12 Oct I am Enough from Kalani Cropper
I have been thinking about these three words ever since I first read about this amazing project. I am enough. I have debated internally whether I believe them, if I can own them on a more frequent basis and I have tried to use them as a gauge and gentle reminder by which to live my life. I have also recognized some very meaningful experiences that have played a crucial role in my path to understanding that I am indeed enough.
About ten years ago, while I sat one day internally berating myself, I really heard the hurtful, damaging, excessively unkind words I was speaking. Two friends came to my mind very clearly. They were my two softest hearted friends, the kind you would never want to hurt, never be unkind to. They exuded both strength and fragility and were the sweetest of women. I felt a generosity towards them on their journey, knowing that they, like everyone struggled to learn and evolve in life – that life was not always easy for them. Something made me imagine speaking to these two friends, saying the cruel things I said to myself.
I was shocked! Heartbroken at the very thought! I wanted to cry, to run and hide from the very idea of such words ever coming out of my mouth to someone I cared about. I would never do that. I was not that kind of girl. I was kind, loving, supportive and encouraging. I would never knowingly say something to another that would have such destructive effect. I absolutely knew how hurtful such words could be to others – I had known this since birth. I had never spoken to another person like that. But I had never taken into account that I was someone I should love, care for, defend and protect in the same way. I had not ever stopped in the many times I had berated myself to think how unkind and unhelpful I was being to myself. I have never forgotten the feeling I had that day. The sense of remorse, heartbreak and regret I felt. That day I befriended myself with the same passion for which I care for my dear friends and I have never looked back.
I had another similar realization early this summer when I felt completely drained and frustrated by how much energy I was expending and how depleted I felt. I felt frustration towards the recipients of my giving. I have heard many women share such feelings. It struck me very clearly on that day that I was not giving to myself. That is why I felt depleted. It was not because others were taking from me, but rather that I was not giving to myself and neglecting my basic personal self care.
Once I refocused my frustrations, everything changed and I began to feed, care for and clothe my soul with powerful new insight. I am responsible to care for myself first, others care for me should be secondary, not primary to my well-being. When we say there is no time to take care of ourselves, we are denying our most basic needs. Do not starve yourself for care and affection. When we tell others we need time to ourselves, a few minutes to regroup, they usually are more than willing to assist us in making that happen. Instead we often harbor resentments and anger towards their inability to read our minds and see needs that even we are not attune to. Ask, ask for help. Ask meekly, sincerely and kindly. It will be offered. I promise.
Today I ponder regularly if I am enough. Am I enough to be a good artist and writer? Am I enough to be a kind and supportive friend? Am I enough to swallow my pride, humbly admit my mistakes, see where I must change and grow? Am I enough to be a loving partner? Am I enough to be a patient, generous and loving mother? Am I enough when my house is not as organized and clean as it was before life became busier and more complicated? Am I enough to meet the challenges that will come to my life?
The answer must be yes. I believe we are here for a purpose. God would not send us to do something that would be impossible for us to accomplish. There are people around us who want to support and love us if we will accept their help and care. There are many opportunities available to us to use our talents, share them and share our love and kindness to others. Our richest possessions are the loving relationships we have in this life. One of those must be with our selves. We must love ourselves as much as we love everyone else and give ourselves the same patience, love and respect we so kindly offer to others. You ARE enough. I AM enough. Let us love our “enoughness” and treat it with kindness and respect.
About Kalani Cropper
After years in corporate marketing and PR, Kalani Cropper, a trained journalist, has returned to her first true love, writing. She is also having a mad affair with her second true love, creativity and is so happy to mix the two on her blog, kalanicut. Since college, she has designed and sold cards, toiletries bags, handbags, skirts and other accessories. This week she’s hard at work creating new Fall 2010 jewelry. Kalani’s warm & cheerful Southern California home is filled with her DIY creations and lovely thrift store finds. She gives thanks daily for a loving, hilarious and wise extended family, The Man and The Little Bug – who all fill her life with great laughter, learning, fulfillment and joy.