A common statement in counseling sessions is the sentiment “No matter what I do, it’s not enough” and the individual will frequently express feelings of being ‘unloved’. Sometimes it is a current experience, other times it is a feeling / sentiment from the past; perhaps from one’s family of origin.
We all know the examples that have been written about thousands of times in articles and books; portrayed on television and in movies – a child who is beaten down; a wife in an abusive relationship; or a man who experiences repetitive failure.
Let me ask you this: “What child was EVER born that wasn’t enough?”
My experience has validated that children are born as perfect little beings; laughing when happy, crying when sad, hungry, or uncomfortable, and smiling when content. From there our environment, our relationships, and our cognitions move to shape the sense of ‘self’ that we grow to embody. We LEARN to think that we are not enough.
More often than not, the perspective develops because we fail to feel ‘loved’ or ‘liked’ by people that we are close to or people who have power or authority over us. We internalize (think inside) that they don’t love or like us because we have not met their expectations or their needs. We begin to believe that IF we did better or tried harder or offered more, etc… those people would have to love / like us.
I say… HOGWASH! YOU ARE NOW AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN – ENOUGH!
For me (and something I encourage my clients to know) … being imperfect is PERFECT in the human experience. We GROW and LEARN by failing, by making mistakes, and by missing expectations. SO. MANY. TIMES., those growth and learning opportunities are the result of failed communication, of misunderstood semantics, and / or of unrealistic expectations (and not necessarily on YOUR part)!!
This particular ‘issue’ if you will, is best worked through in a counseling setting where an emotionally secure environment can be established because there is frequently a lot of emotion surrounding these feelings. I will encourage you to begin remembering that you were born – enough and you ARE still enough!