I am a person who feels deeply; I experience emotions in a big way. I have always been a tender soul. My dad warned me to make decisions with my head instead of my heart, and I think he told me that because he knows how easily I can be overwhelmed by my feelings. My capacity to feel deeply has made me into someone who truly cares about the well-being of others. It has caused me to educate myself on issues of social justice because I can’t turn away when I hear that someone is being marginalized or bullied. In my adulthood, I’ve learned to use my tender heart as as asset, but that wasn’t always my experience. My tender heart was ruled by shame for years. I saw society demand perfection in exchange for love, so my heart drove me to be “good enough,” “pretty enough,” and “smart enough.” I learned the hard way that perfection is impossible, but I also grew to accept that I AM ENOUGH, even in my imperfection.
I believe that we must remind our hearts of the truth because there are lies floating around that we hear over and over again. We hear that our worth is determined by what we do, and we try to do it all. We’re told that thin is better, and we believe it. We see impeccably decorated homes online and go out to find a throw pillow to fill our emptiness. None of our attempts to “be enough” satisfy us because we can never live up to every expectation. We’ll never be perfect. And so, we put on the cloak of shame and hope that it will cover up all of the things we are not, never noticing the good things that we cover up in the process.
My tender heart has experienced a lot while I’ve been ill. It’s heard a few whispers that I am not “enough,” and it has considered giving in to shame. It’s considered going back into the dark places where I lived my life for too long. Being ill limits my ability to do certain things, so my heart may hear for a moment that I am without purpose. But when I cling to the truth, I see that my worth is not determined by what I do. My worth is found in who I am, and that does not change. Illness cannot steal my worth from me because I have already found worth in myself that is not determined by being “enough.”
My message today is that YOU ARE ENOUGH, too. The battle you are fighting right now does not define who you are. I am loved. You are loved. Let us take off shame today and remind ourselves of the truth.