You are enough

Self-reflection does not require any material resources, apart from that which is so valuable to us; time. With the pace of our lives seemingly increasing constantly and the sometimes overwhelming set of responsibilities we have, it feels impossible to carve out time just for ourselves. Often it feels as if we are in survival mode, and when we have time to relax, we choose to do what is easy and accessible and provides relief. Self-reflection is usually not something we look forward to, perhaps because we are afraid that we’re not good enough. Maybe this is because we are not achieving our goals, despite how strongly we want to achieve them. And so it is painful to look at ourselves when, amidst the chaos of life, we do not feel good enough.

We procrastinate on self-improvement, rather focusing on giving advice to others, focusing on our work and other things that we can control, and of course with a healthy dose of distraction. Ironically, social media, a powerful distraction, inflates our fear of self-reflection as we develop feelings of inadequacy when when comparing ourselves to the supposed flawless beauty and success of others. So not only do we avoid being alone with our thoughts and feelings as a function of how busy and tired we are, but we also increase the gap between where we are now and our own true authenticity through consumption of social and other forms of media.

Unfortunately, when we interact with friends or colleagues, many of us defend our insecurities by attacking others, directing attention away from ourselves. Of course for more confident and self-aggrandizing personalities, insults may come even more naturally, adding to the hostility and further suppression of the authenticity of others. This breads and reinforces a culture of defensiveness, as we cling on to a tiny thread of self identity, however obscure and fragmented. Our ability to express ourselves becomes greatly diminished as we now replace authentic self expression with various manifestations of ego, distracted scrolling and channel surfing and other forms of consumption.

When we spend time with people who we know love us, we are able to let our guard down and relax, but often lash out at one another as we project and displace our anger and frustration, and of course damage our important relationships as a result. Often if we are not angry or frustrated, but rather feel sad, lonely or depressed, we feel hesitant to express ourselves for fear of being judged as being weak. Luckily, if you do love one another you are able to recover, but often with a trail of pain and resentment. 

Now, there is always room for us to work hard, compete, conflict, acquire, grow and succeed, in order to preserve our households and our dreams of a better life. However, I feel that we do not hear the following phrase often enough and are suffering as a result:

You are enough.

Your authentic self is enough. Every day and every interaction, you have the opportunity to be honest with yourself, to listen with your ears, your eyes and your gut. You have the chance to feel when something is not right and move in the direction that you know you know is right for you. Only you know your happy place. This is not defined by others, only you know when you feel that you are in a state of flow. We should not be intimidated into feeling a false sense of positivity, nor a false sense of inadequacy. Only you can define your state of Zen.

I really believe, through my own experiences, that the missing link is stillness, and the self awareness that arises from that stillness. Letting go of the heaviness and pain of conflict and stress and breathing in some lightness. Having some faith in yourself, a sense of knowing and patience in the process. I’d like to encourage you to take some time to get to know your deep authentic self – and if you don’t remember who or what that is, I’d recommend the following:

  1. Take a break from social media and comparison with others
  2. Take a break from Netflix if this is distracting you from doing what is important 
  3. Read a book to focus your mind
  4. Spend time in nature to reconnect with your own natural rhythm 
  5. Take a break from excessive sugar and salt – other forms of distraction
  6. Try just listening; to your surroundings, to your breath, to music, to someone
  7. Get a pen and paper and express your thoughts
  8. Get creative: Paint, sing, dance

I feel that we need to dedicate some time every day to feel and to know ourselves without distractions, to come into the centre of your body and mind and trust that this deeper centre is your guide. This self-knowing will lead you to authentic self-expression which feels good and might help you move on from feeling stuck, alone and afraid. You are enough. 

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