The phrase “It’s enough” triggers me.
“It’s enough” begs the questions: What is enough? When is enough enough? Who gets to decide? And how is it they got to decide in the first place?
It’s important that we take the time to explore the way “It’s enough” has been used in our lives, because this may be directly linked to what might be limiting us.
Let me share my own real-life examples:
- Gulping food vs. chewing food—When I was learning to eat as a toddler, my mom would bark at me to eat faster by chewing my food into small enough bites and then swallowing. Tired, exasperated and impatient, she would order me, “That’s enough. Swallow now.” I would force my food down my throat, whilst fighting to hold back tears of anger and pain. In my desire to be a good girl, I continued to eat that way into my adult years even when I knew better. The art of eating slowly and mindfully is one that still continues to be a challenge for me.
- Borrowing books vs. inspired learning—Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to read. When I first started earning my own money, I began buying books. Somehow it was important that I owned books that were not hand-me-downs and mine—my choice. I’ve always viewed books as a portal to new lands of knowledge to be conquered, and consequently books have always inspired me. Concerned about a lack of space in the house, Mom would exclaim, “That’s enough books.” Back then, I stopped buying them because it was her house. I must own more than 500 books now, many second-hand, but all my choices.
- Academic degree vs. life’s calling—When I informed my parents about my decision to pursue my third degree, my dad said, “That’s enough studying. Just get a job, and be content with earning your keep.” Perhaps he was worried about being asked to foot for it. I obtained funding, and went ahead because training and becoming a sexologist to help people was my calling. If it had been enough for me to work for someone, I would have. It was not.
- More certificates vs. lifelong learning—When I was undergoing supervision and was discussing with my mentor some courses I was considering signing up for, she said, “It’s enough. You know a lot already. You don’t need any more certificates.” Maybe she thought I had some “hole” within that would never be filled. Indeed, I had to clarify within myself it was not about the certification; it was about the learning. For me, it’s not about collecting paper certificates. I truly enjoy learning, and the process of it.
- Multiple orgasms vs. limitless pleasure—I had sexual partners who would push me to achieve as many orgasms as I could during intercourse. They couldn’t understand, and I couldn’t explain then, that more orgasms did not necessarily feel better. After working through my resentment of being pushed and feeling forced to be hypersexual, I now own my pleasure without guilt or apologies. I determine what enough pleasure is.
- Relentless doing vs. felt desire—I was lamenting to a friend how some people seemed to constantly speak of what they wanted but didn’t actually take action toward their desires. She responded, “Perhaps just feeling that desire is enough for them.” She got me. Desire and doing is not, and ought not, to be viewed as one and the same. I have been so busy with my doing, and judging people who take the time to feel into their desires. Life needs to be a balance of both, and that balance of “enough” is something only we can decide.
- Money vs. abundance—There are some definite blocks around money for me, so much so that my emotional pain body showed up in hives, preventing me from moving forward with my career goals for most of 2014. I asked myself, “If I could own such a positive healthy attitude toward sex by working at it, surely I can develop the same with my relationship with money?” Rather than focus on the need for more money, I am actively fueling my desire to have abundance of all forms in my life. When it comes to my financial goals, I’m not going to settle.
“It’s enough” can put a cap to our aliveness and, left unchecked, zap us of our vitality. Does any of the above resonate with you? Who has been determining what enough is in your life? Do you need to heal enough-ness in your life?
Author: Martha Lee
Editor: Caroline Beaton