The Elusive Land Called Enough

Why is it so hard for us to create boundaries for the well-being of ourselves and those who love us and celebrate that we are in the world?

  • Not enough things or the money we’d hoped for beyond what we need for basic necessities, so we work harder, as in longer hours and longer years…
  • Not enough food so instead of getting help with a food addiction or with an emptiness inside that nothing will quite fill, we eat more and more…
  • Not enough achievement or recognition, not enough trophies on the mantle or certificates on the wall, so we use up more and more of those precious commodities, time and energy, to go for more glory instead of giving ourselves and those we love what they most want from us if they truly love us, and that is pure us—undistracted, untorn, unpulled.

There are those among us who make it, unscathed and very fulfilled, to that elusive Land called Enough—probably with fewer awards and less recognition and fewer friends in high places and less followers on Facebook and bank accounts with balances with fewer zeroes on the righthand side of the total than they’d set out to stash. 

Sadly, the population in the Land of Enough is much smaller than any other place where people who have choices choose to live, and many people in the world don’t have the freedom to make many or any decisions that shape their destinies—for example that vast wasteland, the Valley of Dissatisfaction. 

So what characterizes the Enough-ites from other human beings?  Given essential legality and morality—which are pretty broad commitments not to harm self or others—Enough-ites share these traits of citizenship: 

  1. They didn’t end up in the Land of Enough by accident; they didn’t stumble in.  They chose to be there, and once there they chose/choose to remain. 
  1. They are people who write their own life rules, often because they have been inspired by one of more of the handful of human beings who lived life with absolute success. One of those sources of inspiration is Jesus from Nazareth. 
  1. They have their priorities in order, and it’s pretty easy for them to recognize those priorities and live by the values needed to do so. 
  1. They have people in their lives not because they have to, but because they choose to; they are open to receiving at meaningful levels positive people (not negative people—they are willing to be as supportive of negative people as they can, but as long as they remain essentially paralyzed by negativity they can’t have one of the limited number of places any one of us has available at our core) who give signals that they would like to be received, and Enough-ites are vulnerable enough to take risks in giving out such signals to those positive people in whose circles they’d like to run. 
  1. Lifting up those who fall and struggle comes naturally to them not because they are codependent or addicted to a “helper’s high,” but because being at peace with themselves they have the capacity to take note of what others are going through and take steps to alleviate the pain of others wherever they can. 
  1. They recognize that all the accolades in the world can’t matter much to someone who isn’t to some degree one who respects and admires and, yes, cheers one’s own achievements whether or not anyone else does. 
  1. They don’t give up on using their talents and gifts to the max, but the reasons to do so are not related to praise or approval from others. 
  1. They have learned the secret that life is much too complex and unpredictable to buy into any of the all-or-nothing folk philosophies or theologies out there; for example, if one negative thing is going on in our lives we shouldn’t be wearing around one of those “It Sucks to Be Me” sweatshirts. 
  1. Because of all the energy they save having learned to be satisfied, and it DOES take effort and exercise, they have the wherewithal to combat problems that arise than do those who have already used up every once of energy they have trying to live beyond enough/Enough. 
  1. Before putting down roots in the Land called Enough, all of them drove passed the Enough exit on life’s highway because almost everybody wants bigger and better/biggest and best at some point in their lives. 

Any idea what the next exit was?  There wasn’t one.  There isn’t one.