To me, there is no sadder expression on a human being’s face than the expression of the feeling of not being good enough.
I have seen this expression on the faces of family members, friends, strangers.
I have seen this expression in the mirror.
I recall times walking down the street and seeing people unable to look anyone in the eyes.
I have worked in restaurants and waited tables where patrons wouldn’t make eye contact and apologized for thinking they were being difficult. But they weren’t. They just felt so unworthy they apologized for who they were, how they ordered a meal. I didn’t mind, it was THEIR meal!
I worked in a pre-school a while back. There were 5-year-old children who felt so unsure of the simple art projects they were working on. They had that expression.
I have had dear friends in the midst of the biggest heartaches of their lives, they have these feelings of “less than” in their eyes. I recently heard a dear friend ask “Why am I not enough?” I could only say to her that she is good enough, no, she is better than good enough.
Growing up, I often saw this expression of “I’m not good enough” on my mother’s pretty face. As a child, I remember crying for her pain. I just wanted to make her feel better and see that she was better than good enough. I didn’t want to hear her cry anymore. I didn’t want to see her be sad anymore. But, I was a kid. I didn’t know what to say or do. I prayed she would just one day see that on her own.
So I just tried to be good enough.
Today, I still reassure her that she is good enough, no she is better than….. Because she truly is. Mom, you truly are.
When my older daughter did not make the first play she auditioned for, she cried, no, she sobbed. She said, at 8 years old, “They don’t like me, I’m not good enough.”
When my younger daughter did not make dance team as an official member, rather an alternate, on her first tryouts, she sobbed and said “They don’t think I’m good enough, I’m not good enough.”
I have seen both of my daughters feel the pain of rejection when not being invited by friends to parties and sleepovers. I have seen that awful, sharp pang of rejection in their sweet, vulnerable, innocent hearts. I have seen them feel that feeling of “I am not good enough.”
I’d cut off my legs for my daughters to never, ever feel that pain. Because they are beyond good enough.
I have two dogs who I’ve rescued. The second dog was nearly 2 years old when I brought her home. She had been rescued with a bunch of other dogs from an animal hoarding situation. This little pup, definitely had that look, of “I am not good enough, why won’t somebody just love me?”
I see that look to this day, nearly two years later, each time I pet and snuggle her, her eyes warm over with the most unbelievable sense of “Finally, someone loves me, I am worthy of her love.”
There are all sorts of moments, relationships, even brief interactions where I see this expression on people’s faces.
I want to say, though I’m still working on my own sense of “I am good enough, I am worthy” that I believe one simple truth: God don’t make no junk!
We all have something unique and wonderful to share with the world.
In a perfect, compassionate world we all would support, love and encourage each other.
When one sees another in the depths of that lie of “I’m not good enough” let’s make a point of reaching out and lifting that person up.
We are all connected. We all matter. We all have a purpose. We are all where and who we are supposed to be.
So, until next time, love each other, support each other and don’t forget to love and support yourself!
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