I was a difficult teenager. I felt deeply misunderstood and alone. I expressed my pain through anger. My dad used to say, "Good luck to the guy who ends up with you."
Now, I'm working with a young girl who lives in Pakistan. Her mother is trying to arrange her marriage. When no suitable suitors come to her door she tells her, "You're ugly. You're fat. What's wrong with you? Change your clothes."
My little sister's best friend makes plans and doesn't include her—with the girl who lives right across the street. She watches out the window as they walk into her house.
Life hurts sometimes. People say and do things without truly understanding their implications. If my dad knew that saying those words to me over and over again would create a belief that I was too much for any man, he never would have said it.
Most of us don't really want to hurt each other. Some of us do, and that's usually because we're in so much pain that we don't know what to do with it so we start throwing it onto someone else. It makes us feel less alone in our pain.
Knowing this can make it a little easier, but often it doesn't change anything. It doesn't dissolve the limiting belief we've adopted. It doesn't make us feel more beautiful or worthy. It still hurts.
Most of us take that hurt and we reach way outside of ourselves to find something to make us feel whole again. We focus all of our energy on why our friend sucks, or we try to do everything to get our mom to show us an ounce of love. We beg the world to fill up the gaping wound within.
But in the moments when you don't feel like enough, you have a chance to look a little deeper. You have a chance to let go. You have a chance to begin to heal yourself.
Within every single human being is a nugget of gold. Each of us is perfect at the core. Each of us is even perfect in our imperfections. Our minds create right and wrong, good and bad. These measurements for judgment allow us to condemn one another. They allow us to shame ourselves.
But you actually have the power to access that nugget of gold. It's within you. Chances are, if you're reading this, you feel like you're not enough right now—maybe you tend to feel this way often. Nothing seems to go your way. You aren't satisfied with your job, your relationship is off or nonexistent, there are people around you who don't seem to care for you in the way you're longing for.
Still, within you is that nugget of gold. It's still there. You just can't feel it because you're too busy focusing on all the things that you don't like or want in your life. If you pay attention, you'll notice that the more you focus on the things you don't want, the worse you feel. You can focus on these things so much that you eventually find yourself in a depression. You've stirred up so much chaos that your truth is buried deeper than you can dig.
You have the power to climb out of the darkness and reconnect to the part of you that is worthy of everything you want. You have the power, but you have to realize that it's within you. It's not out in the world. It's not in the words of this article. It's not in your yoga practice. It's not in your therapy sessions. It's within you.
All of those things are great. I love them. I love sharing the tools I've learned to heal my heart and love myself. I love my yoga practice. I love my mentors and coaches. But none of these things is my truth. They are paths to it. If you truly want to feel like enough, you need to take the reins and use these tools to look inward.
When you choose to release negative thoughts and bring your awareness, instead, to the joys of your life, to the things you want, to the beauty in nature, to the stars in the sky, you will find yourself being lifted up. You'll see that you've been trying to turn things you cannot control into things that make you feel good instead of simply focusing on the things that make you feel good.
The greatest tools for transformation are often the simplest ones. Find the things that bring you joy and focus on them. Let go of the words that hurt your soul.
When you realize that you have a choice, you stop being the victim. When you stop being the victim, you empower yourself to access that golden nugget and begin to feel completely whole as you are. From that place of completeness and security, nothing anyone says about you can make you feel like you're not enough.