On being too much and not enough

I am too much!

I am too honest, too messy, too weird, too complicated, too open. I do too much, care too much and try too hard. I doubt too much and I trust too much. I’m over the top.

And at the same time…

...I’m not enough!

I don’t trust enough. I’m not successful enough, smart enough or caring enough. I’m not thin enough, attractive enough or youthful enough. I don’t cry enough or laugh enough or ask enough of the right sorts of questions.

I haven’t won a Nobel prize...AND I’m behind on the laundry.

My ‘not good enough - ness’ is always with me. It is the quiet voice that whispers through the empty chambers of my heart, in the places where I never quite got my fill of love. My ‘too much- ness’ resides there too. Easily startled at any hint of rejection: ready to defend, hide or run away...

...so you can't see how ‘not enough’ and ‘too much’ I really am.

Even with awareness of this paradox …even with understanding that these labels were given to me when I was too vulnerable and powerless to understand they weren’t mine to carry….. even so, I am still susceptible to being triggered.

I have a heart abundant in love to give to others, yet seemingly unable to take enough love in to sate it's own hunger.

I have a heart abundant in love to give...

So I distract myself with comforts, friendships, lovers, motherhood, work. I self-love and self-soothe and work really hard at that, so no-one else has to do it for me. I practice gratitude until it radiates out from my very pores. I am truely happy so much of the time that I am embarrassed to admit there’s other feelings and thoughts buried underneath it all...but there's no denying it's there.

Invasive. Insidious. Insistent...

You are too much
You are not enough.

The words stimulate an inner ache, a yearning to figure out how to empty myself out and fill myself up into the perfect quantities, so I can one day be...

... just the right amount.

I don’t expect I'll ever find a precise equation to work out what this amount is, but through my own inner work and in my working with others, I have figured out 3 other important facts and quantities:

1. Developing a compassionate consciousness helps coax ‘smallness' and 'unworthiness’ out of the shadows.

2. The mortifying and paralysing feelings of shame have no ‘hold’ when they are ‘held’.

3. Transformation and empowerment happens by learning to accept and really 'be with' vulnerability, definitely NOT by avoiding it.

I am grateful every single day for the tools, techniques and practices available in Nonviolent Communication, because It helps humans like me navigate my inner world ,( as well as my outer world), and entertain the thought that perhaps, after all...

...I AM good enough...

...and maybe...just maybe....I always was? 

If you are interested in any of the concepts expressed in this article or are curious about learning more about NVC then I would love to hear from you.

Or, if you already have the basics? then come along to my regular, fortnightly practice group to refresh and integrate your skills and connect with other like minded people committed to making life more wonderful (on the inside as well as out).

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