On my best days I give myself grace. But deep inside, there’s an inner person pitching perfectionism to me.
We live in a media rich society that puts crazy pressures on us to be fit, fashionable, socially savvy, successful, to make all the right decisions and of course, do it all while looking fantastic.
Most marketing messages are quite crafty. Notice how often the word more is used: do more, be more, have more, get more. More casts a line and my inner person is caught like a fish on a hook. As I’m reeled in on the idea of one more accomplishment, a better body with new workout clothes, new technology, a new leadership technique, or additional knowledge, it’s all just one more thing and I will finally feel like I’m enough.
This fish broke free of the hook, so to speak, several years ago. Here’s what happened to me.
Striving to hit the latest new metric of success, I was often one of the last to leave work because there is always more that can be done. One evening as I turned off the lights and locked the door of the office, I walked outside into the dark. As I turned around and looked back at the building, I saw my reflection in the glass. Without really being aware that I was talking out loud, I said, “This isn’t the life Christ died for me to live. This isn’t freedom.”
In prayer over the next several weeks, I felt like I was receiving an invitation of freedom out of the trap of more. I sensed God encouraging me in such a gentle and personal way. In my journal, I wrote God’s encouragement to me: “I say you are enough. Does my opinion count?”
In 2014, Father Mark, a friend from the Vatican, encouraged me, “The more you detach from things, the more you can attach to God. Say ‘yes’ to God, even when you don’t understand.”
My heart is lighter living in enough. My mind has more space for God. The fishhook continues to be out there, bobbing its bait: just one more thing. But as I’m full on God, the temptation of finding my value in things or accomplishments doesn’t drive me as it once did.
God is taking me on a journey to free me from more. I’m bucking the system. My new word is enough.