Jan 28, 2012


"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look
funny on a horse." -Adlai Stevenson  
Self-consciousness is an ugly thing. It makes us question our nature, doubt our character and interact cautiously with the world around us. Sadly, these ideologies are learned and developed by our experiences during this lifetime. If you ever need proof that we weren't born with feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy, just observe a young child. After years as a preschool teacher, it became apparent to me just how innately self-assured these tiny humans are. They aren't afraid to raise their hand with a totally irrelevant story during circle time or get up and dance in front of a crowd to The Dinosaur Song. They don't have filters, hesitations or inhibitions because their peers are not yet threatening.

But also, children are authentic because they don't know how to be anything else. They are joyful, honest, ornery, or funny, not because they want to fit in with a group, but because that is who they are and they couldn't be anyone else if they tried.

What a beautiful concept!

The other day I streamed a talk by my favorite teacher from my favorite church in Fort Collins and listened intently as she touched on this concept of self-consciousness.

"All we are is enough," she said slowly and with conviction.

Then she repeated, "All we are is enough."

We are each born into this world perfect and whole, unaltered by the opinions of others. But the first time someone makes fun of our clothes, teases us about our glasses, belittles us because of our weight, or makes us question our intelligence, we begin to hide. We close the doors on ourselves because we start to believe that who we are isn't enough. But we are wrong. All we are is enough.

This teacher insisted that life isn't about adding anything to who we are, it's about letting go of everything that's unnatural.

This was my "aha moment."
::Insert Oprah's voice here::

Protective armor is unnatural. Remove it.
Doubt and insecurities are unnatural. Release them.
Embarrassment, hesitation and inadequacy are unnatural. Don't you see?
What's natural is the way in which we began in this world– without any of these things. When we shed all the crap we've added from years of being hurt, we can finally begin living with authenticity.

I've spent the better part of my twenties trying to uncover the areas of my true self that I shoved away little by little each time I was excluded from a group, teased about my height or cornered and verbally harassed by groups of girls for being "too skinny." In fact, parts of me have been hiding so long for fear of rejection that I'm not sure they can ever be recovered. But hearing this was exactly the permission I needed to just let go and live. I don't need to try to be more assertive or confident or strong or witty. All I am is enough.

I anticipate this shift in thinking taking some time. If it were easy, we'd all be frolicking naked in a field of wildflowers, belting our best renditions of "Let the Sunshine In," not caring who was watching. (No? Just me?) But we are creatures of habit and it's hard to reframe our thinking. Hard, but not impossible. So that is my challenge to anyone reading this who has ever been self-conscious about parts of who they are: start stripping. Remove everything that is unnatural to your soul. Because You are in there somewhere and You are enough.

and so it is...


  1. I just found your blog today. I absolutely love this post. Looking forward to reading more!

    I love the quote "you are enough" I find myself saying this to my friends a lot!

    Thanks for reminding me that its not just me who has this as their mantra!

    Louise xo

  2. Hi Louise! Thanks for reading and thanks for the kind words. It's true, such a simple statement but so easy to forget sometimes!


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