I was having trouble starting this post because, in all honesty, I don’t always feel enough. I’ve often wondered how much easier life would be if I didn’t have chronic perfectionism shadowing my every move, demanding that I measure up to my own (ridiculous) expectations. I believe we are born enough, yet somewhere between birth and today our enoughness gets chipped away as we reject our inner knowing, choosing to compare, ridicule and retreat instead. We refuse to put ourselves ‘out there’ for fear of being found lacking; before THEY get the chance to judge us, we’ve done the job already.
I lost my partner in 2005 and have spent the last five years on my own, grieving, healing and creating a new life for myself where, with no one else to consider, my point of reference is firmly rooted within me. What was terrifying at first has become a gift, an opportunity to travel through inner landscapes and thoroughly map what I find; at times this has been more disappointing than illuminating, but I embrace it all – the good and the bad, the wise and the foolish. And yet even from this place of healing, I can still doubt my enoughness when faced with a request to teach, or write a book, or – the scariest of all – the thought of dating again. Could I really be enough for another? But in the next breath I know that it’s fear that casts this doubt, and in my experience fear is tamed by being gentle with myself; by letting go of the expectations; by trusting that I know myself well enough to travel at my own speed. And so little by little a book is written, and love will be found again, one day.
I return again to the thought that nobody is perfect, that we can only be what we ARE: unique and gloriously imperfect. I remind myself that I am enough when I try and when I believe. I am enough when I release my expectations and take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Sometimes my enoughness is an outfit I wear until I find I inhabit the clothes for real; and when I sense perfectionism stalking me I stand my ground and face my attacker: I will do my best, and my best is enough. I Am Enough. And with that I turn back to the page and keep scribbling away at my dream.
About Susannah Conway
Susannah Conway is a photographer, writer and the creator of the Unravelling e-courses. She is currently hard at work on her first book, to be published in autumn 2011, and counting down the days until she returns to her beloved London town. She has a clinical obsession with Polaroid cameras and is very proud to call herself a family-of-one. You can read more about her glorious imperfection on her blog at SusannahConway.com.