I am enough
I never amounted to much. I know that is not strictly true, but what I mean is I never got to do all the things I pictured myself doing when I started down this path of singing. I envisioned myself singing on the great opera stages of the world, being praised by critics and peers alike, but it never happened, and now I’m starting to think it’s too late. Several of my colleagues are doing all the things I dreamed of and I always found it difficult to rejoice for them. I was intimidated and jealous of their successes, because it only cemented the fact that I did not have what they had. That is obviously something one is not supposed to admit to, but I have promised to be absolutely truthful about everything, and this is the truth: The success of my peers intimidated me.
This, of course, does not only limit itself to singing and career, but to all aspects of life. I always struggled with my weight. Slim people intimidated me. I was often told in my teens that I was ugly. NOT by any members of my family, but by the kids I was surrounded by. In fact, it was first when I left Norway and moved to continental Europe that I started thinking I could actually at times be perceived as pretty. So, beautiful people intimidated me as well. Being ugly meant that I was alone a lot when my girlfriends began having boyfriends. Being ugly also naturally meant that I did not have any boyfriends. People in relationships intimidated me.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
All these insecurities made me into a needy and annoying person. By the way, well balanced and eloquent people also intimidated me.
Then, coming to Switzerland, meeting new people in new surroundings, with new parameters to adhere by, my mindset began to shift. Slowly, slowly. Not in a straight line, not without some major setbacks, but it shifted.
I cannot say when what changed and when the penny dropped for all my different insecurities, but I sat in meditation recently when it hit me:
I am enough.
This sentiment is something you read as an affirmation everywhere. Whenever you stumble upon any kind of spiritual or self help anything, this is what you eventually will read: “You are enough”. Well, honey, that’s easy to say. You can say it as a daily affirmation or use it as a mantra or write it in your journal until your face turns blue, but unless you really get it, it’s all for naught.
I tried all these things, the daily affirmations, the mantras, but finally I read something that somehow most of these self proclaimed gurus neglect to convey in the midst of all their well meaning self development quips: If you do not believe your affirmation, it won’t work. If saying “I am enough” does not vibrate in harmony with your inner chord, then forget it. Change it. Adapt it to something you believe in, something you know is true. Change the wording until you really believe it. Everybody’s good at something. Start with something small, like “I’m good at making breakfast” or “I make damn good scrambled eggs” or “I’m good at being there for my friends when they need me”.
So I began looking at all the things that intimidated me. I suffer from bulimia. Bulimia does not develop in a vacuum, it has an underlying cause. I’m beginning to think it’s some sort of self sabotage. Some sort of denying myself success, because I’m not worthy of it. I’m not enough.
But I AM enough!
Okay, so I never made it onto the big opera stages, but I made it into some damn fine vocal groups. I sing in one of the world’s best professional choirs and get to travel the world, together with a slew of amazing people who have become some of my closest and most trusted friends! I get to sing music that makes my soul vibrate and my heart rejoice, in the most beautiful concert halls in the world! How is that for nothing?
I AM beautiful!
I am! I look at myself in the mirror and sometimes I’m tired and sometimes I’m grumpy, but I’m me. I’m beautiful. In fact, I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who frequently tell me so. Thank you, by the way!
Ok, I do struggle with my weight, but I am ok just the way I am. As long as I keep working for (not against) my body, I feel mostly good. With bulimia it’s sometimes an uphill battle, but I choose to stay on my body’s team. I am slim enough and when I’m not, that’s ok too. I’m not quite there yet with the body issues, but I’m working on it. The moslems alway say only Allah is perfect. So there you go.
And I AM worthy of love.
I am worthy of being loved. In fact, I am loved. I was even married for eight years to a wonderful man, but he was not for me and I was not for him. He is still my brother and we love each other, just not romantically. But, I am loved. I grew up in a family where one does not say these things to each other, but I know my family loves me. I have friends who tell me they love me, and I make a point of telling them I love them. I have a dear friend who I talk to regularly on the phone, and before we hang up we often end the call with “Love ya! Bye!” I love him, he is my spirit brother. Honey, you know who you are.
I spent so much time chasing love and acceptance. Constantly yearning for reassurance that I was good enough, because I didn’t believe so myself. I still crave the feedback, but it’s not desperate anymore. Now I know in the depth of my being:
I am enough.
Now I can rejoice in the success of others, admire the beauty of other people, be moved by the tenderness between two lovers. Because them having it does not mean that I am missing out. I have it too. I am enough.
Oh, but I’m still not well balanced and eloquent. I’m loud and moody and big and small and everything in between. I live life with all the colours it has to offer. I hide away when it’s too much and I party with gusto when I fits my fancy. That will never change, and I’ll be damned to ever apologise for it. I like myself with all my facets and weirdnesses. I like the intensity with which I get caught up on subjects. How I must learn EVERYTING about whatever falls on my interest radar at any given time, before I’m full and move on to my next all consuming project. I’m the master of running down rabbit holes. I like my compassion and devotion to the people I love. When I love you, I am yours and I will stand by you and defend you until the bitter end. I know I’m a lot to handle. I’m passionate and intense, I’m challenging and sometimes a royal pain in the a**. I’m hard work, but the reward is high, you will never be bored and you will be loved with boundless loyalty.
Maybe I’m too much, but too much is great! Because you see, I am enough.