“You are enough.”
Dr. Rachel Remen says that this simple insight changed her life.
In her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, Remen talks about attending a seminar at Stanford University with the great psychotherapist, Dr. Carl Rogers. Rogers described how he prepared himself before meeting a client:
“Before every session I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this man has that I cannot share with him, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep his wound, he does not have to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough…’”
Then Dr. Remen commented on what this meant to her.
“I had always worked hard at being good enough…Even ‘good enough’ was not really good enough for me. I had spent a lifetime trying to make myself perfect. But if what Rogers was saying was true, perfection was the booby prize. What was needed was simply to be human. I was human. All my life I had feared being found out.”
We’re not all therapists, of course, but there are two interesting ideas here.
First, the idea that I could take a moment to remember my humanity—at the beginning of a day, before a difficult conversation or a challenging situation, etc.
The American Express Card had an advertising slogan: “Don’t leave home without it.”
What if we adapted that: “Don’t leave home without your humanity—without your empathy, sense of humor, awareness, honesty, creativity…the things that make you most human.” (And, of course, remember your humanity at home too!)
In a world where there is so much inhumanity—where the human being is often treated like just another case or statistic—can that really make any difference?
I believe it can. Don’t you?
Then, the second idea: when you just bring your genuine (imperfect) self to the table… “You are enough.”
Is that really true? Only one way to find out.