I am enough.
i’m not good enough. i’m not interesting enough. i’m not original enough. friends don’t stick around. people get bored of me and disappear. i’m toxic. the painful thoughts that somehow find their way into my head. we all have them, the gremlins that keep us from doing and saying and being. everyone has shame triggers, ideas that we make-up in our head that we use to explain explainable situations, and even the explainable ones. to justify why. insecurities. whatever you want to call them, but whether we like it or not and whether we talk about them or not, we all have them.
this topic is always uncomfortable to write about but i have been wrestling with it for a few months now and i think it’s important. it doesn’t mean we’re broken, or weak, it means we’re striving to live wholeheartedly, and more so, we’re actually living.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
after reading bene browns books on shame and vulnerability (which undoubtedly has changed my life and my relationship for the better) i have been learning a lot about myself. how to deal with emotions and how to recognize these shame triggers and be more resilient to them. i am realizing that the unspoken words and thoughts in our head hold so much more power over us than we even know, and as soon as we identify these things and speak them out-loud, their power fades, and we can reality check. it’s not a “quick fix” to shame, but it’s a work in progress.
until recently, i’ve very rarely ever looked at the camera while being photographed. sounds weird coming from a photographer but deep down i know it has to do with these things. i feel vulnerable and exposed when a photograph is taken of my eyes, like people can see inside end i’m scared of what they’ll think. i’ve been told i’m toxic, i’ve had friends get up and disappear out of my life without a word. i’ve felt shame when i don’t book a job or a wedding, i’ve overreacted in situations because of fear and i’ve built walls and hid my vulnerability extremely well. however, in the last few months, i’ve been learning to lean into these discomforts and instead of fearing them i’ve been seeking to understand them. to not forbid joy out of the fear of feeling pain. to give up control. to identify the “stories” i am making up in my head about why and how and what, and even more to talk about them. i’m learning to reality check, and that it’s not the critic who counts. i’ve been learning the only opinions that matter are the few of those closest to me. the people in my arena, fighting with me and not merely spectating. and the truth is when it comes down to it, i know i’m good enough. i’m not boring, and people leaving my life has more to do about them than it does about me. i’m not a victim or a villain or a hero, i’m just me. and that’s enough.
“Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude but also crave people. I want to pour light and love into everything yet also nurture myself care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal intuitive decision, yet also sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life – that we all carry multitudes so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures, and the balance comes from that understanding. Be okay with the flow. Be water. Flexible an soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. And able to carry and accept all changes yet still lead by the pull of steady tides. It is enough”.
so on the off days, when that little voice in your head is telling you to hide, when you avoid life and risks and even more commonly, when you build walls against feeling happiness and love in fear of feeling hurt, i encourage you to take a moment and to lean into the vulnerability. reality check. we need to be able to feel and learn from our lows to really relish in the highs. dare to live wholeheartedly, i promise you, you’re worth it.