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Good Enough. Tuesday October 27, 2015

There came a time in my life when I wondered whether what was missing was some spiritual guidance. I thought maybe that was why I found it so hard to enjoy life.

Coincidentally a family friend was talking about travelling and meeting buddhists who all seemed so happy and kind. She had joined a local group and was learning to chant.

To cut a long story short, I liked the ideas but I wasn't dedicated enough to learn to become a buddhist. For a start I eat meat! I can be loving and giving to most people most of the time, but not all people all of the time!

What I have settled for is being good enough. I may not have achieved enlightenment, but I'm already halfway there!

I may not be Super Mum, but I'm a good mum. Children are resilient and for every short coming there is a flip side. I have been able to reassure and teach them things that I wouldn't have learnt if I hadn't suffered from anxiety and depression. Things that have taken me decades to learn!

My house is small and cluttered, but it's a cosy and friendly place and my kids friends like it here.

I constantly feel like I am not good enough at work, always too much to do yet still having to justify my time, always worrying about making a mistake. But the people that I help like me, they value my help and appreciate that I give from my heart's perspective rather than from targets and finances.

I could eat better, drink gallons of water, exercise more, do more housework, learn to meditate and do it every day, go out and make more friends... But given the circumstances I'm in, what I'm able to manage is definitely good enough. People may want more from me, but what they're getting will have to do!

The real question is, am I good enough for me?

The truth is that I'm always striving to improve, to learn how to make things better.

No one is perfect, there is no end point to reach. I'm all for not being too hard on myself, just a little tweak here and there as I go! So yeah, I guess that on the whole, who I am and how I live is good enough for me!

If I had to pick one small random thing, that is positive about me I'd go for "fun loving", what would you go for?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Alex Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:02am

Lilly Pet, I love that....amI good enough for me?
Off to try to think of a small random thing tht is positive about me. Am just coming out of a huge panic attack and just sitting listening to Leonard Cohen and 'being'

Milliecat Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:40am

Hi I'd say you have a good taste in music !

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:21am

I'm glad I was here when you came out of it Alex, yes great taste, love Leonard Cohen too! What's your favourite song? Xx

Milliecat Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:39am

Great blog - I've been there too! Am I good enough.Buddhists and vegans and mindfullness gurus and folk who travel the world with a yurt seem to be higher up the Amazing Ladder. It isn't a ladder though - its just where you are in your life. Your family and house sound great and your clients are lucky to have you working for them. You are good enough indeed. Something positive about me? I'm resilient - most days! Thanks for your blog x

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:38am

Hi Milliecat, great name! Resilient is where it's at! There will always be stuff to deal with. We dont master anything without falling, it's all about the come back! LP x

Nick Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:54am

You sound like a very good Buddhists, to me. I think your enlightened! xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:43am

Awww thanks Nick! The Buddhists I met were a family hosting gatherings in their home. They were so lovely, welcoming, generous and considerate. Perhaps in our own way we all are those things! :) xx

Debs Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 7:12am

Hey LP - I'll add to your positive list that you are kind and compassionate (writing a blog takes both of those things), talented (your writing is heartfelt) and fearless (you put yourself out there in words and that takes something). Thank you. Something positive about me is that I'm creative, funny and sensitive. Your 'good enough' thought reminded me of Brene Brown... Have you read Daring Greatly? Amazing book that I go back to all the time about being good enough. xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:48am

Hey Debs, thank you! Jeeze am blushing! :) I so welcome your funny, creative and sensitive posts! No I haven't heard of Brene Brown, Daring Greatly is a cool title, will defo check it out! Thanks hun xx

Zareen Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 7:22am

Hi Lillipet, I loved your blog which entirely resonated with me!

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:51am

Hi Zareen, glad we connected with this blog! Thanks LP

Brum Mum Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 7:58am

Good enough- a wonderful concept. It re minds me of mindfulness where living in the present means that you accept yourself as you are...good enough. I am good enough to do my work today, meet my clients and welcome my two back from a long weekend with their Dad. What you describe is a loving home, doing work with compassion and having lots of friends...that's more than good enough!! Your home sounds wonderful. Thanks for your insight, Lilipet.

