“Not good enough”


It nuzzled my hair, then slyly went to whisper the dreaded words…

But, who knows what enough really is?

Our standards isn’t exactly our own, is it? It came from our peers, our socio-cultural backgrounds, our associations, our family. Such is the crux of the ‘standards’ problem.

Each of those mentioned elements tell us what to do, what to say, how to say it, and so forth. When these messages (command messages?) cannot register in our own mumbled consciousness, we start to panic. We think, “there’s something wrong with me…”

Exposure to too many voices have erased our ability to hear our own voice. We sought others opinion more than ours. In the course of so-doing, this pattern weaves itself to become a habit. It’s a long, almost-unending story of unhappiness and discontent.

Again, let’s ask: Who knows what enough really is?

Nobody.

The so-called authority may claim that these and that is the standard. Thus, we condition ourselves that standards exist and subject ourselves to the same old self-torture.

But it is just an illusion. Just like ‘fairness’ or ‘justice,’ standards is a man-made concept. As most man-made creations, standards were created to maintain stability. And while it did us a lot of good, there were also a lot of externalities.

One of those externalities went to urge the wrong side of ourselves to talk to us more often. It wasn’t the voice that spoke of freedom. It was the voice imprinted by someone else’s. And its constant message was this:

“You are not good enough.”

Monster.

Now, how are we to know that the voice was a bug and not of our own? It came just where conscience came from. Its proximity suggests one source: us.

The standards, that came to give birth for that particular voice, made us deaf. And as it wears and tears us, a certain kind of fear develops: it is the fear of never being good enough.

This fear, its voice — it came to wrap me lovingly in its arms. And without a moment’s hesitation, strangled me.

We thought of our inner, mental voice as our guide. Ironically, it is also our enemy, the culprit of our not-so-petty circumstance. Is there any chance of freeing ourselves from that ‘other voice?’

Suddenly, I’m reminded of the story of the two wolves. One was a bad wolf, the other is good. Interestingly, the two wolves live in us. Perhaps, the most memorable part of the story was the question: “Which wolf will win?”

I, for one, am so through with this voice. I don’t want to listen to it anymore, though I know that there were times when it’s simply trying to be helpful.

But if it comes to a point where I have to choose, I know which voice I would want to listen… more often.

***

First appeared on Medium.com

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