The last few days have been hard… more like really hard. I had a complete meltdown in front of my husband and son…. including lots of crying and saying I didn’t feel special. Looking back I feel like a complete and utter fool. I cried many times yesterday. My eyes just erupted with tears at a moment’s notice. I hate the feeling because it reminds me I am vulnerable, I am weak, I need others. Although I know this feeling well, it doesn’t mean I like it.
As I cried to my husband last night, the feelings coming forth were all too familiar. They were not new and I hate them. I hate feeling like I am not enough, or that I am not doing a good enough job. I have felt these feelings and years ago I realized there are not going away… and I must constantly work to process and overcome these feelings. I manage most days, but nothing like being on week… I can’t even remember… of a pandemic, to make you remember every little vulnerability and weakness.
I picked the word “enough” as my word of the year in January. It was a fast, but an intentional word choice. If I am honest, I have spent most of my life not feeling like I am enough. I am a “recovering” perfectionist and struggle not to find my worth in what I do. When others tell me I am fantastic, I question their sanity. I drive my loved ones crazy with this insecurity…. if I am honest I drive myself crazy.
I spent the last few weeks doing presentations for parents and staff about making sure they know they are doing a good job and their worth is not determined by what they do in a pandemic, yet I hold myself to a different standard… a standard that I, nor anyone else, can ever fulfill.
I really think we keep ourselves so busy in life, so we don’t have to face these aspects of ourselves we don’t like…. well at least I know I do. Who wants to admit they walk around the majority of the time feeling they are not enough… I know I don’t! My busy schedule causes me to avoid these feelings… these feelings that don’t go away… these feelings that are always around regardless if I acknowledge them or not… these feelings that remind me I still have work to do… not busywork… but the internal soul work which is hard and complicated.
Over a decade ago I read a book by Sue Monk Kidd titled “When the Heart Waits.” There is a quote from the book that has come back up for me: “Avoiding pain, rather than having the discipline and courage to confront it and live it through, only compounds suffering in the long run.” For some of us, I do believe there is pain so deep, we will always have to confront the pain and continue to work. This work is not a destination, yet it is part of the journey… my pain of feeling my worth will always be connected to my mom’s death. I don’t want it to be, but I must be honest and say the two are so intertwined I can’t face one without facing the other.
As the business of life has slowed and I now am forced to once again face pain and vulnerability I have spent half a lifetime avoiding, I am reminded I am strong enough, I am courageous, and I am loved by so many to face whatever is in front of me. I have to accept the fact that I am enough and continue to accept it each and every day. I have to accept to admit and face such reality is not a weakness, but yet my strength.