During my morning prayer on Christmas day, I asked, what is being birthed in me? Where is God inviting me to grow? In what ways am I being called to live more fully alive?
I went through a list of new projects I am pondering for the future or already working on, of my dreams to visit distant friends and my hopes to travel in Europe for an extended time. I thought about my writing and considered attending a workshop on writing a memoir.
As I let these ideas play out in my imagination, though, another thought popped into my head: Heal your need to please others.
What? Is this the secret to my being able to live more fully? To give greater glory to God? Do I need to move past my fear of disappointing people and my need to please in order to give birth to my true calling?
Ugh, I sighed. It is so much easier to work on external projects than to deal with my old nemesis, that voice inside my head that tells me that I am bound to disappoint people, that I am not enough and that whatever I do is not enough.
It is a message I heard from early childhood through my teens, this idea that I am not enough. For many years, I have worked on erasing that message and replacing it with more affirming words, reassuring phrases that shift parenting from my mom to God or to my adult self, changing the messages in my head to ones that remind me that I am not only enough, but that I am more than enough—I am plenty.
But every once in a while, my you-are-not-enough button gets pushed. It happened just before Christmas when two people made demands on me that I could not meet.
Their needs were real, but I was already taxed by other responsibilities and could not do what they asked of me.
My internal critic spoke up, telling me that I was not enough, because if I were enough, I would be able to do what these people want.
I was in a snit all day and night, feeling guilty and angry. The next day, after talking it out with a friend, I got a different perspective.
That is the thing about those old messages—they are powerful and can take control in a blink of an eye.
Maybe it is time to tape up affirmations around my house and read them multiple times a day to remind myself that I am enough. Things like:
I am good enough.
I am loved.
I respect myself.
I honor my own needs and desires.
And perhaps it is time to return to Scripture passages that affirm that I am precious to God, that remind me that I am wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and a royal diadem (Isaiah 62:3).
Maybe I need to create a screen saver that says, I am an exquisite gem, and God delights in me.