Posted in armchair psychology, search for meaning

Good Enough

What does it mean to be good enough?

To be a good enough mother? Partner, spouse? Human being?

Welcome to the mine field! Our brains are wired to evaluate our actions and the actions of others. We make decisions in microseconds based on these evaluations, but there is no absolute, no yardstick of truth to measure by. Most of the time we aren’t even aware of this process, already immersed in the actions that arise from our subconsciously made decisions, but it happens just the same. Awareness is not required.

What if we bring awareness to the table? Instead of plunging headlong into action based on judgments unquestioned, what happens when we pause and question our assumptions first?

I begin each day like every other primate on the planet: I wake up. My evaluations of my day and myself in all the roles I play and the jobs I do begins immediately. I’m so lazy or I shouldn’t have stayed up so late follows on the heels of What time is it? at lightning speed. I may find as many as five or seven judgments against myself before my eyes are all the way open. What happens next takes form out of these thoughts. If I decide I am lazy I may rush about attempting to compensate; I may burn myself with my coffee or break a dish or hit my head on a shelf. I can then turn this into evidence to support my story that I am, effectively, an idiot.

This topic is difficult enough for me that I began this post three weeks ago, only to hit a wall, unable to wrap it up. Rather than judge that, what if I apply awareness here? One interpretation could be that I did not work hard enough or I was inefficient with my time. What else might be true? Perhaps the ideas needed to incubate a while. Perhaps other ideas bubbling to the surface in the meantime needed expression. Maybe this delay has brought this piece to light at a perfect moment for someone else. Who knows? And what use is it to believe in some fault, some irreparable weakness in me, about it?

What cruel stories do you spin about yourself? Can you imagine a different possibility? How will you respond to your thoughts with a new, kinder story?

 

 

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Author:

seeker, life learner, local food advocate, unabashed treehugger, herbalist, pontificator

2 thoughts on “Good Enough

  1. I struggle with critical voices in my head. But I think it’s absolutely possible to quiet them, to learn to live peacefully with yourself. One thing that helps me is to try to treat myself the way I treat other people, or at least to think about it that way.

    1. Yes! I do try to do that as well– thus far it primarily helps me to recognize when I am being unkind to myself, but doesn’t necessarily help me stop 😉 I suspect most people have this inner critic, and it’s something useful when it works for us (“remember, you’re trying to eat more veggies!”). We just have to keep it under our control, instead of the other way around…

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