Am I Enough?
Yes, I'm on a decluttering streak, although it's mostly due to necessity (only so much fits in my Buick!). I have started reading More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger, but this book takes a different spin on the trend, as evidenced by the tagline Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity. Rather than focusing on what we are keeping, this book focusing on the art of letting go and how that can go toward the greater good. One example is the recommendation to let go of our what-if clothing (if we lose or gain 10 pounds, if we are invited to the red carpet, etc) but also to let go of one of our favorite pieces. To recognize our excess so that we can recognize what is enough in our lives.
A recent chapter I read talked about feeling that we are "enough" and the concept of identity. I've included an impactful excerpt below.
For the first time in history, we have the tools for anyone to see how they numerically measure up to others. We have analytics for the people who like and read each of our blog posts. We can compare web traffic on our sites to every other site in the world. We can count the number of people who share our ideas with their communities. There is even a way to quantify social media influence. Everything on the web now quantifies influence and popularity.
I recently talked to a popular blogger who felt frustrated about moving down on a list from #2 to #13. So, immediately I asked:
"Is that a list where you want to be number one?"
He responded quickly, "No, I don't care at all about that list."
Losing popularity on a list that he didn't even care about in the first place frustrated him. He felt his value diminish, without even stepping back to realize that that value was not of value to his values.
Understanding our value to the world can never be quantified through social attention in this way. Only you can contribute what only you can give to the world. Never let rankings or numbers of "likes" determine who you are and what you should do with your life. This false understanding of your identity does not define what you have to contribute to the world. You cannot be compared with others. There is only one of me. There is only one of you.
Tom Patterson said, "When you discover and use your gifts for the good of those you love and have chosen to serve, your life takes on beauty. It inspires others. It points toward the Creator."
At a time when we are told we don't have enough or that we aren't enough, it's important to hold on to our concept of personal value. We don't need the newest exercise equipment or diet trend or supplements to be enough. We don't need to have the best clothes or be able to do perfect yoga poses. We must define our own "enough" and find contentment and joy there.