Experiences can change your point of view. My eldest son returned from the army as a bit of a cynic, as well as being slightly paranoid towards the government. He had spent a few years working in intelligence with a top secret clearance, and may have seen some things which made him question…well, the competency of those in charge. But he wasn’t selective about his cynicism, so he blanketed it to include most all people, military and civilian alike. I suppose the army has a way of breaking you down and showing you humanity up close.
So in his newly cynical state he announced to me that all of that positive feel-good talk about people being “good enough”, and “who you are is enough” is a bunch of mumbo jumbo (paraphrasing, he also learned some choice words in the army) that in his mind simply gave lazy people permission to sit on their sofa and munch their bowl of chips while being unhealthy and unsuccessful in life. Ouch. I felt that was rather harsh, but I suppose after a few years of strict discipline and keeping yourself active and in top shape, you may start to see things differently.
I began to question my beliefs: what does “good enough” really mean?
You see I was beaten down by the “not good enough” messages all of my life, and so embracing the freedom that came with the beautiful proclamation that who I am is ENOUGH – this was life-changing for me. It was the mantra of my emancipation.
It means that I no longer have to strive, stress, beat myself up, compare myself to others, constantly measure myself against my own imaginary standards… I can just BE ME. I am enough as I am.
What?!?!?! Life-changing! Truly it was.
And yet, a few years after this enlightening revelation, my son sits here telling me that “good enough” is a copout. Am I taking the easy way out? Should I be harder on myself when I choose a glass of wine instead of a workout?
Who is right?
Well, I thought it over, and I finally concluded that we sort of both are.
I am enough – as a person – right this moment, the way that I am.
The value and worth that I have right now will never be altered. I am a precious human being, with dignity as my birthright, baptized with honor and love, made to reflect the Giver of all life. I am enough, in the sense that I cannot add to that worth. It didn’t stem from my actions – or anyone else’s – and so actions cannot alter it.
However, am I living my life as my best version? Am I living as a thoughtful, fully developed and intentional human being, acting with a sense of purpose, showing respect for my body and my time, love for my fellow humans and a desire to shine the beauty of the Giver?
That was my son’s point.
We need to see the difference between our God given value, and the quality of the person we are creating. Because everyday, whether you realize it or not, you are creating yourself. We think the adventure is to discover ourselves – hardly. Oh that’s important – to thine own self be true right? We need to know ourselves, if only to be able to manage ourselves better. But we can only discover for so long. Beyond that, we take actions that chisel and shape us into what others – including ourselves – see. We create who we are by our thoughts, choices and actions everyday.
What are we doing about the self that we project and protect? Are we training it to be its best version, or allowing it to wallow in lazy self-destructive habits and behaviors?
Some of us need to face the fact that while our value will always be priceless, we may be cheating ourselves out of living our best life. We may be selling ourselves short. And that is not good enough for who you are. You may not be living up to that worth.
Imagine with me…
What if you did one of those ancestry DNA tests, and suddenly found out that you had royal blood? Doing some research, you realized that you came from a long line of revered, strong, noble kings who left a legacy of excellence and prosperity. Would you suddenly see yourself differently? Would you stand a little taller? Would you decide to tap into that royal blood to call forth your inner royalty, the strength of your ancestors?
Upon realizing your legacy, you might start to feel the deep yearning to make them proud, to show that you belong among them, that you also are living a noteworthy life of great intentions and purpose. You would desire to manifest the greatness you discovered lied inside of you.
Here’s a secret: YOU ARE ROYALTY.
You are of the MOST noble blood. You come from an incredible legacy of survival, courage, deliverance, determination, overcoming and victory against all odds.
Your incredible line has faced scarcity and starvation, unthinkable violence and war, fierce predators, fiery and terrifying eruptions, continent changing earthquakes, crashing walls of tsunamis, devastating loss from plagues – time and time again. And they persevered.
Generations worked together and built cities and complicated infrastructure, libraries of knowledge, schools of training, regiments of growth and life changing inventions which have equipped us and placed many of us in powerful positions of plenty. Our creative genius is evident everywhere you look! Through effort, we grew ourselves in a truly amazing people group.
But wait I’m not done!
Add to all of that the awakening breath of all spiritual wisdom, the language of the soul, the love of the universal Father who provides and protects and delights in watching us grow and thrive.
You are beyond amazing.
Now let me ask you this: are you living up to your birthright? Are you showing up as your best version?
Rise up and take your place among our prodigious people! You belong among the great!
Recognize your true identity and live it out with every minute you have left!
That will look different for each person – NO ONE can tell you what your best self looks like. It may look like finishing school and changing careers for one, while it looks like learning how to care for your body for another. Some will need to face fears, fight battles and make changes. Others might simply need to up their game.
You have a vision of this person – you may have had glimpses when you were young which now haunt you. It’s who you are meant to be. And you have the ability to embrace that best version and live as them every day!
It’s never too late to be “good enough” and live up to your status of being one of the greatest, most intricate, deep and beautiful creations EVER.