AVOIDING NOT ENOUGH
Focusing on what isn’t
Most of us are on a rampage against not enoughness. We work hard to achieve, prove ourselves, make money, know all the right people, have the relationships, the opportunities and all the stuff of life, in order to avoid not enoughness. Most often people don’t even know that they are avoiding not enoughness, rather they feel like they are simply living their life in the ways set out by the standards they’ve created for themselves. In this way not enoughness can be tricky to see as it is such a common, well-believed way of seeing one’s self and the world.
The perspective of not enoughness can manifest in many ways. Sometimes it shows up personally, meaning we feel like we are not enough. This can look like never feeling that what we do is ever quite good enough. We might do-do-do or over-do in order to attempt for it to be enough, which ends up leaving us feeling stressed and exhausted. It can also manifest in the other direction of procrastination because we feel like whatever it is we want to share or bring about won’t be good enough, doesn’t matter or no one cares. Not enoughness also manifests as being judgmental about ourselves, our actions/non-actions, the way our body looks, our position or status, or where we are in our lives. It can also show up in our experience. Rather than feeling that we are not enough we feel that there is never enough of something. Frequently this shows up in the form of money for people. It can also show up as not having the relationship(s) that we want, not having opportunities that we want or not getting the acknowledgment, recognition, praise or understanding for who we are or the things we do or create.
There is a predominant tendency among our society to focus on what isn’t. We could collectively call this focus scarcity consciousness. If you look around you will see this pretty much everywhere. It is blasted through marketing campaigns of all sorts, “don’t want to miss this”, “only a few left”, “you’ll get xyz though this”. These messages are all based on the assumption or threat of lack, and because we want to avoid feeling lack so badly we fall for these messages. We feel a sense of false urgency, as if we don’t act now all will be lost forever. Our focus on what isn’t fills our conversations and internal dialogues. We point to what hasn’t happened yet, where we aren’t yet, or where/what we are hoping to get too. Consumerism and “getting” is based on scarcity, on what isn’t here yet. Notice how much you focus on what will happen in the future, and how much you project abundance of self or resources into some future moment or happening, placing your center of attention on what isn’t here now or yet. In this way we create scarcity in the present, moment by moment, and place enoughness at some other moment in time that isn’t this one.
ACCEPTING NOT ENOUGH
You may never feel like enough
If we are aware enough to recognize our habitual tendencies to come from the perspective of not enoughness we may have gone on a crusade to dismantle our focus on what isn’t. We might have taken all the “self-love” classes and “manifest the life of our dreams” courses (we might have even created a few). Done the coaching, gone to therapy, given ourselves daily mantras that affirm our worth and abundance to ourselves. We might have cleared out our childhood trauma, wrote all the letters, said all the things, faced our fears head on, yet there is a lingering feeling of not enoughness or that life still doesn’t quite reflect full abundance. What’s that all about?
What I’ve found is that despite our gallant efforts to transform ourselves and transmute our life experience into one of fullness, what we often neglect to do is accept not enoughness. We are so busy trying to make it different, to be enough, experience enough, know enough, that we miss this fundamental piece of accepting not enough. So rather than being able to radically change our belief system about ourselves and what we think is, we are left attempting to paste on top of life, the story of abundance, without believing it’s possible or true.
See nothing shifts without acceptance. Yet acceptance of that which we don’t want to be true, or that we don’t like about ourselves or life, pisses our egos off. We don’t like to feel a sense of failure so we will avoid the obvious thing we are experiencing or feeling by doing all the things to change it. Yet to surrender to what is, to what we believe to be true, even if we don’t like or fully agree with it, is the only way to find peace inside of ourselves. It the only way to stop all the avoidance strategies, because once you accept it you can’t avoid it anymore. You can’t try to deny its presence, you no longer deny how you feel, you are just raw and real even though that rawness and realness is not how you want to be seen or see yourself. To see yourself and let others see you as not enough, as a failure in your attempts to be enough, do enough or have enough, feels like suicide to our minds idea of what should be.
You may never feel like enough. You may always perceive that there is not enough resources for you. But so what. Live your life anyways. Be yourself anyways. Let the not enoughness of self or resources exist and be, because it exists and “be’s” inside of your experience. I promise if you do you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will find your way through. You will care less and less about your thoughts and stories of not enough the more you just let them be there. Stop trying to change yourself to be better, different or more. Have faith even in the not enoughness. Enoughness exists inside of not enoughness, but you can’t know this until you accept not enough. End your avoidance and strategizing your way out. Rather go towards what is, fully 100% let it be as it is, even if you hate it or it disgusts you, even if you want it to change or be different more than anything else. Anything that wants to change and transmute will do so naturally and organically once you accept what’s here. This is the end of controlling yourself and attempting to control life.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado