I started to think about how many parents seek to give their children a better life than them.  They seek to make the best for their children.  That thinking then turns into they want the best for their children, which also sometimes turns into they expect their children to fulfill what’s best for them.

As kids we may get fed “positive” information about “you can become anything you want to be”  or the “the sky is the limit” or “there is nothing you can’t do”.  But you know it is all still quietly saying “we expect the best from you”  or “you are not enough … if you just sit on your butt”  And into adults we mirror back these messages upon each other reinforcing this belief as the template for future children to grow into.

So last night I paused to realize how I’ve been lax in taking proper care of my eyes by leaving in my extended wear contacts in too long for so many times.  When I do that my eyes may start to get red and tender.  And I have a valid concern that over time if I continually disregard proper contact lens care, like I’ve often done, I will get a bad eye infection and risk losing my eyesight.  I mean generally many adults by their 40’s start to need glasses to read, and by their 60s start getting cataracts, so why am I only making it harder for the long term health of my eyes? I start getting scared at the prospect of losing my vision and I remove my contacts.  But I guess I’m not that scared because it doesn’t take too long before the next time I’ve left my contacts in for longer than recommended.  When that happens I notice that I’m mostly feeling too busy and distracted and almost hear myself saying “Wait … after I finish responding to this email … or I’m so tired … I’ll do it in the morning”  I mean whats another day?

And a month ago I got a warning from my dentist to please start flossing as I’m losing gum, some bone, and each dental cleaning is only going to be more painful if I continue to ignore flossing.  So on the first day back from my dentist I’m vigilant, but within days, I start thinking the pain ain’t so bad and besides I’m to busy trying to get better by “keeping on time” “saving more money” “planning for personal improvemnt” “make more money” …. blah blah blah  I notice clearly this sensation of: “This flossing is such a pain … it’s so inconvenient … I just don’t have the patience!”  It is only maybe 10 minutes of hygiene … yet there’s this jittery hurried force within me that makes anything that can’t be done in a few blinks of the eye too long and burdensome, that even the real possibility of losing my teeth just doesn’t motivate me to fully embrace the intent of caring for myself.

At best I only have a mixed set of priorities like: “I need to finish my taxes first, I need to exercise more to lose weight, I need to complete that communications project REAL SOON for work!,  I need to prepare for my Wednesday meeting, I want to form that monthly meditation group, I need to build a social network of friends, I need to figure out how to reduce my mortgage payments, I need to spend time to figure out which lawn mower to buy, I need to fix the basement door, I need to figure out how to hang the pictures in the basement nicely, I need to get more shelves setup for storage, I need to figure out what kind of fencing to consider buying, I want to explore replacing some of our door locks with wireless remote door locks, I want to hire an interior decorator, I need to save up money to be able to afford interior decorating, my dogs ears are infected … I don’t care for my dog as well as I used to … I need to take better care of my dog so she lives longer, Oh no I need to drop my weight to keep my blood pressure healthy … I should meditate more … I should start excercising more  … I wish I looked better … I should start excercising … I’m want to look better … I wish my home looked nicer … I wish other people naturally liked  me more … I long to be more popular  … I need to improve my ability to socialize.”

I take a breather to step back from this confusion. I try to prioritize and I conclude that: “I need to get my finances straightened by finishing my taxes first, or start submitting my medical bills for reimbursement or shopping around for those speakers to accessorize my large screen TV, I need to exercise more to lose weight, I need to complete that communications project REAL SOON for work!,  I need to prepare for my Wednesday meeting, I want to form that monthly meditation group, I need to build a social network of friends, I need to figure out how to reduce my mortgage payments …” AND ON AND ON AND ON going all over the place in scattered directions.

All this melee of thoughts and actions end up placing me in about 60% of my time in mental paralysis as I trying to shift back and forth the direction of my life, never quite yet ready to actually move.  And what’s at the root of all this confusion has nothing to do with time management or getting my priorities straight.  WHAT’S AT THE ROOT OF ALL THIS IS THE BELIEF I’M NOT ENOUGH.

