Most of us know that it’s important for people to feel good about themselves and who they are. It supports us with happiness, contentment and the drive to follow our passions. It helps us to be confident and to develop and maintain successful relationships.
It seems that most of us however, have this seemingly endless list of criteria that need to be met before we can like ourselves. Before we feel like we can feel good about ourselves. And before we can be the person we deserve to be.
We tell ourselves that we have to
- be great parents
- be productive at work
- help friends in need
- have a bigger house/car than other people
- get things done even when we feel sick
- keep a spotlessly clean house
- remain calm in all situations
- have outstanding talents
- be super intelligent
- meet our kids’ every need
- work out every day
- be productive every moment of every day
- visit family regularly
- have amazing fashion sense
- be able to create incredible art/music
- maintain an active social life
- contribute to charities
- be a great cook
- work hard
- play hard
- improve our education and keep our skills up
- be happy
- keep fit
- meet the needs of everyone around us
I’m exhausted just thinking about maintaining these standards! I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to actually do it!
Do you resonate with anything on this list? These are a mere handful of the potential conditions many of us place on ourselves. We may have been sent these kinds of messages during our childhood. We may have watched the adults in our lives live by these very same conditions.
However where do they take us? Very likely to a place of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, sadness or a lack of fulfillment. We may wonder what happened to the joy we used to feel. The excitement or the zest for getting up in the morning to start our day.
At some point all these conditions have taken over our lives. We spend so much time trying to please others that we forget that we are just as important. We forget that we have value.
And we forget (or maybe we never knew in the first place) that there are no conditions on love. EVER.
As parents we would never place conditions on loving our children. Right?
Regardless of the mistakes they make or their tendency to be annoying (aren’t all kids to some extent), we support them and love them and guide them through those errors so they can learn from them and thrive. We loved and valued them from the second they were born. And in most cases, before they were born. They didn’t need to DO anything to earn our love. They didn’t need to BE anything. The fact that they were born is enough.
Enough to be loved. Enough to have value. Enough to be worthy.
And yet for ourselves it seems to be a different story.
What makes us so different from our loved ones that we require conditions to be placed on our worthiness?
The answer is nothing. We are no different. We deserve love and hold just as much value as the people around us.
We are worthy, simply because we were born. We have value, simply because we breathe the air.
We are enough. As we are. Right here, right now.
We are enough.
You are enough.