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I Am Enough
This is a phrase, "I am enough," that youíre apt to hear in recovery
circles. We could dismiss it as trite or silly -- that would be a
mistake. Thereís wisdom here, often very hard won wisdom.
Many of us, and I include myself, get the message when growing up
that weíre not enough. Thereís something inadequate, not okay, ever
shameful about us. This can be a consequence of emotional or
physical abuse or the lack of nurturing environment at a crucial
age. Somehow, somewhere its as if a malevolent chip has been
inserted deep in our being that says, "You are not a good person,
you are a bad person; if people really knew you they wouldnít like
or accept or love you."
Once that chip is in there sending its toxic signal, we do all sorts
of things to try to dull that message, to overcome its relentless
and debilitating signal. We may believe that if we achieve a great
deal, then we will be enough. Straight Aís in school then in life.
We may believe that while others may mess up, we have to be perfect
(never mind thatís not in the cards for any human being). For some
the chip that declares our defect is answered with drivenness, for
others with addictions. These are a way people seek to deaden the
chipís power. Addictions turn out, however, to deaden only us.
So to say "I am enough" is not trite or silly. It is to say that at
the deepest level I am a good, if imperfect, person and a precious
child of God. I donít have to do anything to earn or prove that. It
is given; it is grace. At its heart, this is the message of the
gospel. By the grace of God you are beloved, you are enough.
Though this is the gospel, religion has often turned the Christian
faith into but another form of "you are not enough." You are not
good enough, noble enough, generous enough, busy enough, selfless
enough. You must do more. You must be more.
No! You are enough. I am enough. From this foundational truth we
grow and give of ourselves not in fear but in gratitude.
Internalizing this deep truth does requires daily practice and
self-awareness. Re-wiring ainít easy. But by the grace of God it
happens. The malevolent chip loses its power. "I am enough" is the
truth that frees, frees us and makes us truly available for
relationship with others.