enough: not less than, not more than

enough

I’ve spent my entire life on a seesaw, teetering back and forth between feeling like I am too much and feeling like I am too little.

My insecurities keep me convinced that I’m “too little”—that I’m simply not enough. I’m not old enough, married enough, mother enough. I’m not spiritual enough, experienced enough, educated enough. I’m not the right gender, the right personality, the right fit. My skills are too few and my flaws are too many. I simply don’t measure up. I’m too little.

My fears keep me convinced that I’m “too much”—that I’m a burden, an inconvenience. I’m tolerated, rather than desired. I’m accepted, not chosen. I’m a project, an obligation, a responsibility. My baggage is too heavy, my laugh is too loud, my diving-all-in is too fast. I’m a challenge to be endured, not a friend to be sought after. I’m simply more than anyone bargained for. I’m too much.

My One Word for 2013 was enough. While I didn’t end the year conquering this lifelong achilles heel of mine, I did learn to embrace my enoughness more than I ever have before. I feel oddly more comfortable in my own skin, and though I still care far too much about what other people think, I’m learning to let it go much quicker.

Embracing my enoughness means learning to silence my insecurities, fears, and expectations. It requires extending more grace to myself—and trusting others enough to take them at their word. It is also a journey of gratitude, recognizing that what I have—and who I have—is enough.

I am not too little or too much.
I am not less than or more than.
I am simply enough.

And that’s all I need to be.

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Comments

32 Responses to “enough: not less than, not more than”
  1. Makeda says:

    Love this friend! You are indeed enough. Sending you lots of extra love :)

  2. Leslie says:

    This is just beautiful. I want you to know, I shared the “one word” experiment with 22 women in a residential addiction recovery program and they embraced it! And the words…such powerful words. Restoration, metamorphosis, courage, contentment, obey, strength, adventure, joy, renewal…oh my gosh. Just thought you’d like to know…

  3. Gary Ellis says:

    I find your posts, “Just right.” They aren’t words just for publishing content sake. They are words of life and wisdom.

  4. Shelia says:

    For the record, I choose you. I enjoy you. And I happen to LOVE your laugh. :) But I also identify with the inability to hear words like these when they come from another. With the secret belief that I do not measure up.

    Enough. It is a worthy goal. Glad to know that you have had tastes this year, moments of enough. That it is beginning to seep into you. That the deep knowing of it–the owning it–grows.

    And now, go be Brave. :)

  5. Nancy says:

    I love that your word was Enough. I know that’s something many of us struggle with. Your comment about embracing your enoughness reminds me of how I once learned that sometimes you just have to be okay with things not being okay. But your phrase is better. When I say that things are “not okay”, they probably are really okay (and enough), they’re just not the way I wanted them to be. Your focus on enough is beautiful and full of grace.

    • So much truth in this statement, Nancy: “When I say that things are “not okay”, they probably are really okay (and enough), they’re just not the way I wanted them to be.” Thank you for that gracefilled reminder…

  6. Faith says:

    I get this.
    I’m glad you were able to learn and grow in this a little this year and I hope you continue to.
    Just so you know, you are one friend I seek after. I don’t have many friends mostly because I would rather have close good friendships than more surface-y ones. You are one person I feel closely bonded with and the little exchanges we have on here mean a lot to me- they really do mean a lot to me. I hope I could pour into someone’s life the way you have in mine, such a blessing and precious gift.
    Love and blessings Alece!

  7. Mark Allman
    @
    says:

    Alece,
    You are most certainly enough… more than. :) I count it an honor to be able to follow and interact with you here. You are certainly sought after as we all can tell from each other’s comments. Thank you for sharing all of who you are. Enough.

  8. linda says:

    Had to smile when I read this. Enough is my word for this year for many for many of the same reasons. I hope I can grow in my acceptance of myself and acknowledge that I am neither too little or too much. I hope I can rest in the knowledge that whatever I can do is enough even when circumstances don’t change. I have two daughters with different serious, chronic illnesses and often feel inadequate. I often feel that if I could do more or be more, the circumstances could change. I often feel that my life is too heavy for others to be my friends and I pull back when really I need support and friendship. I hope that focusing on ENOUGH will bring balance and peace to my life.

  9. Enough was my word for 2010 and it literally changed my life. Enjoy the journey and I love hearing that you’re more comfortable in your own skin – that’s great!

  10. Ayla Starr says:

    Yes, yes & amen.

    So glad you’re coming to see how God and others (me) see you-whole, beautiful, enough.

    Love you friend.

  11. Aurora Hamm
    @
    says:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s good to know I’m not alone. Enough was my word last year too. While I still struggle with believing I’m enough, I’m getting there. Focusing on that one word helped me in many ways and it helped me end a relationship with someone who fed my insecurities. This year, I’m focusing on surrender. I’m surrendering my doubts, fears, and brokenness so that I may be healed and whole.

    • Ohhh I appreciate knowing ENOUGH was your word last year as well… Wasn’t an easy journey, was it? Sigh… I know it will be a lifelong one for us both. And I think I’m becoming okay with that. With the fact that none of my One Words will be something I can say I’ve “achieved” or “checked off” by the end of the year. It’s just being intentional to take steps down that path, and making progress is all we ever need to aspire to…

  12. Amy says:

    Beautiful post friend – it resonates so deeply.

  13. Amen. Encouraging words.

  14. Cori says:

    Enough was my word for the year, too, and I feel like it really meant “being ok with me.” I’m not there yet, either, but I’m closer than I was a year ago. I’ve found that words tend to stick around for more than one year, so I’m counting on Enough to stay on board this new year, too.

    • I hear you, Cori. I’m not there yet either… and I don’t know that I ever will be. But I realized I don’t pick these words to focus on as things i think i’ll be able to cross off by the end of the year — simply feeling and knowing I have purposefully made progress is already huge enough… It’s more than i would’ve done without it… So be encouraged. “closer than I was a year ago” is really what it’s all about!

      here’s to your new journey!

  15. Drew says:

    I love the one word idea. My friend told me about it and we brought it up at a Bible study. I’ve never been one who can keep new year’s resolutions very well so the idea of just having one word as a lens to view all my decisions through is really intriguing. Since I’m a grad student working on my thesis and multiple research projects, as well as working on my blog (onourshoulders.blogspot.com) and writing my first book, I decided to choose the word “create.” Even in the first few weeks it has helped me set goals and keep myself focused.

    I also can totally relate to your enough word! (Each new word I hear that people have makes me want to change mine!). Constantly over the years I have felt either inadequate or too much as a burden. Thanks for sharing your journey. :)

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