Have you ever heard those words before? I don’t know about you but I couldn’t, in all good conscience, say I haven’t. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard those words on more occasions than I care to imagine, mostly self-inflicted. You see, I was raised in unspoken words and in actions in such a manner to have lived most of my adult life feeling exactly like that. I’m just ‘not good enough’. That’s probably the main reason why I refer to myself as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. When you’re raised without the love and affirmation that you can be somebody, anybody, a course is set that usually leads to pursuing one dream after another. Then, one day you wake to find that all those dreams are but a blip on a radar screen of your past, never truly amounting to anything worthwhile.
Please don’t get me wrong. I was not raised in an abusive family. The middle child of five siblings, I did not lack for plenty of fond childhood memories. There was just something about the way many children who were born in the 50’s, seemed to come from strict parents who often showed little affection. In all fairness to them, I would venture to say it was most likely a result of how they themselves were raised. Dad was the disciplinarian, with little in the way of physical affection for his children. Mom was meek and mild and, while she did indeed love her children dearly, that love was portioned out to five with little time focusing on any one of us. What has always bothered me though was the fact that I knew several kids my age that excelled in most everything they did and the common denominator was their home life. Where my life had little in the way of encouragement, theirs did and in a big way. It was something I carried with me well into life and something that I tried my very best to not repeat with my own children. I would break the cycle.
My parents have long since passed away and I thank them for the important things ingrained in me that I do wish to repeat for the rest of my life. One’s love of God, love of country, respect for all (especially my elders), the importance of helping others, etc, all very strong facets of my life. While I will always regret that my achievements in life measure low on any scale of grandeur, I still dream and dream in a big way. Just a different way. I believe that we were all created for a purpose and that purpose is good. Finding the purpose is the hard part though. What I have determined is that it’s the journey in finding our purpose that is what we call ‘life’. Speaking for myself, one doesn’t happen upon ‘their’ purpose and then fulfill it. The purpose is a path, often the narrow one, but it’s a matter of the right one. If I simply put one foot in front of the other each and every day on that right path then all is well. I’m not saying nothing will ever go wrong; it’s just that when it does, it’s still okay. It’s still well!
Regardless of whether you’ve been told you’re not good enough at something you put your hand to, examine your heart. If it’s the desire of your heart then let nothing another tells you discourage you from placing your feet on your path. After all, no one picks up a musical instrument and plays it beautifully the first time. Not even the second, third or fourth time. It takes practice. Such is life and our dreams in life. We may make mistakes, we may doubt our ability and we may even contemplate giving up. But a dream has a way of staying with us like an unquenchable thirst. If we keep our focus on the joy of each day and how it’s brought us one step closer to reaching that dream, then that is life at its finest. Again, it’s the journey that’s most important. THAT is where the joy is. The day I have no dream is the day I’ll take my last breath. Each night when I rest in bed, I ponder the day’s events and, without fail, can find joy in some aspect of that day. When life brings about that kind of peace and fulfillment, then I will never again need say ‘I’m not good enough’. Who, when living a life going in the right direction isn’t good enough?