I do not deserve to walk around this world tied up in knots because I’m afraid I’m not good enough. What the hell does that mean anyway, ‘good enough’? What mad standards am I trying to meet? Who gets to say if I’m ok or not?
I really am struggling with the Not-Good-Enough beast recently. And am I even allowed to say that out loud as a therapist? Am I not supposed to uphold some unrealistic god-like standard of perfection that everyone else bloodies their hands and knees against as they try and fail to climb up to meet it? If I say, “Hey guys, I’m human, I also walk around with common human wounds” will that drop me into the category of Not-Good-Enough-Therapist?
I know not. Well for some people who can’t bear to see the golden standard of idealised perfection crash into the sea it will be unbearable. And they will hate me for how unsafe my admission makes them feel. They might disparage me for my ‘weakness’. I hope they can come talk to me about it. But for all those desperate iconoclasts out there (‘iconoclast’ means someone who breaks idols – isn’t it a GREAT word?), it should be a great, huge relief that NO-ONE is perfect. The question is, “What will we do with that information?”
I’m really fed up with feeling like I’m not good enough, like I’m not of approvable quality. It’s causing havoc in my inner world lately. It’s an irrational, unconsciously driven fear that somehow at some point I will be exposed as having something wrong with me and it will be so shameful. It’s a crock! I really, really know that. And yet…
I listen closely when I tell other people why it’s not true for them. Those beautiful souls who are courageous enough to come and show another person their inner truths. They have to face the possibility that I might jump up and gleefully point out, “AHA! You SEE? There! That’s where you are messed up. That’s what’s wrong with you.”
My truth is that in that process of uncovering themselves to me, they are uncovering their glorious light to themselves. As we move deeper into relationship it becomes more and more obvious, no matter how initially troublesome and dreadful the symptoms and behaviours they came in with, that in the center of who they are, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM. With any of them. They are courageous, beautiful humans who are on their path. Some paths are arid and rocky and others have to be hacked with a machete to get through, but getting through they are. And to me that makes them glorious. I can see NOTHING wrong with them. Sure, stuff to do differently, wounds to heal, reactions to make conscious, LOTS of growing to do – but something wrong with them? No.
And this is a huge surprise to most of them. And I totally understand. Why? BECAUSE I’M BLOODY WALKING AROUND WITH THE SAME THING MYSELF. Because I’m human. Because my society keeps telling me I’m supposed to be a certain way – as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a psychologist, as a spiritual person – but that I will always fall short of it. So where does that leave me? Feeling not good enough!
It’s mind-boggling how we can buy into something even when it makes no sense at all.
Yesterday I had one of those parenting mornings that’s partially a total disaster and partially one of the great miracles of parenting. Because with parenting you are never left peacefully knowing it’s one way or the other right? So my sensitive, diligent and fastidious child was really misbehaving. He had lost his center (hmmm… now who in the last couple of days lost her center because of reacting to feeling ‘not good enough’… let’s think). The glory of the morning is that I quickly saw myself in his behaviour, held compassion for us both and used all I had to BE present for him and affirm him – knowing that in doing so I was affirming and healing my panicking inner child too. Lovely, beautiful, proud moments… all in all some delicious bonding went down.
The painful part was that as we lay together quietly, post-tearful storm (which I’d been sorely tempted to join in with), I asked him how he feels and softly he said, “Sad”. I asked why and he shrugged. So, fearing the answer but knowing it already I asked, “Are there times I make you feel not good enough?” and he nodded yes. Waaaaah! So I told him it wasn’t true. I told him how truly amazing he is in my eyes. I tried to not to babble in my desperate panic to try to undo the damage my own wounding has caused. I did ok with not babbling. Then I asked if any of what I’d just said helped and he said, “No.”
This Not-Good-Enough thing is a big fat liar and it hurts people.
I’m gonna KICK IT’S BUTT!
Wanna join me?