What does it mean when you say you are enough?
Does it mean you already have everything you need, and everything in your life is under control? Only at this moment of the “perfect” situation can you say that you are enough? Can you never be enough until and unless you have everything in your life?
When you were a newborn baby, you didn’t have anything. You didn’t know how to walk, speak, read, and so on. You had neither education nor any expertise at all. You didn’t have any knowledge for your survival.
Ironically, however, as we were newborn babies, we had “everything.” We had the power to grab love from our parents and everyone around us. They loved us even though we didn’t have anything. As newborn babies, we were enough for love from them.
In this sense, we were “perfect.” We were complete as we didn’t have anything except for ourselves. And everyone, including our parents who loved us, knew this truth. They loved us because we were enough as we were.
As newborn babies, we unconsciously knew that our parents and everyone else loved us almost unconditionally. Without knowing, we even used to “hear” their voices saying:
“You are enough. You don’t need anything else because we love you unconditionally. You are enough as you are.”
Have we forgotten our infant memories? No, we haven’t.
As grown-ups, we love babies. And, our parents and everyone else loved us when we were babies. By nature, we are capable of giving and receiving love.
In both giving and receiving love, you are enough as you are. We don’t need any additional attributes. That’s why we feel a sense of awe with this statement:
“You are enough as you are.”
At the same time, however, we also find this statement unrealistic if not too ideal. In our material world, we no longer believe and have forgotten the truth that we are enough as we are for both giving and receiving love. Instead, consciously or unconsciously, if not falsely, we believe that love is inherently “conditional.”
To “give” our love, we tend to believe a series of conditions that we have to be:
- And more
Love seems one of the acquired “arts” that we can learn throughout the practices of our existential path towards maturity, as Erich Fromm explored in his work, “The Art of Loving.”
Romantic, sensual love among juveniles, for example, should be typical in this view. This type of love is not so different from a sense of selfish possession called Eros in Greek. To master the art of loving, it seems that we have to overcome the shallowness of such selfish love attributes.
Such a view is agreeable. On the other hand, we are already enough as we are for love. How should we understand both perspectives? Is it a paradox of love that we should embrace?
We are “not yet enough” due to the shallowness of our selfish, sensual love. At the same time, we are “already enough” as we are, even without mastering “the art of love.”
We are not yet enough. Nevertheless, or because of that, we are already enough as we are.
The same is true for “receiving” love. To receive love, we tend to believe a series of conditions that we have to be:
- Beautiful or handsome
- Rich, smart, and intelligent
- And more
In our material world, these conditions are obsessively chasing after us as if everyone is telling one another that we can never receive love unless and until we get qualified enough with all these seemingly positive attributes. Consciously or unconsciously, if not falsely, we believe that love is what we can “buy” only with a series of positive qualifications.
You love a set of flagship smart devices of the high profile manufacturers with superb qualifications (like iPhone) but don’t love a mere unknown one with limited features. You love those companies that keep on improving their product lineups.
In this market analogy, consciously or unconsciously, we tend to consider ourselves as such “product lineups.” To get love, we think:
- We need to be with higher qualifications.
- We need to improve ourselves continually.
Thus, we praise the growth mindset. We admire high achievers as our “role models.” And we tend to believe that success should be almost synonymous as a means to gain love.
Even in the Biblical parable, we hear a lesson to develop our talents. The allegory says that the master blamed his servant, who hid and kept his talents but didn’t develop anything over them.
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:Matthew 25:25-26
Such a view is agreeable. We must develop and maximize our talents as precious gifts from God. On the other hand, we are already enough as we are for love. Otherwise, why did God give us His gifts as our (potential) talents in the first place? How should we understand both perspectives? Is it a paradox of love that we should embrace?
We are “not yet enough” due to the potentiality of our undeveloped talents. At the same time, we are “already enough” as we are with the precious gifts from God. We are not yet enough. Nevertheless, or because of that, we are already enough as we are. For, we ourselves are indeed the precious gifts from God.
Do you think you are not enough for love? God forbid! You have been ever enough since God sent us in this world as His precious gifts. Yes, we should develop our talents as they are also His gifts. But then, let us never forget the truth that we ourselves are His gifts in the first place.
We knew this truth as newborn babies and parents.
We are inherently for love regardless of who we are or because God loves who we are. Once we recall this truth, God’s love overwhelms us in the sense of awe with this statement:
“You are enough as you are.”
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.John 15:12
Once we realize the truth that God loves us unconditionally. This very truth sets us free. We are enough as we are. We can love one another unconditionally as well. At the same time, we can live our lives to develop His precious gifts. These are not only our talents but primarily and ultimately ourselves God loves already. So, we love one another and ourselves likewise. And love God wholeheartedly:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.Matthew 22:36-40