The Ten Words that Changed Everything…

From the moment that our alarm rings in the morning, we’re already not enough. We didn’t get enough sleep. We don’t have enough time to complete everything on our to-do list. We didn’t get enough likes on our Instagram post. Not enough, not enough. never enough.

My brother and I grew up in a family that valued hard work, grades, high achievement and honesty. They provided everything for us. We knew they loved us even though they never uttered those three words: I love you. My parents expected big things from us; after all, they didn’t uproot their lives and move to a foreign country for no reason. An A grade received a “good job” and a B got “why is this not an A?” Going to college was not an option, it was the rule. I learned that I was only enough when I was achieving; my worth was directly proportional to the amount of hard work that I was doing.

I worked hard in school. Got good grades. Went to college, got my bachelors and then my masters. Got a great job, moved to management level. Kept achieving but kept feeling not good enough. I was sure that when I made over 50K a year, I would be enough. Then when I made over 70K a year I would feel enough. Then over 100K. All of those things happened yet I never felt enough.

As soon as I turned 15, I got my first boyfriend. I knew I would feel complete if I had someone that said “I love you” to me. I’m ashamed to admit that I jumped from one boyfriend to another, without a break, until I was 26. I was always looking for my worth, always knowing for sure the next relationship would make me feel whole. It’s a miracle that I never got myself into serious trouble or found myself in dangerous relationships. Finally, at age 31, I got married. I knew I was totally enough then.

Then it happened. My husband asked me for a divorce. There I was, thinking my life was set, I was finally married, I had a home, a great career and I was finally enough. The divorce came out of nowhere, something we never discussed and something that never crossed my mind. But a strange thing happened. At the exact moment that he uttered those seven letters, this feeling of knowing my worth washed over me. There it was, a clear message from the universe. Nothing outside of me will ever make me enough. I knew this was the lesson that I never learned.

I vowed to never look for anything outside of me to make me whole ever again. I knew I already had everything within me to be enough. Now, I just had to believe it.

“I love and approve of myself exactly as I am.” Those ten little words changed my life.

I wrote it out and taped it on every mirror in the house. I taped it over the radio screen in my car. It was the last thing I said to myself before I went to bed and the first thing I said out loud when my alarm rang. I repeated it every single time thoughts of calling him and asking him to come back washed over me. I saved it as my background on the screen of my phone. Surprisingly, it worked. It felt fake at first. I totally didn’t believe it. But I trusted the processes. I said it anyway.

And it worked. One day, I woke up and I felt like a different person. It seemed to have happened overnight. Only it hadn’t. It had been my whole life in the making.


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