What it means to be Good Enough

 

It's easy to feel like you are never doing enough.

Especially if you are spread thin - none of your responsibilities end up getting the attention you feel they should.

I want to contribute to the world and help to alleviate suffering. I want to dedicate time and energy to standing up for the oppressed and marginalized. I also want to grow my business. And be a good spouse. And daughter. And sister. And take care of my body and spirit.

Each of these things takes time. And my guilt from not dedicating every waking moment to solving the major injustices of the world has been weighing on me heavily.

So I asked myself, out of curiosity, what if I were good enough?

"Good Enough" is a state of mindfulness, really. Good Enough means that you don't have to do anything in particular to be worthy of love, belonging, and happiness. This is something I both truly believe - that we are all worthy, whether we do all of the "shoulds and coulds" or not - and struggle to accept in my own life.

My mind rails against it. Surely the very people destroying lives around the world are not Good Enough! How can I say that I am Good Enough no matter what I do?

Which brings me to an important distinction. It's not that no matter what you do, you are good enough. It's that the specifics of exactly what you do and how much you do it are not the determining factor.

The determining factor is living according to your values.

If I am living according to my values, I am Good Enough. 

That is all it takes.

It doesn't matter whether you go to the gym three times a week. Or give every penny you can to charity. Telling yourself that those specific actions will somehow make you Good Enough is neither true nor helpful. In fact, it is paralyzing because it keeps Good Enough at such a distance that you can never reach it.

Think of how much more space for growth and goodness we could create if we allowed ourselves to be worthy without stacking each and every "should and could" on our shoulders.

That does not mean you should stop pushing yourself to grow, to contribute, to learn, especially in these fraught times. It just means that we are all trying our best. You are doing your best. And your enough-ness is not contingent on doing all of the right things all of the time.

 

Good Enough means living according to your values.

For me, that means living with compassion, love, and understanding and always learning and growing. That's it. No other requirements.

What is your relationship to Good Enough? Are you often telling yourself otherwise? What would it feel like to be Good Enough? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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