In my childhood years, there was very little technology as I know it today. Hmm, I remember watching the Ed Sullivan show on a black and white television. No cable back then; just rabbit ears at best.
With young unsteady hands drawing wiggly lines to form blocks from 1-10 on the sidewalk and play hopscotch or a piece of rope help by two other little friends swinging up, around and down to play jump rope; these were the days of simple and enough.
Ah, life was grand with my little collection of Barbie dolls and with sewing needle in hand and struggling to get the thread through the little hole it was frustrating me to no end. Why couldn't I get it through the little hole? Contemplating that there must be some kind of adult type experience to this threading a needle and I ran to mom and asked her to help me with this daunting task. PULEEZE MOM!
I really, really want to sew some new clothes for my dolls.....puleeze mom? Well, I did find out that there WAS a trick to this. You licked your thumb and forefinger and twisted the end of one piece of thread so no loose ends would defeat the purpose of getting the end of the thread through the tiny hole.
I tried. And I succeeded! I was a pro from thereon and I hand sewed little Barbie clothes that I was proud of for years to come.
Flash a few years forward: I continued on my quest for more and more and enough just was not enough. Always looking for material things to ‘feel good' but alas! It was a temporary fix and the void was always there.
It's strange how this self esteem thing works. One looks outside of self to fill that void deep inside and no matter how much of anything one has there is still...... never enough. It's empty inside. No satisfaction and no contentment.
Years later I found the little doll case with a couple of Barbie dolls still inside....along with a few of those dresses I had sewn oh so long ago. I was still proud of them and gave them to my daughter. She wanted new ones.
I thought, "How am I supposed to teach my children something that I don't even have?"
A new day. A new way. I won't know if I don't try, right? Being content with self started from within. I knew that. Work on self from the inside out. I knew that. But now I had to try something new and put that knowledge into action......and what do you know, it worked!
The following points are what I wrote earlier this year.....When Enough is Enough.....
For me.....enough is enough when:
- Awareness replaces denial and realization sets in....that the things outside ‘self' are not what dictates and determines my healthy sense of self.
- I replace the want of "stuff" with the need of "stuff" (making a list of wants and needs may bring more awareness)
- Be happy with what I have; Not unhappy with what I don't have (look at the cup half full instead of empty)
- I can escape ‘self' temporarily with some kind of "stuff"....BUT I can never hide from self long term.
- My life becomes unbalanced and regular every day tasks are put on the back burner.
- Other people become more important than me (people pleasing was a biggie to turn around)
- Stuff and money become more important than family and taking care of loved ones ....or just showing off.
- Stroking my ego becomes more important than caring how I affect others. Another part of being aware
- Taking becomes more important than giving. There always has to be some sort of balance for me so I don't go overboard in either direction.
If you know who you are and comfortable in your own skin....then there's less of a reason to look outside self for 'stuff' to replace it. It's like being an actor/actress on a stage. If you don't know your lines then you're lost.
Bottom line is: No matter where we go or what we do......SELF ALWAYS follows.
I did want more but in a different way. I wanted more for myself. I turned my whole way of thinking around and started understanding who I was and what I needed to change in order to be comfortable.....with me. It all started with me. Remember that saying, ‘How can I love if I do not love myself?".
The first step toward change is awareness.
When I felt like I was shining from the inside I KNEW I was shining on the outside. Everything I used to do that did not work was turning around with this new way. And plenty of practice!
I look at my children, my husband, my family, and friends who look back at me with a smile. I listen and hear my clients who kindly reward me with a "thank you for all you've done". My coworkers who laugh with me (not at me.....okay, so they laugh at me too lol) The elderly lady standing next to me at the grocery store who acknowledges me with a smile and nods. I stop the car to let the mother with her children cross the road and they wave and mouth a ‘thank you'. I lean over to pat my doggie's head who is looking up at me with loving and loyal eyes. And she smiles back.
I know my lines. I am not lost.
Success lies within.
I am enough. And so are you.
Note: Kathy McGraw was the inspiration for this Holiday Acceptance contest and in return inspired me to write my gift of Holiday Acceptance non entry post. Just know that I am aware....and I pass this gift on ....to you.