As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.
Original post from The Mighty:
18. “I constantly think I’m not good enough and I’m not smart enough. [I] was told [this] all my childhood… I’ve gone back to university to prove to myself that I am smart enough, but it’s always there in the back of my mind, like a poison, reminding me I’m not good enough, not smart enough.”
My sister's response:
I thought I was the dumbest one of the family. They all have college degrees, at least a bachelors. I have an AAS, as in two-year degree, which I completed in my 30s. I also have several certificates of completion for a few programs. None of them made me feel smarter.
I was expected to major in math or engineering. I'm dyslexic. With words, I can figure out when I turn letters around or which letters around. With numbers, I'm at a complete loss. I turn 6 and 9 upside down. I've written 3 as E and have to remember that 5 and S go the same direction as well as 2 and Z. I have the unfortunate ability to look at a number, say it correctly out loud, and write a completely different number. I don't think math. I think words. However, it was drilled into me that the money was in math, and I was expected to pursue it, even if I hated it.
I was also told that men are stupid and don't marry girls as fat as I am or with a face as scarred as mine is. I put on another 30 pounds. A stupid and unhealthy response. Weight was my personal shield. I learned that people don't notice someone who is overweight as much as someone who isn't. It added to me not being good enough, but it didn't matter because no one was looking at me anyway. Really unhealthy negative self talk.
A lot of things happened that re-enforced my belief that I'm not enough.
I don't feel that way anymore. So what changed?
I adopted a dog. She thought the sun rose and set with me. It wasn't the solution; it was a starting point. I made a lot of changes so I would be a healthier for my fur baby. I had allowed people to say things to me that I wouldn't allow them to say about my dog. I learned to transfer that care to me because it made me a better pet owner. Then I adopted a horse, and I learned more.
I worked with three different counselors. Each tackled different aspects of my messed up life... really, it was more like the first handled surface, obvious problems. The second delved deeper, but there were still a lot of things we never tackled. The third was no holds barred. I was all in and so was my counselor. It wasn't until my last counselor that I finally accepted I'm smart enough; I'm good enough; I'm enough.
Through it all, I also read self-help books, watched television programs, took classes, and anything I could think of to help me improve. I did improve, but my sense of not being enough didn't change.
When did I finally believe I'm enough? It's only been the last few years. It started with believing that God loves me no matter what. He helped me build on that.
There are still bad days when I feel completely inadequate. However, there is a part of me that knows and never forgets that God is there, holding His hand out to me because I'm enough. Jesus Christ suffered and died and was resurrected for me because I'm enough.
You are also enough.