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How Much Enough is Enough for You? – Rhonda Hull, Ph.D.

As a small child, or even before, when feelings of ‘not-enough-ness’ were passed out, it seemed I was the first in line. I’d rather win the lottery. “Not enough-ness’ became the face I saw in the mirror. I can’t remember not feeling it as my default sense about myself. I had ‘enough’ food to eat, a very comfortable home, ‘enough’ supervision, and ‘enough’ physical comforts. Still there was something missing, an emotional hole that was unfilled. I had a longing for something more. ‘Lack’ and ‘depression’ became the playmates of ‘not enough-ness’.

I am not the only one who has chased through life prompted by childhood labels and expectations after credentials, certifications, marriages, positions, and trophies in the attempt to fill the void of ‘not enough-ness’. As if chasing a mirage, we find that the satisfaction is only fleetingly filled when we master acquisitions and try to manipulate our circumstances, looking outside of ourselves for the solutions.

All of this efforting was built on the false assumption that I was not enough. Though I still lapse into this unconsciousness from time to time (fatigue or chronic pain is my worst enemy), my journey has been persistent and well lit enough to expose who I really am. Even when I stumble into a low spot I usually remember that I am dedicated, I am magnificent, I am durable, I am valuable merely because I breathe with good intentions and willingness, warts and all. I am enough!

So, can I fully retire my sense of ‘not enough-ness’? My life is a journey and occasionally and occasionally pebbles get in my shoes, sometimes a boulder hinders my progress, and even with these detours I can say whole-heartedly that I am blessed. I am content.

Contentment is a sculpted way of seeing life. For many it might even take practice to see beyond old baggage. Contentment is the choice to be at peace with yourself and at peace with the world around you amidst both the ebbs and the times of flow, regardless of your circumstances. You must at least be able to access your willingness and part ways with the voice within you that knows you as a victim.

When you have stood for many years in the shoes of ‘not enough-ness’ it is often hard to shake free of the limiting beliefs to again wiggle your toes in the grass. Freedom finds you the instant you consciously choose to be content. Rather than sliding down the slippery slope to apathy, depression, and discouragement, I find myself calm, more patient, hopeful and trusting. I feel more instead fully and openly rather than merely hanging on trying to feel better. I begin to notice what’s working rather than damning what isn’t.

Although I appreciate the abundance that appears in all facets of my life, my ‘not enough-ness’ is truly dissolved not by things, but through my self-acceptance, not by outer acquisitions, but deep inner connection. With contentedness comes authenticity. With authenticity comes acceptance.

Contentment is the road to happiness when you: Focus on the present Be where you are and be conscious of what you are doing Have your words and actions match Honor your body. Breathe deeply Slow down enough to take in simple pleasures Notice children and pets Open your heart Forgive yourself of all of your shortcomings Forgive others of their shortcomings Open your heart Count your blessings Make it your practice to cultivate contentment. Adjust your filter to consider and drink in the magnificence you are. Laugh often. Offer gratitude for all that you already have to open the natural flow for more of what really matters. Make the time to really be present with simple pleasures and warm hearts. The peace of contentment dismantles ‘not enough-ness’ and awakens you to who you have always been. You are enough!

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