Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” ~Alan Watts
I think this is an issue that we all struggle with at some point in our lives to various degrees. All of us have feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt or get discouraged with the things that we haven’t accomplished in life or situations that we find ourselves in. We all have this “perfect ideal” of who we ought to be. How a “perfect student, church member, parent or child” ought to behave or be.
We also get caught up in the never ending cat and mouse game of milestone achievements. We tend to think to ourselves that our lives will be better when “I make $______ a year,” “When my kids are all in school” or “When I get married.” I wrote up a piece a little bit ago about “The Forgotten Lesson of the Tortoise and the Hare” and why constantly living from one milestone to the next often leads us to miss the most important and enjoyable parts of our lives today.
Today however, I wanted to address those who are not at this point. This post is geared toward those individuals who are not setting goals because they think to themselves “what’s the use when I’m so _______ (ugly, stupid, dumb, not worth loving, etc.)” We all find ourselves in this situation at one point or another in our lives. We can feel this way for a variety of reasons not the least of which being feeling guilty for sins committed, depression, broken home or a myriad of other reasons.
For those of you who find yourself in this situation, I have three words for you…You Are Enough! Who you are right now is enough, flaws and all. Not only are you enough, Heavenly Father loves you exactly as you are. No conditions, no arbitrary boundaries. He loves you exactly as you are today, but He will refuse to leave you that way to paraphrase Max Lucado. No one who feels the power of the atoning sacrifice of Christ is ever left worse off than they were before. Of course this doesn’t mean you are perfect as you are. No one is. All this means is that although we all have improvements to make, all of us at this very minute are enough. If prophets and apostles have room for improvement, we all do.
There is literally nothing that needs to be added to you to make you “enough” although there are plenty of opportunities to expand. To demonstrate the point I’m trying to make. Let’s take an individual who has committed a serious transgression. They are in the middle of struggling through their painful repentance process when they happened to get in a car accident and died. Do you really believe God will be like “well sorry, you were on the road back but you just didn’t quite make it.” Of course not. The reason this hypothetical is ludicrous is because we are all at various points on this “road back.” When we die, all of us will still be on the journey of making ourselves better. With the exception of Christ, no one dies perfect. We all have our weaknesses and battles that we still need to work on. This doesn’t take away from the fact that who we are today is enough.
Elder Holland spoke at conference about those who are currently struggling.
The first words Jesus spoke in His majestic Sermon on the Mount were to the troubled, the discouraged and downhearted. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He said, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Whether you are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or among the tens of thousands listening this morning who are not of our faith, I speak to those who are facing personal trials and family struggles, those who endure conflicts fought in the lonely foxholes of the heart, those trying to hold back floodwaters of despair that sometimes wash over us like a tsunami of the soul. I wish to speak particularly to you who feel your lives are broken, seemingly beyond repair.
To all such I offer the surest and sweetest remedy that I know. It is found in the clarion call the Savior of the world Himself gave. He said it in the beginning of His ministry, and He said it in the end. He said it to believers, and He said it to those who were not so sure. He said to everyone, whatever their personal problems might be:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
He also shared this quote of encouragement
Remember that your very existence is a miracle.
Seriously, the amount of scientific data in the human genome is astounding let alone how everything comes together as it does. It’s simply amazing. Don’t you ever forget how amazing you are and your divine potential. Don’t let Satan deceive you of how much good you are to this world. Not only do all of us have value, you specifically have value.
A favorite quote of mine from the movie Charlotte’s Web was when Zuckerman was trying to explain what had happened on the farm. “I don’t know, but it has happened… at a time when we really don’t see many miraculous things. Maybe we do. Maybe they’re all right there around us everyday, we just don’t know where to look. There’s no denying that our own little Wilbur… he’s part of something that’s bigger than all of us. And life on that farm’s just a whole lot better with him in it. He really is some pig.”
We all have aspects of Wilbur in us. We all have divine qualities innately woven into our being. All of us are part of something that is bigger than any one individual and this world is a whole lot better with us in it.
Lastly remember that there is no one better at being you than you. As the famous quote from Dr. Seuss goes
You are not dumb, you’re learning. Knowing the difference between the two will change your outlook on life forever. God loves you just the way you are. The only thing you need to do now is realize that this is true and act on that knowledge.