For my entire adult life and most of my teenage years, I’ve always felt that I wasn’t enough. That feeling often led to me becoming a people pleaser, going above and beyond to make others happy, sacrificing some of my feelings in an effort to be likable and the list goes on. Basically I’ve lived my life in search of the approval of others. Only recently has this taken a turn for the better.
When I met my boyfriend, he had a quality that stuck out to me. Now after almost two years of dating, it’s one that I love to hate. He has this amazing ability to separate his thoughts and actions from the opinions of others. I absolutely love that he doesn’t have a care in the world for how people view him. The reality that he may be judged for certain things doesn’t phase him (or at least I can’t tell it if does or doesn’t) and he’s always going to do what he wants to do whether its reflected in his behavior, appearance or in the music he creates. On the other hand, I’m sometimes irritated by this because I secretly envy it. He has a level of freedom that I’ve only imagined.
My envy causes me to try to “reel him in” when I feel like he isn’t doing what I think others will approve of.
Does that make sense?
I try to tell him how to dress, when and when not to voice his opinion and I’ve even been nervous for people to meet him because I didn’t want him to say something that will cause them to feel negatively about our relationship. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to change him nor am I embarrassed by him. It’s just that my own feelings of inadequacies and my effort to make up for them causes me to project this onto him and in other areas of my life.
You don’t have to search long on Instagram to find a meme about how we’re enough and how we should eliminate anyone from our lives who doesn’t agree or treat us as such. But what if we’ve got it wrong?
What if we aren’t enough?
In the women’s small group at church last week, I was told that I wasn’t enough. And neither are you.
Talk about jaw-dropping.
Our group leaders shared a book they’ve been reading and how the author talks about us not being enough and it being that way on purpose. If we were enough then we wouldn’t need God. We make our lives harder by trying to be enough in everything we do. The author encourages us to learn how to do things with God rather than always trying to do things for Him.
When you look it at that way, it makes perfect sense.
We essentially set ourselves up for failure trying to be enough to everyone, for every reason and for everything. We should just be who we are, do as much as we can do and let God do the rest. Realistically, we need God – even when we don’t always realize it. Our human abilities will only get us so far. Sometimes divine intervention is necessary.
I don’t know how it makes you feel but learning that I’m not enough and I was never designed to be gives me a sense of relief. I have a tendency to be really critical of myself. I also get overwhelmed with all the ideas I have. To know that all I have to do is ask God for help and guidance, things will be better. If I do my part, He’ll do His because we are a team.