You are enough.
This was the simple insight that changed Dr. Rachel Remen’s life.
In her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, Remen talks about attending a seminar at Stanford University with the great psychotherapist, Dr. Carl Rogers. She reports:
“Finally, Dr. Rogers offered us a demonstration of his approach. One of the doctors in the class volunteered to act as his client and they rearranged their chairs to sit opposite one other. As Rogers turned toward him and was about to begin the demonstration session he stopped and looked thoughtfully at his little audience of experts, myself among them. I shifted impatiently in my chair. Then Rogers began to speak. ‘Before every session I take a moment to remember my humanity,’ he told us. ‘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 the impact of this session on her.
“I had always worked hard at being good enough; it was the golden standard by which I decided what to read, what to wear, how to spend time, where to live, and even what to say. 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 rich, powerful thoughts here.
First, there is the possibility that I could pause to remember my humanity—at the beginning of the day, or before dealing with a difficult situation involving other people.
It’s not hard to imagine the difference this might make in terms of impact and outcomes!
Second, when I bring my humanity, my genuine self (even though imperfect), I am enough.
In a world where it’s so easy to feel that we’re never quite good enough or smart enough or whatever enough…this thought is like a quiet explosion in the soul.