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:02am

Hi BM, I am very lucky I guess, to be blessed with those things in my life. Although I get along with people easily, I only have very few friends but it's not about numbers I suppose and being on here feels like I have a new circle of friends! It sounds like you have a great many positives that to bring to your work and 2 children. Thank you back! LP :)

susan Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:00am

Hi Lillypet. Wonderful! That really is the crux of the matter: 'am I good enough for me?' I am empathic and intuitive for a start...but do all my positives add up to being good enough? They should but my negatives don't allow it. A victim of the perfection myth, I guess. Or is there one big negative that is causing the problem? You've really given me something to think about! Thank you so much. Xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:29am

Hi Susan, I've read some of your posts on here and you are more than good enough! Just those two things for a start are great qualities to have and to give with. Not only are there more positives about you, thankfully there's no adding up to be done! ( I'd fall flat if there was coz numbers ain't my strong point lol!) it's about who you are, without the stuff that clouds you. Like you, I get the perfection thing, but we're aware of it and can recognise that we can be a little too hard on ourselves. It's also a good quality to have too though. I'm glad you're on your journey. As humans we are programmed to look out for danger, whats wrong, but it's good that you're aware that it's not allowing the real you to shine as brightly as you can! Or maybe you do and just don't see it! Towards the end of her life, my grandmother spoke to me on the phone from thousands of miles away and emphasised "People like you for WHO YOU ARE" the way she emphasised that told me that with all she had experienced, she wanted to give me that gift of knowing what is really most important. Who you really are without the clouds. I look forward to reading your posts Susan however you are feeling and I'm glad you're here! :) Thank you too! LP Xxx

susan Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:35am

What a generous and warmly supportive response, LillyPet, thank you. Please add 'adorable' and 'wise'to your adjective list. Just like your grandmother. Xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:47pm

Awww thank you Susan! Xxx

Lex Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:11am

What a lovely blog, LillyPet... and what a state of enlightenment to get to when we see ourselves as good enough for ourselves. Forgive me if it reminds me of something Farmer Hoggett says in "Babe" - but I've got an internal Farmer Hoggett. He says to me, "That'll do pig!" Great start to the day! L'xx

Mary Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 12:32pm

Love that, Lex! Very important, that. I always ask myself "could I have done more?" When I know I've given it everything I could.

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:33am

Lol! Love that Farmer H!! That will make me smile if I catch myself worrying about what I havent managed! I'll look at what I have and think "That'll do pig!" Brilliant! Havent seen Babe, but it sounds like a plan! :) Cheers Lex! xx

Florence Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 11:59am

Thanks LP! I needed to hear your perspective today.

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 12:56pm

My pleasure Florence! I'm glad to hear that :)

Mary Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 12:34pm

LillyPet - this is a very wise blog. So often we ask more of ourselves than we would ever dream of asking of anyone else. One advantage of reaching 50 is that I've (finally) learned to like myself.

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 1:18pm

That's so true Mary! Yes, looking back, I've come a long way too. I would be either confused by the idea of learning to love myself (huh?) or on a bad day burst into tears at the thought, feeling that I'd never even understand it, let alone get there! But thankfully I do have determination and from reading, listening, struggling and healing I am so much closer now! I look at it as caring for myself. Standing up for myself. Doing things for myself that are healthy, but nice. Looking out for others, bringing sunshine and smiles when I can. I've always done those things, It's been there all along. I havent had to change me, just be able to see the positives :) There will be times when it's harder, but those times come and leave! Overall if we look and learn, things can get better. Thanks Mary :)

Dave Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 2:04pm

I pray for spiritual guidance daily...I firmly believe that we all have a purpose in this life and if we can somehow discern that purpose we will be much more content with who we are...Finding it is really a task however. I often ask myself am I depressed or just bored? It is hard to differentiate for me. Do others feel that way also. A vicious circle Am I depressed because I am bored? Or, am I bored and lack energy and interests interests because I am depressed? Interested in knowing if others face this quandary. My strengths .. caring and determined. Hugs to all

Debs Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 5:05pm

I recognise that Dave! I have asked myself the same question.. In the summer I worked with an organisation briefly that I loved and I can honestly say it was the happiest I've been for years. I felt a huge sense of purpose and contribution. And almost as soon as the work stopped I slid back downhill. I believe too that we have a purpose and I came a little closer to finding mine. I also believe that true happiness comes in service to others. Caring and determined are mighty fine qualities and in a man incredibly attractive ;-)) Keep being curious and you never know what you might uncover xxx

Steph Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:40pm

Thank you LillyPet for your blog. Apart from the children (I don't have any) it resonated with me very much. I have spent a week of thinking I'm not good enough at my job because I can't fix everyone's problems. I've beaten myself up and forgotten who I am and what I'm good at. I always find it surprising how quickly the downward spiral happens and not doing all the things you mentioned about eating well and drinking lots is usually the first sign I'm about to implode! I'm going to think about what I'm good at...

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:46pm

Hi Steph, it sounds so similar! We run ourselves into the ground to make ourselves feel more worthy at work and gradually start to neglect ourselves, lunch on the go, etc etc. Great that you've spotted the early signs. Hope you put on the breaks a bit and look after you. LP x

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 6:55pm

I can recognise those feelings, both can feed each other and feel like a vicious circle. Breaking the cycle by doing something different might help.
I also agree that we all have our strengths and interests. I admire people who have a passion for something and get fully engrossed in it. I think there's a book called Find Your Passion, but I havent read it! I went for so many years trying to please those around me, that I had no idea what I wanted. Debs is right, it's with that curiosity and determination that you will find out.
Hugs back Dave! LP :)

The Gardener Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:27pm

Sitting in the hospital emergency waiting room waiting, after many dramas, to see if someone could persuade my husband to live, I talked to another waiting lady. She had breast cancer, her husband had been operated on for major heart problems, and, yesterday he buried his brother - pain today, panic. We chatted - she is incredibly positive - I talked about how I felt I had never done enough, never tried enough. Earlier in the day, after the departure of the ambulance, I spent some time with my great-grand-daughter, hugging her and trying to help her with her distress at seeing my husband in a hospital bed in our house in a near coma. I tried to instill in her (she is marvelous with animals) that you pour love and comfort on those who are suffering, human or animal, then go and kick, scream, cry and throw things as a relief. We determinedly had the first decent meal together, I stayed in the truly supporting restaurant after waving them good-bye. Am I good enough? You can only do your best. My poor husband is too weak to argue as has been the case in the last few months of Alzheimer - he was resigned to staying in hospital tonight (as opposed to being angry, with me) the doctor is a very pretty girl - does not look much older than my 13 year old g-g-daughter. I hugged him, all in the corridor where there was a log jam of stretchers, and said that to get home to me and our new house he must walk again. Could I have done better? Eldest son, here for two days only, has been a 'tower' of strength (he is very tall) and we have both done things we thought we could not do - he helping me to carry his Dad to the loo, or whizz him around on the office chair. He sat by his Dad reading, talking when dad was awake - which left me to sort out the complicated medical details. Have actually made plans for the next few days, including the exhibition - trying for as much normality as possible. Is that selfish or sensible? Being good enough? It is obvious that many of us have suffered from an early life which persuaded us that we weren't much good anyway. Today, I've done my best - nobody can do any more than that. Sweet dreams to you all.

Debs Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:44pm

TG - promise me you will write a book of your experience with your husband? It will be so incredible for people to read and feel your strength. You are incredible xx

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:47pm

How can you even think that you don't do enough TG? We can all see how much you do for your husband as well as your family who pop over stay - and have often taken you for granted. Think about and then re-read what you have written above. You have been kind to the woman who was in the waiting room with you, whilst you we both in a panic over your poorly husbands; you have been kind and generous to your great-granddaughter - giving comfort to her whilst she has seen you and her father upset over her very poorly grandfather; yet again you show resilience in looking after your husband whizzing him around in the chair, carrying him to the loo etc...if you didn't have so much love inside and so much to give I think you may have given up on Mr TG ages ago. Yes, dear have done your best and that'll do. Bear hugs and sleep well, Bear x

The Gardener Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:29pm

Just a post-script after scanning the blogs above - who judges if we are good enough? For ourselves? For others? Is there an 'A'level in goodness? Reckon most of us would get 'unclassified'.

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 8:51pm short reply...I think others judge: with the nasty things they say, the miserable quips they find easy to drop into conversation. With withering looks or their very best - the look up and down they give as you are speaking...oh, I'm not that good at maths...but I think much of it adds up to their problem not ours!

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:29pm

Hi TG, What you have been through and all you have done is an inspiration. You're right! there's no standard to be judged, or to judge ourselves by. It's how we respond to those thoughts, "could I have done better?" or "Is that selfish?" I loved your response "I've done my best today..". I hope that you get a chance to have a good rest TG. Hugs LP

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:29pm

Hi TG, What you have been through and all you have done is an inspiration. You're right! there's no standard to be judged, or to judge ourselves by. It's how we respond to those thoughts, "could I have done better?" or "Is that selfish?" I loved your response "I've done my best today..". I hope that you get a chance to have a good rest TG. Hugs LP

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 9:06pm

Hi Lillypet, I've been out all day and only just sat down to respond...great blog getting us to all think about something good about ourselves and it's about time we did that!
I sometimes find it hard to think about the good I have in me as it feels like the minute I just slaps me in the face saying 'you're too big for your furry boots, Bear!' It almost feels like I'm being big-headed by thinking good thoughts about myself. It's far easier to follow how I have been treated, by some, for years and keep me in my liddle place...somewhere near the bottom of the pile. It's much more difficult actually telling peeps that I'm actually good at something that isn't a job! I never thought I was a good mum, not many mums and dads do think we are good, but most of us do our very best and let's face it, our children grow up quite well regardless!!
I quickly read your blog this morning and thought about it today whilst whizzing around. I think I have to say that kindness has come out as my thing...and that's because it was mentioned five times today. I had to realise this when I actually sat down to respond this evening....once was from a dear friend who I had met earlier and helped. Being thanked for kindness in offering dinner to someone who I thought was in his own this evening; the other times...well, let's just leave them...or I will be big-headed!
Well done,
Bear x

Debs Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:34pm

Bear bear bear!! Can we just address that very short shortlist of yours?! Kind, yes; and compassionate, tick; witty, tick; caring, tick; wordsmith of the highest order, tick; big-hearted, tick... I could go on. Sheesh - what are we all doing to ourselves. Moodscope class I demand more self-compassion!! Homework for you all tonight is write out 'I am good enough' twenty times in your notebooks and list ten good qualities about yourself. Run along now, what are you waiting for?!! Xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:45pm

Lol! Here here Debs! :)) xx

LillyPet Tue, Oct 27th 2015 @ 10:44pm

Thanks Bear! Well kindness is way up there in my humble opinion! And that quality is so important to teach to our children.
I felt totally big headed writing this blog! We're taught to be modest not positive!. But I stayed with it. Feel the cringe and do it anyway! Maybe it takes practice after experiences that have conditioned us to feel that we belong at the bottom of the heap not where we can shine. So list away honeybear! :) LP xx

Debs Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:47am

Whenever you feel that 'who d'you think you are?!' thing coming on just think to yourself 'who am I to keep myself small? I have stuff to share that will help people'. Just look at the comments and connections you've made?... every one of us that follows this blog needs your words. I needed them yesterday so don't you dare keep them to yourself ;-) xxx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 12:36am

Thank you Debs, that's my gut feeling so I'll ignore those other neggy thoughts! ;) xxx

Milliecat Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 9:27am

This link might be useful re being good enough, or indeed just enough. I like Brene approach and honesty..

LillyPet Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 12:37am

Will defo check it out! Thanks M x

danielle Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 11:34am

Lovely blog Lillpet. I often beat myself up for not being good enough. Not having spotted a mistake at work, not doing ALL the tidying and cleaning, not doing all my jobs on the to-do list, not riding my horse or caring for her as well as I could, not being as good a partner as I could, etc etc - the list is endless! I genuinely view myself day-to-day as not good enough - in my mind I have always done something negative or bad. This blog reminded me of the very few times I have reflected back - and instead of thinking 'gosh I have only done 2 things from the latest to-do list' I look back over my previous to-do lists, the ones I worried about last month, and I see all of these things are completed now, the house jobs are done, washing done, cleaning done, etc etc - and I praise myself for this. But I need to do this more, and transform my thinking so I stop punishing myself for the negatives and praise myself for the positives. Others certainly see mainly positives I think I am just hard on myself but it is hard to change these habits.

LillyPet Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 12:45am

Yes I think it's hard to change if it's how you learned to get things done. Years of conditioning wont change easily, but awareness is a great start and because you want to be more kind and gentle with yourself it will change gradually, you'll make small adjustments, think to yourself, " that can wait" or "that will do, I'm stopping" and just like your lists, you'll look back and remember how hard you used to be on yourself! LP :)

readerwriter Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 2:01pm

Milliecat -I also LOVE that ted talk

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