Listen. You are enough. You don’t have to be more. Being you is enough.
You are valuable and your worth can’t solely be measured by what you produce. Or by what you achieve or fail to achieve. Or by what invisible standards you are trying to live up to.
Maybe you’ve been tired lately. Ditched your hobbies. Abandoned your side hustle. Given up on running. Stopped meal prepping.
Guess what? You’re still valuable. You are enough. You deserve care and support and empathy and love.
Maybe you’ve been intending to write a blog post for three weeks but a combination of childcare and full time work and generally bad news in the world has sapped your desire to actually sit down and write it. (Or you write it in your head a lot but writing it on the keyboard is somehow an impassable barrier. Anxiety is weird.)
Maybe you don’t have the job you want. And it doesn’t pay you enough. (Most likely it doesn’t pay you enough!) Or you spend days procrastinating instead of working toward your deadlines. Or you aren’t working in the evenings when you feel like you should to help you get ahead. All the email newsletters full of helpful tips and webinars you intend to attend are sitting neglected in your inbox.
Or maybe you work a service job where people are jerks and yell at you for no reason and criticize you for not smiling enough and your manager won’t give you a consistent schedule. Maybe everyone wants you to forget that a pandemic happened (and is still happening wtf) but you have to go work anyway to eke out a living only to have weirdos claim you don’t deserve a livable wage.
You still have value. You’re still enough. You’re still worth basic human compassion.
Maybe you used to have hobbies and you don’t have them anymore. Maybe all the motivation seems have to leached out of your body drop by drop and you can’t seem to do anything but scroll social media and promise yourself that you’ll wake up early tomorrow and do better. (A lesson I should have learned better by now but still haven’t.)
Maybe you buy a lot of a groceries with the intent making lots of great meals but then you order takeout instead. Maybe you keep meaning to learn the guitar or start weightlifting or take an online class or watch that documentary.
Maybe you simply don’t care anymore and can’t force yourself to care and any plans for the future simply get swallowed up by dread.
You’re still doing enough. Even if it feels like falling behind.
Having goals is good. Intending to improve yourself is good. But you don’t actually have to achieve goals and become a perfect efficient glowing version of yourself to have value. The depressed version of you who spent the morning crying, who hasn’t showered in four days and is eating potato chips for breakfast while watching YouTube on your phone instead of doing the dishes has value too.
Plenty of people who are smarter than me and have analytical brains that haven’t become smooth as eggs have written about the BS surrounding hustle culture and how we are trying to life hack our way to perfect efficiency inside of a whole mess of broken systems. How this mindset is making us all feel like failures if we’re not becoming the picture of #lifegoals.
I can’t fix the broken systems. But I can tell you that even if you fail to live up to weird impossible standards or even realistic ones, you are still enough!
Try to extend this grace to yourself. And others. It’s hard out there. A bunch of bad stuff is happening and for some reason people in power are trying to punch down on people who need the most care, empathy and understanding.
It’s a good time to remember that other people are enough too. When we expect ourselves and others to fit the perfect portrait of what we expect to deserve empathy, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. Maybe someone is in a circumstance because they made a bad choice. Maybe things happened outside of their control. Probably it’s a complicated mix of both! Do we really need to demand of someone that they only make good choices to be worthy of help?
Do we really need to demand that of ourselves?
We all make bad choices. And some good ones. And some that are bad but were the best ones you had at the time. That’s okay! People are so endlessly complicated but being complicated is super exhausting so we look to simplify. And by simplifying sometimes we reach the conclusion that we (or others) are bad or unworthy.
But you’re not! The world is wild. You are a valuable piece of it. You don’t have to prove it.
Seriously. You have value. You are enough. You’re doing a lot.
Are you doing it all perfectly? No, but are you doing it good enough? Probably! Cut yourself some slack.