To be whole does not mean you don’t have bruises and scars, secrets and shadows. Rather, wholeness grows from the fertile soil of fully loving and accepting yourself for who you are today. It means that you are okay with who you are because you know that you are worthy – that you are enough.
Perhaps you have believed for many years that you are defective in some way or another. If you are a woman, maybe you see yourself as not being thin enough, pretty enough or being a good enough mother, wife or lover. If you are a man, perhaps you see yourself as being a failure in business or in your career or not being good enough as a husband or father.
Male or female, we seem to have this deep-seated belief that we are not enough, and this feeling, this belief, often leaves us feeling isolated, anxious, angry and afraid.
Not too long ago I was listening to Shift on CBC radio with Tom Allen as he was discussing salt. Yes, you heard that right – salt. His conversation sparked my curiosity because I wondered why someone would be talking about salt on CBC radio while people were driving home from work. Isn’t there something more interesting to talk about with listeners? Don’t we already know all the health risks associated with a diet that is too high in sodium?
Yes, possibly so.
But Tom Allen’s discussion was about creating a shift in the listener’s perspective on salt. He was talking about the history of salt during the time of the Roman Republic where salt was a highly valued commodity. Roman soldiers were often paid in salt and someone who performed their job well was said to be “worth their salt.” Salt was also foundational in the development of civilization because of its ability to preserve food.
This whole salt conversation reminded me of a time Jesus went up on a mountainside before a great multitude of people. Ordinary people like you and me. Husbands, wives, children, business owners, employees, soldiers, students, dreamers, political activists, religious folk, sex trade workers, drug addicts and people feeling burdened, lost and oppressed. What is interesting, very interesting, is that Jesus didn’t tell them to work harder or be more spiritual or try to be better. He didn’t proclaim that liberation and well-being would come to them once their external circumstances changed, like being freed from Roman occupation.
No he did not!
Rather, Jesus stood before all these people and proclaimed that they were, “the light of the world and the salt of the earth.” They were the ones who were highly favored and of great worth. They were the ones who were “worth their salt.” And they were the ones who could play a pivotal role in the development of civilization.
And so it is with you and me today.
Maybe you have heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and praying for a different result? And yet, if we were honest with ourselves, is this not how most of us live our lives? How often do we live life from the perspective of needing to be better – better leaders, better spouses, better parents, better lovers, better students, better employees or better communicators?
Maybe that is why we go from one diet to the next or feel compelled to climb the corporate ladder or attend that up-and-coming seminar or get a prestigious job. We seem to be burdened with an unquenchable thirst to prove our worth.
And if that is true, perhaps the question then becomes: “What would bettering myself give me?” Are we climbing the corporate ladder or going to the next workshop trying to prove that we are “worth our salt” – silently seeking to validate ourselves is some way so that we can feel worthy of love and acceptance?
Let me repeat the words of Jesus once again, “you are the salt of the earth.” You are more than enough today. You are beautiful, strong, courageous, brave, creative, sexy, adequate, competent, vibrant, noble and true. You are. You simply have been well trained over the years to believe that you are not.
In this moment I invite you to read these words by Albert Einstein very carefully: “The kind of thinking that will solve our problems will be of a different order to the kind of thinking that created those problems in the first place.”
What we need is to create a new model of the world for ourselves – one that wholeheartedly embraces wholeness, dignity and self-worth!
Until you and I embrace our wholeness, and learn to live in and through our wholeness, we will keep being driven and consumed by the fear of not being enough. And a life driven by this type of fear and shame leads to trading clarity of being, purpose and action for addictions to help us find comfort, significance and connection.
Today’s Unitas Project:
- I want to leave you with a few quotes from Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. These are responses that people shared when asked to give an example of shame (the fear of not being enough) in their life:
- Shame is getting laid off and having to tell my pregnant wife.
Shame is having someone ask me, “When are you due?” when I’m not pregnant.
Shame is hiding the fact that I’m in recovery.
Shame is raging at my kids.
Shame is bankruptcy.
Shame is my boss calling me an idiot in front of the client.
Shame is my husband leaving me for my next-door neighbor.
Shame is my wife asking me for a divorce and telling me that she wants children, but not with me.
Shame is infertility.
Shame is Internet porn.
Shame is hearing my parents fight through the walls and wondering if I’m the only one who feels this afraid.
- I truly hope these quotes help you to see that you are not alone – we all experience shame. Therefore it is critical to cultivate heartfelt understanding for why you do what you do and nurture relationships with people who will listen to you without judgment.
Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.
Photo from Shutterstock