Today I’m thinking about all of the people who have ever told me I “can’t” do something; that I’m not good enough, smart enough, or simply just enough. I’m thinking about the people who have put me down, stomped on my dreams, and made me feel like I was less than what I am. I’m thinking about everyone who undervalues and underappreciates me; the people who disappear from my life without warning and make no effort to return.
You’re probably wondering why I would waste my time thinking about these people. To most of us it only makes sense to wipe them from our minds as best we can so the echoes of their presence don’t haunt us and repeatedly bring us down as we continually try to rise.
When I stop to think about it, however, I feel as if this is the wrong approach; that blocking these people and words out don’t help us in the long run and only serve as a roadblock to a happier future. I think the only way to find strength within ourselves in our quest to rise and to move past those who have brought us down is to fully acknowledge the people who told or made us feel as if we weren’t enough; the ones who sat on their mighty pedestals, looked down upon us, and shook our confidence with words or silence that stung like hot irons.
Throughout our lives we’re going to have people making us feel that we’re not enough; that our efforts, appearances, and individual differences are lacking. How many times have you sat back and not asked someone out on a date because you felt like that person was in another league? How many times have you not tried out for something at school or work because you felt that you weren’t talented enough? How many times have you allowed others to make you feel like less than you are?
I think a great deal of the problem comes from the fact that the majority of us see the world in levels – a hierarchy of sorts – that separates and divides us in more ways than we can count from the clothing that we wear to cars that we drive. We create divisions and subdivisions that only serve to make us feel more alone. So when it comes to thinking about our places in this world in comparison to others, we find ourselves obsessing over what others have that we do not from the physical to the abstract; we find ourselves continually contemplating the ways in which we don’t measure up.
At what point do we say enough is enough? That we matter and that we’re just as good as everyone else? That our differences are what make us incredible? At what point do we say that they were all wrong about us? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know that for me it’s time to say enough is enough; that I’m enough and that I’m done allowing others to undervalue and underappreciate what and who I am. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that you’re going to miss me when I’m gone.
Just some stray thoughts for today…
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry