You Are Good Enough

Do you remember in the movie, Bridget Jones’ Diary, when Mr. Darcy told Bridget that he liked her just the way she was?  We all went, “Aaaw” and fell a little bit in love with Mr. Darcy in that moment.  Here was the rich, educated Barrister, falling for the bumbling Bridget, who was forever getting into trouble, and falling for the wrong guy.  She tried to improve herself by giving up smoking and losing weight.  She got all the latest self-improvement books and still she struggled.  But none of it mattered to Mr. Darcy.  He liked her just the way she was.

There will always be someone who believes you’re not good enough.  Perhaps you even believe that of yourself.  But through the eyes of love, you are perfect.

When my husband and I were first married, he decided to go back to school to get a business degree.  There was no-one more proud of him than I was on the day of his graduation when I stood up in the bleachers and cried tears of joy.  He went on to get a wonderful job at Union Gas where he worked with other graduates (aka smart people), while his lowly wife, with her high school diploma, worked at the local library.  For years after I struggled with my own self-worth.  It wasn’t anything Wayne said or did, it was all me.  Somehow, I felt that the only way I could be good enough for him was to get a university education too.

Well, I did eventually get up the nerve to take some university courses.  And I did feel very good about myself.  But what I also found out was that it didn’t make me feel like I was good enough.  There were still areas of my life where I felt like I fell short.  There will always be someone smarter than me, or who knows things I’d like to know.  There will always be people who are adventurous in ways that I am not.  In short, there will always be someone who makes me feel like I’m not good enough just as I am – if I let them.

I’m sure many of you have felt that way at one time or another.  It’s only natural when you live in such a competitive world where we are encouraged to outdo the person beside us: Use this cologne and get the guy/girl.  Lose weight and feel good about yourself.  Keep up with the Jones’.  If you do this you will be a great success.  The underlying message seems to be, that you’re not good enough just as you are.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good to improve yourself.  In fact, I think our life’s work should be about becoming a better person.  But do it because it’s the natural unfolding of your own personal evolution.

My husband told me many times that I don’t need to do anything to be good enough.  But I didn’t believe him.  I wanted to be as smart as he is.  I wanted to be as adventurous as my cousin Stephanie.  I wanted to be as independent as some of my friends are.  I was so busy trying to be all those things I wasn’t, I forgot that being me is pretty damn special.  Hey, I’m a great writer, I’m caring and sensitive, I have a way with clothes and decorating, I’m a perfectionist, I have a wonderful family, and amazing friends.  I am also a supportive friend to others, and I enjoy being of service.  That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. And these are the things I’m happy to work on.  They are a part of my own evolution.

In the end, everyone has something that they’re good at.  Focus on that.  Celebrate what’s good about you and stop wishing to be someone other than who you are.  You are worthy of respect and love for being exactly who you are.  So as the New Year begins and you’re looking to make a list of resolutions to improve, ask yourself why you are making those resolutions. You shouldn’t have to feel that you must do something to prove yourself worthy to someone else.   Remember – You don’t need to do anything to be good enough.  You are perfect just the way you are.

Categories: Memoir, Women's Lives

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