“No matter what I do, I will not be good enough.” This is one of my long-held beliefs that I hope to put on trial over the course of my writing. Now whether this belief started because my parents said/did something “wrong,” I picked it up from a close friend, or it was all originale… It doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT – something I will refer to often), there is an assumption that states, “You may not have caused all of your problems, and you have to solve them anyway” (paraphrase). As an adult, this is completely accurate. Kiddos may need a little help along the way, but my problems will always include my solutions.
Note: In cases of abuse and/or neglect, please understand this means you are NOT responsible for “the problem.” There is NO FAULT with one who has experienced any type of abuse. With that being said, resentment, fear, intimacy and/or trust issues may linger throughout one’s lifetime. THAT I am responsible for…they are my solutions to find and implement.
So, how do I “put a belief on trial.” For me, I have to look at the facts. I can become so caught up in perfectionism in order to prove to myself that I am good. I can so easily focus on being a peacemaker and people-pleaser to prove to others that I am good. As a result of doing what feels right, many other problems become exposed. My husband can attest to the panic and anxiety I feel when I cannot be everything I *need* to be. Or the resentment that grows when he messes up again. Skimming over the facts does not just cause problems for me; this begins to affect those I love the most (…namely, my husband, Evan…he’s the greatest. Sigh). To be honest – when I or others make a mistake, I’m all like, “It’s okay…you live you learn.” BUT! I make the mistake again, my head gets all like, “Seriously, you have already screwed this up once. Are you going to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect things to change? You clearly aren’t trying hard enough. You’re just lazy or incompetent. Either way… you are just not good enough.” Ohh, I can get there so fast! And most of my crazy comes back to this belief that I cannot and will not be good enough. These are all based on feelings, not facts.
The facts are found in God’s Word. This is where I will find the truth. Over the past year, God has allowed me to experience relationships and passages in Scripture that led to the understanding that “I am not good enough.” Wait – what? Did I say that right? The truth is, no matter how hard I try to control situations and please people in order to feel good enough, Scripture says, “That ain’t happening.” Well…it doesn’t say exactly that. Stay with me. Paul (about as perfect as they come) is speaking in 2 Corinthians 12:
7b Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The answer to my negative belief is GRACE! I don’t change my perceptive to another dose of feeling, like, “You know what, Nina, you are good enough… all by yourself! Go rock yourself out!” I accept God’s facts, stating, “God’s grace is SUFFICIENT for Nina, for His power is made perfect in her weakness.” Ding, Dong… light bulb moment… and all that jazz. Now, don’t get me wrong, God and I had words. I did not accept this easily. I bargained for a bit, “God, if You could just like make my marriage perfect then I will accept that I am weak at my job…or in finances. Just give me one area.”
I realized I am my own idol – I try to be my own god. I would like to think I live in a world where all weaknesses can be strengthen and all strengths can grow and become more mature. And where do this lead me? Well then, I can become more and more strong and mature…aka more perfect, and I have no need for a God or a Savior. I did this! Look at me! And God allowed me let me go there, and it was now my choice to stay there.
God was and continues to be faithful when I accept the belief that “I alone am not good enough, BUT there is one who is good enough. It’s Jesus.” Christ’s power overcomes my powerlessness. Christ’s sufficiency overrides my inadequacy. Christ’s love overcasts my brokenness. Therefore, when someone sees me at my weakest moments, they can see Christ’s power, His sufficiency, and His love. You see, I alone am never good enough. It was not and will never be about me. And I will probably struggle with my belief versus God’s truth throughout my life. This yearning… this desire to do more, have more, and be more is only fulfilled by God, Himself. It was always His design and His glory to be unveiled.
I hope some of this makes sense. If it wasn’t perfect, I can be okay with that 🙂 Now to kick it out to the universe that is the internet. I wonder if others struggle with the same belief, “I am just not good enough.” Would love to read some of your stories!