You Are Enough, Truly

‘Our society capitalizes on making us feel as if we are inadequate in some way…’ is a paraphrase of one of my new favorite and most powerful quotes from one of the countless documentaries I partook of this past week. I really do wish I could remember who said it. He probably said some more really profound shit, but regardless, when I let that statement really settle in to me, I realized the implications. If you’ve read some of my other happiness pieces, you’ll know that one of the things I strive and aspire to do is help as many people as possible achieve happiness and balance in their lives, and this statement really bothered me because it basically meant that our society is built and profits from our insecurities, which society itself, helps to create, exacerbate and then market and sells us the solution. How’s that for a slap in your face!

What exactly am I talking about? If you’re like myself, you require hardcore examples to help paint an unmistakable picture, so I will paint away. Everywhere we turn in society we are faced with overt sexual images because everyone knows, ‘sex sells,’ (duh!) And these images we’re force-fed aren’t filled with overweight, fluffy, people; quite the contrary, they contain thin, fragile, fresh-from-throwing-up-their-lunch models, and rock-hard dudes who look like they eat, sleep and snort steroids, who subconsciously make us all believe this is the standard body image that we must strive for, or be less desirable and die a lonely, miserable death. Thus we are all compelled to buy expensive home gym equipment, or get a membership and rock cute elastic outfits to workout in for all of five days, because after that, ‘eh, oh well’. Now, I don’t want anyone to confuse the example as me not being a proponent of good health. I believe in taking care of the body, mind and spirit, but I don’t believe we should be subconsciously guilted into believing we have to do something to achieve some predetermined, accepted result. But, lo and behold, this is how our society operates.

If the body image example isn’t working for you, hang on, I’ve got another one, countless ones really, but I’ll leave it at two, unless you inbox me. Let’s talk technology. Gadgets. Cue the angelic bells that seem to toll when people discuss the virtues of the latest Apple this or Samsung that. We barely master how to use our 5 version before the shelves are stocked with the 6 and 6s. And let’s be honest; how many people really use all 21,437 features these ‘smart’ devices come with? Not many of us. But, somehow, we are made to feel as if we live under a rock and speak Hebrew if we don’t own the latest whatchamacallit. When a friend of mine told me he paid $1100 for the latest phone, I told him that unless the phone came with a $1000 rebate, I wasn’t jumping on that bandwagon. I didn’t even know they were charging this much for phones now! People are driving whole cars that cost less! As you can tell, clearly, I am one of the people who lives under a rock, still using my two-year old phone that I got free with a contract. And we won’t even talk about my computers…I subscribe to the age-old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ and have managed to save myself quite a bit of money and headaches that way. But that is not what Capitalism wants. Capitalism wants you spending half your day in that Apple store trying to get your gadget working right. After spending that kind of money, they’d need to send a geek to my house personally, damn waiting in those crazy ass lines where you can happen to mistakenly mess around and buy some more bullshit that’s going to end up having you back in that line (I’m imagining Apple wouldn’t be too thrilled with me, cancel the Apple endorsements…). But really, it all becomes an insanely expensive hamster wheel. And who wants to be on a wheel, even if you’re listening to iTunes?

So since I’ve reached my two example cap, I think we need to talk realizations. And the first is that, simply, ‘you are enough’. It doesn’t matter if you’re a size two or if you have the latest phone on your hip or are wearing the latest fashions. None of it defines who you are or who you can become. A person doesn’t know any more about the quality of your character based on the car you drive, nor does driving a certain car improve your character. We spend so much time adding unnecessary stress and pressure onto ourselves trying to accomplish some unrealistic goals set forth by our capitalistic society because we are worried about what everyone else thinks that we end up missing the important things in life and rob ourselves of joy and peace of mind. Stop it! Today! The only one you need to truly need to be concerned about impressing is you. Any decisions we make should be because we need to, because we want to, because it’s the right thing to do, or because it’ll help someone else. Our decisions should not be made just because something just came out, we want to one up our associates, or we feel like everyone else is doing it because those reasons speaks more to personal insecurity and should be explored further.

After we realize that we truly are enough, we need to bring more mindfulness to our lives and into our decision-making processes. So often we act because somebody else did or because we were told to. Instead, we need to ask more questions like, ‘why am I doing this?’ ‘do I really need this (or to do this)?’ ‘how is this benefiting the me of tomorrow?’ My theory is that with more mindful behavior we’ll have less mindless acts that continuously lead to our unhappy occupancy of the hamster wheel, because isn’t it time to get off? you are enough pic

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