Are you good enough? Are you, at your core, ‘enough’. I bet most of us, at different points in our lives, will admit a sense of not being ‘enough’.
When we’re children, we develop figures in our lives that give us certainty and strength. These are usually parents, but also teachers, religious leaders, or God. As we grow up, we start to lay to groundwork to become whole individuals. Through successes and failures, we hopefully start to see ourselves as powerful and a source of strength. Carl Jung calls this a process of ego inflation. But, what goes up must come down. Even though we start to see power within us, most adolescents still identify with an external, all-powerful ‘God.’
Inevitably, our assumed source of strength will let us down. Parents reject us in some way because of their own insecurities. Sometimes you’re abused. Sometimes you’re injured or develop an illness. If you’re raised in a high-demand fundamental religion, like Mormonism or fundamental Christianity, God is ever-demanding. You’ll never be enough to please Him sufficiently. In short, you are not enough and external powers are not enough.
This can lead to being stuck in depression. Without inner strength and having lost the outer, false authority, many people see the world as bleak, without meaning, devoid of purpose. Nihilism, addiction, anxiety, ocd, and co-dependent relationships are common manifestations of the powerless void. A frantic, centerless search for something to make sense of all the uncertainty of life ensues. Some call this the ‘dark night of the soul’.
But just as in every Batman movie, the Dark Knight is redeemed. The Phoenix rises from the ashes. Some people can do this spontaneously, by finding a source of meaning. Some turn to psychotherapy. For others, medication can quiet the inside voices enough to discover the Self. Some develop a meditative or spiritual practice. The key is that the source of strength is realized within and as long as we seek it externally, we will never become fully individuated.
Our self worth has nothing to do with societal expectations. We know that, but we usually don’t believe it.
What always happens is the formerly depressed, un-anchored self finds out they are ENOUGH. The big-S Self. They are an intrinsic, complete being. It’s one thing to intellectually grasp that we’re enough. It’s another to finally comprehend the unity of existence, without relying on false gods.
The question for all of is: what is the path to seeing myself as enough?