You Are Enough.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The first time I saw that movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, I remember thinking nothing could be cooler than suddenly becoming miniaturized.  I mean, sure I’d have to battle monstrous insects, but wasn’t there a part in the film where they tucked into a giant Oreo?  ‘Nuff said.

I suppose you could argue that, at barely five feet and two inches tall, I’m still relatively miniature.  Still no giant Oreo though.  

But the shrunkenness I feel and see so much of in adult life extends beyond physical appearance.  It’s what I experience in certain social situations, when I feel compelled to hide behind a particular persona for fear of being disliked, or making a negative first impression.  It’s in my fear of playing full out in case I’m judged or criticized harshly.  In these cases, I’m reduced to a distorted vestige of my authentic self, and the result is something that resembles, not an adorably shrunken person, but those grotesque shrunken heads Trader Sam tries to pawn off on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland.  I’ll sell anything, no matter how unreal or ugly, to make a buck, so to speak — to feel accepted, to feel loved. 

In my efforts to overcome this compulsive need to be liked, to un-shrink myself, I have started to realize two things:

Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay. 

You know that Pinterest quote that goes, “You can’t please everyone.  You’re not a jar of Nutella”?  Well, the truth is that even Nutella has its haters.  I know, I know — seems ludicrous, but they exist.  Does that mean there’s something wrong with Nutella?  Not at all — it’s just a matter of preference.  Just because your particular brand of brilliance won’t be appreciated by everyone doesn’t mean you aren’t, in fact, brilliant.  Because you are.  And that leads me to my next point.

I am enough.

I’m sure you’re reading this post as part of your daily social and online media inundation, where it’s easy to lose your sense of self-worth among a tidal wave of images of people you wished you looked like or whose lives you wish you had.  So if there’s one message I hope reels you back in to the shore of rationality and self-compassion, it’s this:

You are enough.  More than enough.

Have you ever given someone a gift you so carefully picked out especially for them, only to find out later that they never used it?  That it was tucked unceremoniously into a back corner of the closet and completely forgotten, or exchanged for something different?  It’s really disappointing.

I imagine that’s how God feels when He sees us shrinking.  We are the light of the world, after all.  But so often we hide under the bushels of self-doubt and insecurity that make us unwilling to give those gifts handpicked especially for us.  God has knit every fiber of our individual beings with the utmost intention, design, and precision.  And we were dropped on this earth at this particular time in history to give it something that only we can.  Something inimitable.  Something irreplaceable. Each of us is the only one capable of offering our own unique blend of talents and gifts to the world (which you can discover in part with an exercise like this one), and so it is actually your responsibility to be you, fearlessly, because if you aren’t, nobody else will.  Nobody else can.

I know that gaining self-confidence is a journey.  And knowing these two truths might not make you fearless overnight.  That’s okay.  Today, just start with a baby step into your light and your truth. 

And shine on, you radiant human being.  You are enough.  

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