sins” are when we use ourselves, our friends, family, talents, gifts and skills to curate lifestyles that are so shallow that they produce the illusion that we are enough?
This strange philosophy that we are born to be enough stands in complete contradiction to our human being design and it keeps us from connecting to love, truth, hope joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and rest. In fact, there is absoulutely no way we can truly experience life if we are constantly trying to control it to earn enoughness or prove that we are enough.
Let’s just say for a moment that I am wrong and we are enough, then why would we need anybody or anything else? Wouldn’t we just be enough? Wouldn’t we be a perfectly happy, content, healthy, holy and whole human being regardless of our circumstances? What would our lives look like, what would our relationships feel like, what would we buy and what would we be doing if we really believed we were enough? Who needs anybody or anything when you are just enough?
What if not being enough was the truth and this truth created the space we needed to be, to become our best ourselves, to desire relationships, to help others, to have compassion and empathy, and to recieve and give love?
Where did we first learn that we were not enough and being not enough was not enough? Was it in our family, in our community, in our school, or in church? How did we respond? Do you remember the moment when you realized that being a kid wasn’t enough, that being who we were naturally designed to be as a human being—vulnerable, sensitive, transparent, fragile, needy, weak, desperate and dependent —wasn’t enough to protect us from the world, wasn’t enough to please someone or wasn’t enough to be loved?
When were you not allowed to not be enough or to be honest that you wasn’t enough? Why wasn’t it enough to make mistakes, feel everything, speak our mind, tell the truth, live vulnerably, be sensitive, needy, weak, transparent, desperate, and dependent? Why couldn’t we just be children and be who we were and grow as we were designed? Why did we need systems, institutions, standards, test, grades, list, and scores to teach us what enough was ? How many generations have been crushed by the guilt, shame, and fear of not being enough because we didn’t pass some “enough test”? What if we passed the test and proved we were enough? Then what? Were we allowed to just stay where we were or were we challenged that enough wasn’t enough and we needed to be more?
If we don’t believe that not being enough is enough, then we will seek to prove enoughness, earn enoughness, and even make others prove they are enough.
Can I ask? How did you respond to not being enough? Did you curate someone that you could pretend would be enough for whoever said you wasn’t enough? Were you led to believe if you could prove that you was enough, it would be enough to provide you with protection, love, and all that love provides (hope, peace, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, value, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, rest, and self-control).
What did you need to do and who did you need to be to be enough? Would being good, strong, pretty, thin, obedient, smart, athletic, loyal, hardworking, and successful make you enough? How much of these qualities did you need to be enough to satisfy the enough standards? What happened when these qualities weren’t enough, or you couldn’t be these things? Did the failure of never making the enough cut result in enough guilt, shame and fear to “motivate” you to do better and try harder or did it just crush you?
On the other hand, did the success and pride of being enough set any of us free to stop trying to prove we were enough?
Instead of us doing enough to be enough, what if the struggle was enough, what if just being was enough and just being not enough encouraged and nourished people so much that it was incalculable, immeasurable and life changing?
What if there was no such thing as being successful enough, financially secure enough, educated enough or happy enough? What if we were never enough but we were full of love, hope, truth, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Would these things be enough for us to experience and enjoy life no matter what we had, what we looked like or how we performed?
What if every fear could be answered by the truth that we aren’t enough and that truth could set us free from the anxiety, pressure, busyness, and the lie that we can be enough, and we can do enough to provide and protect ourselves?
Are you exhausted from trying to be enough? Are you sick, stressed, depressed, sad and angry from always trying to be enough? Have we reduced our lives and fragmented ourselves because we are addicted to trying to prove we are enough in these little areas and we’re running from all the other places in our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships that we know we are not enough? What if trying to be enough actually made us feel and become more aware of just how not enough we are? What’s the answer to all this enough talk?
Perhaps, it is time to GIVE-UP trying to be enough and give up feeling the guilt, shame and fear of not being enough. We are not enough to be perfect or to perfectly provide for and protect ourselves Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally, Physically and Relationally. We are not enough and so are all the things we try to use to make us feel like we are enough. Food is not enough. Sex is not enough. Exercise is not enough. Relationships are not enough. Money is not enough. Spouses are not enough. Children are not enough. Friends are not enough. Our parent’s approval is not enough. Cultural acceptance is not enough and neither are the right bodies, careers, homes, schools, degrees, religion, rules, information, power, fame and status. None of these things are enough and will ever be enough to prove that we are enough.
What if our purpose is not discovered where we think we are enough but where we can rest in not being enough?
As long as we are trying to be enough, we will never have enough time, energy or money to prove that we are enough. At the same time, we won’t be able to live to just experience and enjoy life. The truth is, we will never be enough for ourselves, others, the world or even divine love, if we have to prove we are enough to earn acceptance, worth, mercy and forgiveness (aka LOVE).
So what’s the answer to all this enough talk? Believe it or not, there is not anything we can do, become or use to prove we are enough. The only thing that can do to force our endless pursuit of enoughness and the endless amount of guilt, shame and fear that comes along with that exhausting cycle is Love. Love is enough for us and we are enough for love. Yet, love is not enough when it is not love but something that we have to work, perform or earn to get.
We are enough for love and love is enough for us, when it is a gift that is received and given freely. Love is the answer to freeing us to be “not being enough” for anything or anyone else but love. We are enough for love. We are enough for anyone who wants to love us and not use or consume us. When we discover our not enoughness, we can discover more than enough love to fill us to overflowing to rest and receive more than enough of love, hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, mercy, forgiveness, imagination, dreams, excitement, care, health, friendships and life!
The truth is that we can rest in the arms of enoughness because his enoughness cover our not enoughness to make us enough, and that’s exactly who we are designed to be—so that we can receive more than enough of the perfect love that we need to live the way we are designed.