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I’ve always wanted to be enough for someone.
A girl worthy of moving mountains for. A girl radiant enough to stand out amongst the crowded room. A girl worth the pains of long distance. A girl worthy of time. And attention. And affection. And love.
A girl beautiful enough. Smart enough. Accomplished enough. Funny enough.
Instead, inadequacy bleeds from the wound cut into me as a child when my hair was too big. My laugh was too loud. My voice was too soft. My body was too big, then too small. I was too sad. Too lonely. Too weird. Too sensitive. Too callous. I was always too little or too much, but never enough.
The seed of inadequacy was planted so deep inside my soul that sometimes I wonder if I was born unworthy of love. It’s a theme that would appear over and over again in my life like a shadow nipping at my feet as I walked along the twists and turns of my life.
It’s one thing to feel like you’re lacking in some way; it’s another to have it reflected back to you in the eyes of the people you love the most. One misstep in imperfection and my thin armor would shatter across the floor, revealing the insecure monster that I was. My own father once exclaimed, what is wrong with you? I don’t know where we went wrong with you.
Had I been a child when he said those haunting words, perhaps they would’ve been quickly suppressed like a nightmare escaping my memory in the morning light. However, the words were delivered to me as a young adult, breaking open the wound that I tried so hard to hide. Any shred of confidence snuffed out like a candle before my wish could be granted. The relationship would be repaired overtime, but the words would remain rooted in my soul like invasive weeds that would sprout on my rainiest days.
I’d carry that pain onto my relationships, recreating the script and watering the seed from which the branches of insecurity would grow. I thought if I could just conquer love, then I’d be enough. I’d put myself together with a cheap brand of glue only to choose partners and friends who would leave me shattered, revealing what I felt deep inside: I was not enough.
I was pretty but not beautiful. I was funny but not witty. I was someone to hook up with but not commit to. I was a friend when a seat needed to be filled, but not when it mattered. I was fun but not someone to take seriously. I was liked but not loved.
So the script went in my head.
What you have to understand is that it was never about the guy who broke my heart or any of those passing through for a season or two. It was, and always will be, about my crippling fears of inadequacy.
Rewriting the script that has dictated the patterns in my life didn’t happen overnight. First, I had to dig deep and find the root of all the pain. Replacing the seeds of self-hate with words of love and admiration.
It took me years to catch my reflection in the dagger that cut into that old, throbbing wound, only to realize that it was my hand holding the blade. The universe will always reflect back to you what you feel under the mask you show the public eye. Whenever I’d get my heart broken, I would tear myself apart. I’d call myself stupid, strike myself across the face, and lay broken on the floor like a feral animal without a home, unsafe in my own body.
Then one day, I decided I wanted a different story for myself. The next time my heart was left broken, I looked in the mirror and said, “You deserve more.” A sentence in the right direction.
Knowing my worth and standing up for my worth was the hard part. Life would test me until I understood that I was the only one I needed to be good enough for. Until I did, I would continue to attract people who met me at the level of which I held myself to.
What I wanted and what I needed had to become two separate things. So, when I met a guy who made my head spin, I had to remind myself to keep my feet steady on the ground.
I knew no matter how much I wanted him, that self-sacrifice wasn’t a price I was willing to pay again. He’d look at me with his big brown eyes like a vacant pond revealing my reflection. Among its shallow depths, I saw the girl I used to be—the girl who wasn’t enough. I felt the wound throbbing in my chest, but I wouldn’t pick the scab this time. I’d turn away from his empty hands and choose me instead. It’s not me who isn’t enough. What he was offering wasn’t enough. Not anymore.
You will never be enough for those running from their own shadows.
You are not a safehouse for other people’s demons. Anytime you feel that familiar pain throbbing in your chest, move away. Find the people and places that love you exactly as you are. Let go of the version of you that believes you’re too hard to love and begin to demand more. Choose more. Love more. Want more because you are enough. You were always more than enough for the life and love you desire. You just have to believe it.