This new year, realise you are enough
One of the real sources of stress in our life is the insecurity of not being enough. The subconscious feeling that we are incomplete, that there is always something out there that would somehow complete us. It dictates much of our dysfunctional thinking. We have an imagination of a perfect self and falling short of that, or even the prospect of falling short, reinforces this feeling.
Besides, we constantly compare ourselves with others. As there is always someone more successful, more interesting, healthier, better connected or seemingly happier, we feel less about ourselves.
But what if you are already enough? Not when you get closer to your perfect self, but how you are right now. Not when you lose weight, get the next promotion, but where your life is at this very instant.
Each of us is a microcosm of the universe. Our essence is the same as the rest of existence, but our limited mind is unable to relate to it. Water is the essence of both an ice cube and a cloud, but we perceive each of them very differently.
Our essence is our soul. You can break glass into as many pieces as you like, each of them would still be glass. Likewise, our individual soul is the same as the soul of the universe. And it is complete, whole and enough.
We are unable to experience this truth because of an ignorant and conditioned mind. Societal expectations condition our mind with the idea that we are incomplete unless we make significant progress on expected goals. The ignorant mind gives birth to ego that drives us towards the futile goal of constantly getting ahead of others.
Connecting with the idea of being enough can dramatically change how we experience life. We then pursue goals that are meaningful to our inner self, not the ones that merely satisfy our ego.
Feeling enough does not make us complacent or stifle progress. It is our innate nature to progress. However, we no longer pursue goals from a place of inadequacy, lack of self-centredness. We do from a place of adequacy, abundance and larger good.
Once we embrace the idea of being enough, we realise everyone else is enough too. Even the people we dislike or disapprove of. As a result, we are kinder and more accepting of others. Overall, we are more grateful, content and generous, and less anxious, restless and competitive. This shift automatically moderates our need for excessive growth and consumption too.
Here are some ideas to cultivate the feeling of being enough. Meditation can help us calm our restless mind, be aware when the feelings of insecurity, lack and not being enough arise, and over time explore the truth of our being. Practising positive affirmations, such as ‘I am complete, whole and enough’ serve as constant reminders to our psyche.
Making a gratitude list, and regularly referring to it, strengthens our relationship with what is working well in our life. Practising self-love and self-compassion help heal our emotional wounds and neutralise our tendency to be self-critical. Pursuing inner goals, not comparing ourselves with others, and being happy in others’ progress affirms our essential self.