Here's a true story for you!
I left home and went to boarding school when I was just fifteen, and at my school, there were about 75 girls to one ‘housemistress’ who, at the time, was a 24 year old. She seemed ancient to me. Her boyfriend, who was around 30, gave her red angora mittens and diamond earrings for Christmas, I secretly thought she was a ‘kept woman’ by an older man.
I was soooo 15!
In our boarding house, we ran wild – or as wild as we could with one payphone per floor and a midnight curfew on weekends.
This little story is my way of saying that, morally, I think I kind of raised myself. And through all of that, I somehow fell short on figuring out my values. So I spent a few decades of my life bouncing around, doing what other people thought was ‘right.’ I felt that if I followed my own values I would make mistakes. Surely other people’s values were better for me?
I know, so silly.
The irony is that I made enormous mistakes anyway, and in the process, I never did two things:
1. I never trusted myself
2. I never thought that I was enough, just as I was.
Fast forward decades after high school, through a short starter marriage, immigration, infertility and then a beautiful baby who never slept, career change, financial challenges, you name it: I went through all of it – except health problems, thank God.
It’s taken me fifty years to figure out that – as I am, right now – I am enough. Everyone is. We don’t need to hustle. We don’t need to strive. We don’t need to fight our way upstream or self-promote or get complicated in how we strategise and act.
We are, actually, enough.
But we do need to sort out our values. Not what we want to do or make happen (our goals) but what gives us meaning and peace.
I value beauty. (usually nature, but also words and books and beautiful images)
I value celebrations. (helping others see there is something to celebrate, always)
I value rest and peace. (having enough sleep, feeling calm, talking with my family)
Marisa Peer, a top therapist in the UK that you might have heard on Jess Lively's podcast, says “If one person on the planet breathes easier because of you, you have meaning and purpose.”
Over to you...
You are also enough, as you are.
First, you must believe it. And then you need to answer this question:
What do you value?