I grew up thinking I was never good enough. I was never smart enough, skinny enough, I didn’t work hard enough. Instilled in me was a sense of worthlessness that was hard to overcome, and that still affects my life and relationships. While I have finally realized that I am a creature who is worthy of love and is capable of loving others, I have a hard time trusting anyone and an even harder time accepting their love as genuine. When someone tells me I’m beautiful, my immediate thought is, “They’re lying”. When someone compliments my work, I think they’re mocking me. If someone asks me about myself I change the subject. It’s hard for me to conceive that anyone could be genuinely interested in me without an ulterior motive. I keep a nearly impenetrable wall up around my fragile sense of self so that no one can take advantage of me or hurt me. Sometimes I don’t even realize it, but then my husband reminds me and I see that I’m doing it again.
Old habits die hard, especially instinctive defense mechanisms.
I have a lot of anxiety about making sure that my children know more than anything how much I love them. I am constantly wondering if I’m doing something to screw up their sense of self worth. I want them to know more than anything that they are valuable, loved, and unique little beings who are capable of doing and thinking and being wonderful and amazing things. I want them to know that I will love them no matter what. I want them to trust me. I want them to be confident that they have a mother who will always be there for them. I want more than anything to protect them from feeling like I felt.
How can I instill a sense of self-worth into my children when I felt so worthless for so much of my own life? How can I help them to trust me? How can I help them discover their own unique talents and abilities when I struggled to discover my own? Will I be able to adequately support their mental and emotional development while trying to overcome my own mental and emotional obstacles?
The answer is YES. Yes I can do all of that and more, by embracing my own enoughness. We all have skeletons in our closets, mountains we’ve had to climb, and battles taking place that only we know about. We’ve all struggled. And as parents we all hope to death that we’re not screwing our children up due to our own shortcomings. The simple version of this huge truth is that if we want our children to value themselves then we have to value ourselves. We have to love ourselves.
We have to know and understand and believe that we are enough.
It might be something I struggle with daily but it’s worth fighting for. Ever since I let go of what was holding me back and holding me down, I have blossomed. I find my worth in new and exciting places. I discover new talents and abilities. I take risks. I accept the rewards, and the failures. And I’m not afraid. I’m not insecure. When those feelings creep back into my head I look at my children and remind myself that they are counting on me to be enough. Because, if I’m not enough, then who will be?
If you are struggling with something, anything, that is preventing you from being the best version of yourself that you can be, then be like Elsa and Let. It. Go. Embrace your enoughness. Look in the mirror and remind yourself everyday that you are enough. It may take a while to kick in, but it will kick in. When doubt comes creeping in, remind yourself that you are enough. When someone tries to break your spirit, you are enough. When you try and fail, you are enough. Right where you are, right now, at this very moment.