I’m not good enough.
I’m never good enough.
Those words rattle around in my head on a daily basis. It’s there when I first wake up in the morning. I hear them when I’m getting the kids lunches ready or while I shower and brush my teeth.
I am worthless. I am not worthy of love and affection.
I also tell myself those things. I don’t have to be depressed to feel these emotions. They are like the backdrop to my life. The theme music that plays as I go about my daily life. I take them in with every breath.
I feel so much vulnerability and shame just telling you this information about myself.
I had a conversation with my therapist about never feeling good enough. She pointed me in the direction of a researcher named Dr. Brene Brown. She researches shame, fear and vulnerability. Those are topics that most people are uncomfortable talking about.
I learned some very important things from listening to Dr. Brown. I learned that when we are vulnerable with people we open ourselves up to hurt and pain. We get to feel the heartbreak and the rejection. The depression and the alienation. This is what causes most people to take a step back. No one wants to feel anger and grief. If we could avoid it…we would.
Yet, we cannot chose which emotions we want to feel. We cannot avoid some and live with others. When we do that we do not allow the good emotions to prosper.
That is why we need to be authentic and vulnerable. When we are, we open ourselves up to the good things in life. We have to give people the chance to be empathetic and the opportunity to get to know the real person behind the mask.
That is difficult for me.
I am afraid if I am my most authentic self that people will see that I am really worthless and not enough. That is one of my worst fears. But as Brene Brown teaches, I also close the door on the opportunity to discover I am enough just the way I am. I may miss out on happiness and joy because of my fear of being open and vulnerable with people.
Vulnerability is not something that comes naturally to me. I spent a great deal of my life hiding myself from the world hoping that they won’t be able to see inside my heart. I know now that being vulnerable is the only way I can manage the shame that consumes me. It will help me to discover that I am not alone.