It was 4 o’clock in the morning on September 17, 2007 when I wrote my son’s obituary.
I wrote about the twinkle in his eye he had when he was born.
I wrote about how he wore chaps and a cowboy hat when he was little and loved the “Three Amigos” movie.
I wrote about the home runs he hit in Little League and how to him the competition was less important than having fun. I wrote about his talent with the guitar, drums and song writing.
I wrote about his sense of humor, his style and his big hugs and smile.
I wrote about his compassion for others, his love for his family and friends, and his pride for his daughter.
I didn't write about his flaws.
I didn't write about his missteps.
I didn't write about his mistakes.
I didn't write that at times he felt like he was not “good enough.”
We all hold a secret space inside that we don’t feel good enough in one area or many.
We are not tall enough, thin enough, or beautiful enough.
We are not educated enough, successful enough or powerful enough.
We are not strong enough, eager enough or motivated enough.
We are not caring enough, loving enough or doing enough.
We are not happy enough, healthy enough or holy enough.
By constantly comparing ourselves to what others are doing, we will live in the shadow of what we expect for ourselves. The internal conversation goes like this:
“They are better than me.
They expect me to be better.
I expect me to be better.”
Then our mind’s response is:
“Therefore I am not good enough to be loved
AND I don’t even love myself.”
How do some people get past this and some don’t. How do some hold the inspiration to succeed and some medicate it away with food, excessive exercise or drugs?
They learn what I call The Power of Cope and Hope. Let me share this concept.
COPE: Accept the life gifts that cannot be changed. If you are 5’ 2” you will never be 6’. If you experience tragedy in your life you will never be able to return to the life as you knew it before. If a loved one passes away you do not have the power to bring them back.
Some things you just do not have the authority to change. Even tragedy, disappointment and crisis are the life gifts given to you. They are not given to you as punishment. They are given to you for the purpose of learning, loving and teaching.
The challenges and heartbreaks in your life also hold the opposite value of love and gratitude. You must learn to search for it. In the process of accepting the gifts you are given you will learn to cope. Search for what is good and what you can be grateful for in every situation in your life.
HOPE: Hold hope that the things that can be changed will change. If you don’t have an education today, know that you can achieve one in the future. Are you struggling to gain a foot hold on a career path or finding the life partner you desire? Be excited with every disastrous date you experience and every career door that is closed in your face. This just means you are one date closer to the perfect life partner; one job interview closer to the job you are designed to do.
If you are in the darkness of depression or grief, know there is a light that will enter your life again. If you are struggling with addiction, believe that you can follow the path of sobriety. Hold hope as a given. Aknowing that while you stand in an undesirable space now, you won’t always be standing there.
It is in understanding and practicing The Power of Cope and Hope that we begin to believe we ARE good enough. The secret “I’m-not-good-enough” space we hold will fill with light to force out the fear of being less than anyone else. We begin to understand that life is not something that happens to us - life is something that is given to us. Our internal conversation will begin to be one of power, self-love and confidence.
In the end it doesn't matter that we made mistakes or had missteps. In the end, as in our beginning, we are all no better or less than another. We are all born with a twinkle in our eye. And, none of our obituaries will say that we were not good enough.
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Pennie's Life Lesson:
"No one is better or less than another.
We are all Good Enough!"
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My intent in sharing this with you is to encourage you to love yourself and BELIEVE that YOU are good enough.
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