Society shapes us to feel that we must fit perfectly into cookie cutter molds. We must be beautiful, we must be intelligent, and we must be successful. We define these goals very one dimensionally – we ignore the fact that beauty comes in many different forms and facets, and that intelligence is different in every single person. These little pockets we create of how we “should” be are too severe. They leave no space for mystery, and no room for uncertainty. They ruin the chances of the miraculous unexpected, and put up sharp walls that block us off from personal growth.
These societal specifications entertain our perfectionist tendencies – they push us further away from self-love. They make us more rigid in our mindsets, and more stuck on how we must be. Who we must be. We feel that we have to be a certain way or else we are a disappointment.
But who makes these rules? Why do we fall for these – why do we become trapped by society’s manmade expectations? These rigid rules and strict boundaries make it easy to fall downhill and to slip over the edge. They lead to break downs and anxious sleepless nights just because we think we aren’t good enough. All in all, we fall into the dangerous mindset that because we are not living the “right” way, we are not enough. Do you ever stop to think that maybe you are just right?
That maybe even with your flaws, you are perfect.
Even more importantly, do you ever realize that it is your flaws and your differences that make you perfect? You are plenty. You are enough. No, you are MORE than enough. Just by living, just by solely breathing, just by the soft and gentle beating of your heart, you are already enough.
We are our own harshest critics and our greatest bullies. We hold ourselves to unattainable standards, and grade ourselves against unrealistic expectations. When we make mistakes, we fall into traps of self-blame and regrets. When we feel that we have failed one time, we suddenly think that we are failures. We have this tendency to be too hard on ourselves – to make life too hard.
Because of such pressure to always be perfect, we judge ourselves brutally against the lives of others. We spend way too much time comparing ourselves to other people – or comparing ourselves to a snapshot of another person’s life we see on social media. An instant in time. A flawless photo-shopped smile. An image of perfection.
We scroll through our Facebook newsfeed and Instagram reel, bombarded with nights out in little black dresses, vacations to tropical beaches, cocktails and strawberry daiquiris and
image after image of perfection. Or what we label perfection.
But we are only seeing the happy snapshots of those around us – the good stuff…the stuff that’s good enough for society, if you will. Then we look at our own life, and wonder, wait a minute am I doing this right? We worry that we aren’t “good” enough…we aren’t pretty enough…we aren’t smart enough…we aren’t fit enough…the list can go on and on. When will we finally be able to say “I am enough?”
When we compare others, we minimize the value that comes from our differences. Rather than celebrating how different yet beautiful our lives are, our brains take us into anxious comparing mode. We should try to celebrate our differences, not hide away or take spite from them. We forget something essential: we forget that we are all living completely different lives. We all face different obstacles, heartbreaks and victories. And we may not know truly what someone else is going through, even if we are close to them. There’s never a fair comparison, because people are too multifaceted to compare.
We need to look past the mirror – past the physical world. We need to look past what other people think of us, or what we think they think of us. We need to realize that we are all made so uniquely and brilliantly different – that just being ourselves makes each of us an irreplaceable masterpiece. We are each needed in this world for different reasons – we each have something invaluable to contribute. That’s why we must try to conceptualize the fact that we really are enough. That we don’t have to be like anyone else to be whole. We must not be afraid to be ourselves, and to accept ourselves for who we are.
We are unaware of how delicate and courageous we appear to the outside world. We are far too often oblivious to our own beauty, both inner and outer. You see, we don’t see the grace or power that we emanate as we walk through this complicated world. We don’t see our own gorgeous glow, or the way our eyelids flutter when we sleep at night. We don’t see the slow smiles forming across our faces in moments of glee. We are oblivious to the courage that shines through the tears that fall gently down our cheeks in our times of great strength and perseverance. We don’t see ourselves for who we truly are.
We forget to see ourselves as whole. As enough. We are enough. We are more than enough.
So please…take a second to remember all of the times in which you are whole – all of the times in which you are complete. You are so full of beauty and so full of strength. But in the darker times, you forget this. You feel broken and incomplete, scarred and frayed at the seams. Please remember that you must be gentle on yourself – you must treat yourself as you would treat your best friend, with caring words and nurturing thought. With delicate whispers of love and support. You are enough just as you are.
So come as you are. You see, even without trying, even with just breathing, you are already more than enough. You are enough even on the days when you rest. You are enough on the days when you feel ill-prepared to face the world. You are enough every. Single. Day. So move forward with confidence and grace in your step. You are needed in this world. So go out there and love yourself. Get out there and set the world on fire.