How I Finally Embraced That I Am Enough — Just as I Am
This word keeps coming to my mind. It is a simple word draped in complexity. It is a word I have turned over in my mind a great deal. It is a word that I have fought to understand — a word that has fought to become part of my being.
Enough is Enough.
I used to believe that I was not enough… not enough for my parents…. not enough for anyone… most of all — not enough for God. This was the basis of my fear and shame for so long. I felt like a fraud in almost every situation. The way I compensated was to overachieve and pursue perfection. I thought that if I could impress you then I did not have to worry about you seeing that I was “not enough.”
I used my eating disorder and drinking to calm my fears and cover my shame, but all they did was end up dragging me to the bottom of a pit where I could not climb out without help.
I found recovery but I could not have done this on my own. With guidance from others and divine intervention, three things stand out as far as truly helping me embrace the fact that I am “enough” just as I am:
1. Help came in the form of treatment and therapy.
My time in treatment at the Eating Recovery Center-Denver helped me separate myself from the eating disorder. I was able to find my voice and discover the things that I value the most. Once I did this, I began to see that I did not have to chase perfectionism anymore.
This month marks 10 years since I began my recovery journey. This journey has taken me to places in my heart I never knew needed to be traveled to. This journey has been hard, and it has taken me on roads to deeper hurts than I knew I had. This journey has also brought me to a place I never could have envisioned 10 years ago…. a place of joy, wonder, perception, and restfulness.
2. Help came in the form of spirituality.
My faith in God helps me believe there is nothing I can do to make Him love me more. There is nothing I must do to gain His greater approval. Today I know I am enough…. just as I am, flaws and all. I no longer hold myself up to the standards of perfection — continually ashamed of who I am. I have learned that my anxiety and depression are manageable now that shame no longer casts a film over everything in my life. Knowing that I am enough is a sense of deep contentment and feeling settled in my soul.
3. Help came in the form of boundaries
There’s also another side to “enough” that I have learned to live by. This side of “enough” is all about boundaries. I have learned that establishing boundaries is one of the most important aspects of self-care.
Boundaries embody choice.
Boundaries allow me to call the shots of who and what I allow in my life. The power of choice is wrapped up in this beautiful word, enough:
- I get to say, “Enough.” to negative people.
- I get to choose when I need to take a break from social media.
- Recovery has given me the courage, strength and ability to say “enough” when I am tired and need to rest — the opposite of what I used to do, which was to push myself harder when I was tired.
The more I understand deeply in my heart that I am enough — without all the striving — I gain confidence. Daily, I can use the power of choice that is mine to establish boundaries with people and things I do not want in my life.
The reverse is true also. The more I choose to set boundaries regarding what I allow in my life, the more I understand my own worth. In knowing my worth, I understand that the essence that who I am is more than enough.
I have discovered that these areas — support, spirituality, and boundaries — that helped me realize that I am enough— are woven together intricately. It has taken me a long time to understand that I am enough. Learning this has been the crux of my successful recovery. I have had a tremendous amount of support and help in these past 10 years to learn what “enough” means. I would not be living in freedom today if not for the people who have shown me the way.
Yes, the word is simple and yet so complex. It takes time and hard work to let the layers of this word soak into one’s being and live with it as one’s value. But there is tremendous peace when this can happen.
- What about you?
- Can you embrace the thought that there is nothing you need to do to be more in this world?
- Can you establish boundaries in your life that let the world know when you have had enough?
Kelli lives in Parker, CO, is married with two children, and loves hiking, backpacking, music, and spending time with friends. She is a member of the Recovery Ambassador Council at Eating Recovery Center, and has a passion to share with others that living a whole, fulfilling life in recovery is possible.
To read more of how Kelli's faith impacts her own eating disorder recovery check out Redemptive Recovery at Kellievans.com