Believing you are enough is really fucking hard.
If a person calls me their soul mate, I’ll be enough, I thought.
If I move to New York City, I’ll be enough.
If I’m amazing at my job, I’ll be enough.
If I have many friends, I’ll be enough.
These are the thoughts that became my way of living. And I was seemingly quite good at accomplishing each of these feats of gaining validation…of feeling enough.
But as I looked closer, the more I realized, this had everything to do with me and nothing to do with what I thought defined me.
The person I called soul mate didn’t know how to love the things about me I was insecure about (my writing, how I dressed, my body).
I moved to New York City but felt so isolated because I didn’t actually think I deserved to be here.
Getting validation at a job doesn’t mean anything in the long-run if your job isn’t aligned with who you are.
When I had opportunities to make friends, I would cancel plans because I didn’t think they would like the “real” me.
I’ve always known who I was, but I never thought I was enough.
This running thread permeated in every aspect of my life, negative thoughts I had about myself manifested in ways that were clearly blocking my path. So in order to clear the path, I had to take action.
I stopped waiting for someone to love me for the things I hated about myself (because it was never his job to do so, it is mine).
I courted the city instead of expecting the city to court me.
I understood a job is just a job; my real passions and purpose in life define who I am.
I focused on serving the few close friendships I already had (as well as my family).
And to do all this, I had to look within. Any external form of validation was no longer serving me (nor had it ever truly served me). I had to get still.
I had to learn to reject the “self-destruct” voice. It is difficult to ignore, I have been listening to it my whole life. And because I believed in that voice so much, it was reinforced by numerous people in my life to validate this conspiracy theory in my mind. I look at the self-destruct voice as a tiny annoying fly. It’s not part of you. It’s not of your being. It comes buzzing around to mess with you, telling you all this messy shit that isn’t real. And then it follows you around and whispers to other people who LIVE for people’s self-destruct voice (more on this in another blog post) and then they use it against you to control you. What a cycle.
Getting still meant I had to listen to that inner voice. The God voice. I call it God, you may call it something else, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the voice that is at the center of you. This is the voice that knows what to do. It’s the voice that knows who you are at the core. I never trusted this voice. I was always like, “I don’t know, girl…” because that fly knew how to get all up in my face and in my ear. But then one day I as I panicked about the way things were going at the time, I literally got down on my knees by my bed and silenced everything. Turned off my phone. Turned off Spotify. Shut my laptop.
I was going to pray.
And this time, I didn’t come to the universe with frantic questions in need of grand answers, like I normally do. I didn’t ask about the master plan. I just sat there and surrendered, and tried to clear my mind. I took everything I’ve heard from meditators, spiritual leaders, and Oprah and just sat there. And then I thought back to an interview where Oprah said something along the lines of, “don’t get flustered with how to get to an end goal. Just focus on the next right move.”
So that’s what I asked.
“What is my next right move?”
And the voice said, “Go for a run.”
Mind you, I don’t run often. In fact, I run about once a month if that. But I listened. I got up, put on my workout clothes and went for a run. I was expecting to have a grand master plan come to me on a spiritual run but there wasn’t much of that. But I did feel more calm. I didn’t feel as anxious as I did when I first sat down to pray. I’m always looking for some big-ah-ha moment but the universe was literally just saying, “chill the fuck out, sis.”
As I continued to feed my soul and rearrange my life, that’s when the love rushed in:
I saw small acts of kindness every day that moved me. I fell in love with people as we shared our truth with each other. I served the people who show up for me and now truly feel the beautiful foundation of friends and family that keep me grounded. Gratitude became a daily ritual and not in the way that it was when I forced myself to keep a grateful journal in order to ‘train’ myself in being grateful, but out of genuine authentic gratitude.
When I look at where I am now, I feel at peace. I’m not struggling to find validation in a boy, a job, a city or meaningless friends.
Because now that I understand who I am is enough, I know…
When a guy comes along who says I am enough, I’ll be able to receive it.
When the city continues to bring me to the highest of highs, I know it’s because I’m now able to embrace it as my home.
No matter what my day job is, my real job starts at 8PM when I get home and put my butt in the chair to write.
When I have the opportunities to make new friends, I’ll know which ones are worth bringing into my life because my foundation is beyond strong.
This is what the inner voice told me. The inner voice is what saves me. In fact, since writing this blog post, I’ve been able to come back to it to keep me focused and shoo away the “self-destruct” voice. It’s normal to relapse when you recently get off the juice of self-absorption. This taught me to be kind to myself, and even kinder to others who also struggle with low self-esteem and similar issues.
Through this journey, I came across an incredible quote by author Elizabeth Gilbert that reflected exactly what my inner voice was trying to say to me. She says:
“The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self-hatred – not by saying ‘I am the greatest!’ but merely by saying ‘I am here.'”
I am enough because I am here.
Throughout the next few weeks, I will be sharing stories and lessons that got me to the this point, here and now, as I enter Year 25. The aptly titled “Year 25” series is 5 parts with a new post going live every week.
Now that we know Year 25 is about realizing we are all enough, next week we dive into the messiness that forced me to see it.
xoxo Robby Rob