You Are Enough

Elizabeth Gilbert recently wrote an article describing how all the women she knows–powerful, successful, talented women–are riddled with anxiety and fear because they feel they aren’t doing enough with their lives. She wrote that they are “stressing themselves sick” while on a “mad quest for perfection.” Gilbert confessed that even though she has written five books, one of which is an international best-seller, she still second-guesses herself and wonders if she’s gone about it all wrong.

It broke my heart to read her words, just as it breaks my heart to watch all the smart, funny, wise, creative, kind, intuitive women I know be chased all day long by doubt and insecurity. I want to cup their faces in my hands and say, “You are enough. You don’t have to do all this. You give plenty to the world just being who you are.” I imagine them replying, with tears in their eyes, “Really? Is it true? I would so like to be enough.”

Perhaps I want to have this conversation with the women I love because it is a conversation I would like someone to have with me. I want to stop being chased by the fear of inadequacy toward some unknown, and I am beginning to think, unobtainable goal. I want to pause now and then without feeling like I’m going to fall behind. I want my mother to stop emailing me imploring me to slow down.

This past fall, my oldest daughter who shadows me so closely it frightens me, told me with weary resignation, “I will never do everything as perfectly as you.” As my heart contracted with pain for her and for me, my mind whirled with the thought, “What have I done? What have I done?”  I don’t want my daughters to, as Gilbert writes, “twitch with near-constant doubt, somehow worrying that they are failing at life.”

So this is my New Year’s wish for my daughters, for myself, for all the brilliant and amazing women I love and the women they love: I want you all to know that you are enough.

I say to Emma, Clara, Mary H., Ardyth, Cody, Jenny, Corrie Kate, Haven, Psalm, Gabi, Jillene, Autumn, Natasha, Emry, Delaney, Carrie, Tawni, Kelly, Lyn, Hannah, Andrea, Jara, Lexi, Barbara, Susan, Ivy, Mary D., Olivia, Diane, Katie, Kim, Rachel, Lindsey, Kris, Annie, Nancy S., and all the other women out there: You can stop. Take a breath, slow your pace, sit awhile. You don’t have to do everything. You only need to be whatever is uniquely easy for you. And that is enough.

It is a strange concept for most of us, but I ask you to try it on. Embrace the idea of being enough just as you are. Practice doing less and being more. For your own sake, and for the young women who are coming up fast behind us.

We are all enough just as we are. Do less, be more.

Pass it on.

About flyingnotscreaming

My weekly quotes and "Notes from Flights" are my attempt to learn how to soar through life's unknowns with grace and gratitude. Thank you for flying with me. --Melissa Myers Place, writer, reader, massage therapist, mother, wife, and daughter
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8 Responses to You Are Enough

  1. Jara Halfen says:

    Thanks Missy,
    Very nice message. Although I do support Elizabeth second guessing herself….. : 0

  2. Kim Busby says:

    Thank you for the timely reminder! It always amazes me that we can see the beautiful and remarkable in our friends and fail to see the miraculous in ourselves. In this season of resolutions to change and improve, it is a gift to be reminded that we are enough, just as we are!

  3. Carrie says:

    Thank you Melissa. We must continually be reminded that we really are enough even though we are constantly trying to change, we really are enough. Love you-Carrie

  4. corrie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. Lynn Burgoyne says:

    I cleaned someone’s house today and made it pretty. Thats enough. I shall practice that line daily!…Thank you so much Melissa! Rest now, you have shared this inspiration and we all appreciate you for doing so!

  6. Andria says:

    What a beautiful soul you have Melissa !
    Thank you for the wonderful reminder , I am enough today, tomorrow, and sometimes even more importantly I was enough yesterday ….. ;D

  7. Pingback: Slow Joy | flyingnotscreaming

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