Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"It's Not Enough"


I like to be up every morning by 5:00 a.m.  I’m not always successful, but when I am, and when I stay focused, I can get a lot done.  Yesterday I wasn’t successful at getting up early and it bothered me throughout the day.  But today, in my Morning Write, I wrote all the things I accomplished yesterday.  It was quite a list.  Here’s what I did:
·      I spent time in meaningful conversation with two people I love, including one I haven’t spoken with in a year and a half.
·      I got a car part ordered over the phone, thus saving at least an hour and a half.
·      I got one daughter to her softball practice on time.
·      I played catch and had a snack with another daughter.
·      I played hide-and-seek-tag with my two youngest daughters.
·      I did a radio show.
·      I mailed a package.
·      I made calls that I said I would make.
·      I walked for 30 minutes.
·      I cleaned out more of my garage.
·      I finished my Morning Write.
·       I organized all of my neckties.
·      I found more stuff to throw away, give away, or sell on eBay. 
·      I found more cans and bottles to recycle. 

There’s more, but that’s enough.  Despite all my productivity, I felt uneasy, especially in the evening, because I felt like I hadn’t used my time well.  Then, this morning, as I was writing, I discovered another lie about myself that I have believed all my life:
“It’s not enough.”
“It’s not enough.”
“It’s not enough.”
This lie is a close relative to the other lie, “Everything you do is wrong.”
This time however, I‘m not wrong; this is worse:  I‘m inadequate.  All my efforts are inadequate.  They aren’t enough.  I’m not enough.  No matter how much I accomplish, it’s never quite enough.
In Greek mythology, the evil King Sisyphus is condemned for all eternity to push a rock to the top of a hill.  However, just before the rock reaches the top, it rolls back down the hill and Sisyphus has to start again…and again…and again, and it never ends.  My story felt different.  I would get the rock up the hill, but then there was another…and another…and another, and it never ends.  It’s never enough. 
This lie hurt me in the following ways:
·      It keeps me perpetually unhappy and frustrated with myself.
·      It makes me a prisoner of activities. 
·      It keeps me from enjoying life. 
·      It keeps me from being present wherever I am.
·      It keeps me from seeing the good in my life and the good in my accomplishments.

It’s important to recognize that this is a lie but that there’s also a small grain of truth.  The truth is that I could have done more.  One can always do more, but that doesn’t mean that one always should.  God created me for two reasons.   He created me because He has a mission in life for me.  He also created me because He loves me and delights in me, whether I complete my mission or not.  If I don’t, then I will be less happy, but God will love me either way.  That is the real truth.  God loves me either way.   I am adequate and meaningful either way.  No matter what I do or don’t do, I am important and meaningful. Knowing this enables me to ignore the larger lie that what I do isn’t enough.  Where did that come from, by the way? 
As with most people, the lies I believe originated from key people in my past.  That’s the obvious answer.  But it goes deeper.  It comes from within.  It’s not hearing the lies about ourselves that hurts us; it’s believing them.  I don’t know what was in my spirit or my genetic disposition that caused me to believe the worst about myself, but now that I’m aware of it, I can start changing it.  I can Get Started.  I can Keep Going.  I can stop believing the lie.  It’s enough.