Being enough isn’t simply a mental affirmation of “I am enough” it is the courage to dare be present in what ever situation arises and allowing myself to sit in that great discomfort of feeling inadequate, incompetent, ashamed, bad, of being a disappointment, of looking wierd and of being awkward.  I recognize I’m terrified of spending too much time with various close people in my life because I fear them discovering how inadequate or awkward I am … and so all these scattered urges to do all the things I need to do to make me better are just part of a large web of accomplishments I feel I must complete to make myself feel enough.

Yet ironically the path to enoughness starts with the awareness of mind and courage of spirit to simply be present in my feelings of not enoughness and resist doing anything to hide, fix or correct myself.  Because there is nothing to fix.  The only thing to fix is the belief there is something to fix.

Can I dare say how I truly feel to another person even if I might disappoint them or they might reject me.  I hear voices in me echos with words like  “gee … that Wilson … we thought he had so much potential … but boy what a disappointment … I mean he looked like he was so with it on top of things … but now look at him … I certainly don’t want to caught hanging around him ”  These are my own internal voices waiting for me to paint them on the face of any willing person I bump into so they can bring them to life and validate my belief that I’m not quite good enough to be present with any other person.  I mean I can maybe be partially present, by being proper, politically correct, and hopefully finding in-common topic to chit chat about. But I’m always going to be guarding and masking some part of me that I’m dreadfully terrified of being exposed.

And so lately at least I’ve been awakened to my own chaos.  But even more important I’ve been willing to take time to sit in it and feel the great discomfort and dissatisfaction and not run, numb, or distract so quickly.  For each action of running, numbing or distraction might only turn into another item on my list of things I need or want to do.  Dare I come see you in my simpleness of just me.  I am truly very ordinary.  I’ve gotten a lot of schooling and even got a couple of degrees, yet in the end no matter who you are, even if at times I might have felt “better” than you I actually felt insecure in your presence.  I’m so insecure that I might need to use those degrees and other accomplishments as crutches and masks to distract you and myself so that hopefully none of us notices how terrified I am to reveal myself without the cover of those accomplishments.  Because underneath those accomplishments you might just see who I really am.

My parents encouraged me to be an “extraordinary” person.  I am now finding that achieving extraordinary things is at most only “doing” extraordinary things.  But if all you strive is to “DO” the extraordinary you’ll never actually BE extraordinary as you’ll keep striving to accomplish more and yet still feeling not feeling enough.  BEING extraordinary is different than DOING extraordinary.

BEING extraordinary, I mean TRULY EXTRAORDINARY is the courage to dare simply BE ordinary.  To simply be just as you are how ever you are at this moment.  Not trying to be a better person, because you already are that better person where ever you are at this moment.  You are perfect just as you are.  Yes indeed you are ordinary — the ordinary you.  But your ordinary you is extraordinary.  And even more if you have the courage to DARE just be who you are … no masks … no running … no cover ups …  that would indeed BE EXTRAORDINARY.

Very few people can simply BE ENOUGH.   If I could more and more practice SIMPLY BEING present in the moment especially during the times I feel NOT ENOUGH …  If I could endure a few times the storm of my critical inner voices while being present in my NOT ENOUGHNESS, I might just discover that those storms won’t make my world end.  If I dare weather the storms of my inner critiques, if I can allow myself to I reveal those parts of me I truly believe are not enough, I might just discover I really am enough. This is how the courageous act of being present in my not enoughness can lead to my goal of enoughness.  If I could do this … I would be able to be present in being just ordinary … and that would indeed be EXTRAORDINARY.  And then I’d always have the time to take better care of myself because there wouldn’t be anything else that needed doing.  And that would feel so fantastic, wonderful and great. 🙂



« »