There are these two little pesky words that habitually haunt my thoughts—Not enough.
How can a couple of words form such a twisted, taunting phrase?
They thump to a sly, slinky rhythm like a snake slithering in my ear.
Not enough love.
Not enough success.
Not enough confidence.
Not enough discipline.
Not enough fun.
Not pretty enough.
Not good enough.
Ugh! No matter how hard I try to swat these words away they sneakily pop into my mind, tread into my deepest thought and loop in a low, cruel whisper countless times a day.
Catchy as this self-destructive song might be I’m so fucking tired of singing along.
Where does this seemingly insatiable needing and wanting come from?
Ah! Hard as I try, none of those words seem to fully embody the bleak desperation of this unpleasant inner place.
Maybe it has to do with something else entirely?
Maybe it has to do with our lack of self-awareness. Our lack of really knowing what we want. What we feel. What we are seeking. What would truly make us happy, fulfilled and excited to get out of bed in the morning.
So yes, we will continually come up empty-handed.
And, whether we want to admit it or not no outside thing will ever feel like enough.
Even if we acquire all the love, success, beauty and confidence that would seemingly fix everything, it will always fall short.
Of course, we will experience the thrillingly addictive kisses of euphoria.
You know the feeling.
We have gotten something we thought we wanted so badly.
Maybe it’s love, or extra cash or a beautiful dress or praise or admiration.
We are flying high, feeling downright invincible, unbreakable, untouchable. Feeling like nothing could ever bring us down again.
As sexy and amazing as this might feel, only one thing is for sure—
this high will fade.
And, we will find ourselves exactly where we began—
Desperately wanting. Desperately needing more. Desperately lusting after something.
The not enough track starts its terrible loop again.
It’s very frustrating.
And, in this frustrating desperation, we will continually f*ck ourselves over with this crazy, seductive, magical thinking. Even though we have seen evidence to the contrary we will still convince ourselves that purchasing fancy new shoes, having more money, being more successful or finding a lover is the golden answer to everything.
Then, we will finally feel good enough.
Then, we will be happy.
Then, our lives will truly begin.
It doesn’t work. It won’t ever work.
What about after we get those things?
What about the fact that our lives are happening right now?
We never think about the after. Only about the wanting and the getting.
Will we truly be fulfilled? Will the not enough tune finally stop torturing us?
We and we alone can make our lives better. It’s an inside job. No external thing can ever do this for us.
We need to take on the responsibility of composing a more positive inner soundtrack and creating a happy, fulfilling life.
Yes, this may sound annoying and cliché but it’s just so damn true!
And no, we don’t need to stop the wanting or desiring. We don’t need to suppress this—but rather learn to harness our wanting in a healthier way. This type of energy has a radiating intensity about it that can be extremely useful if we know how to work with it.
There is usually a lot of pain fueling our desperation—pain we don’t want to see. But,we need to open up our seemingly endless pit of desire and desperation and peel back the layers.
Be brave. Be curious. Be willing to look inside.
Gently, ask yourself these questions and be ready to courageously listen to the answers.
Is there something going on in my life that I’m avoiding confronting?
Am I feeling sad, angry, jealous, indignant, worthless, anxious, terrified or panicked but not expressing it?
Is my work fulfilling me in a deep way?
Do I feel like I’m connecting well with others, with the divine, with myself?
Do I have room to be creative, at least a little bit, every day?
Do I feel free? Or do I feel shackled in some way?
Honest answers to questions like these can transform our lives, for real. This information will get us in touch with what we really want and need (hint: it’s probably not a new pair of shoes. Or love. Or success. Or anything external).
Sit with these questions and breathe in their answers. It’s a slow process. Just be with it. Answers will come in time.
Maybe one question in particular resonates with or irritates you—that’s the one to focus on. Or maybe you will come up with your own question?
Either way—listen to yourself and nurture your deepest wish.
This is it.
This is the medicine.
Drink in the delicious nectar of self-knowledge and understanding.
Let that spark of awareness ignite your entire being and bring you completely to life.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock