Recently, I watched a video of an ‘influencer’. She was a living, breathing version of photoshopped beauty. Her message came from a good place, she spoke about how important it is to take care of your mental health and to find happiness. She had a long, numbered list of things you can do to improve your happiness. On the surface the video seemed like a great message, something positive and actionable. But for some reason it didn’t sit well with me. The girl was likeable and was sharing something she genuinely believed might help others. Also, these are messages I believe are worth spreading, so why was I finding it jarring?
Here was a young, beautiful girl; hair, nails, eyelashes, everything groomed to perfection. She had the poster perfect body with a couple of attractive enhancements. She works out, traveling the world and brands shower her with endless freebies. But with all this, her message was ‘this still isn’t enough for me to be happy. I ALSO need to do so much more, I need to take care of my mental health, go to counselling, practice gratitude every morning, do yoga, meditate, the list went on and on. These are all amazing things I advocate, but the problem was her message to people was that all this still isn’t enough. She was adding more to everyone’s never ending to-do to-be happy list. So how can people keep up with all that’s expected of them, let alone actually do it all?
I think we all need to take a step back, pause for a second and relax. And instead of adding to that never ending list, try ripping it up, throwing away the pieces and starting afresh. How about we try letting go of all those expectations and pressures we put on ourselves. Instead why not try telling yourself you are enough. You are enough right here, right now, just as you are. There is absolutely nothing that you need, nothing you need to be, do or have. And maybe next time you feel overwhelmed or your mind is running away with all those ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘whats ifs’. Instead just stop! Take a deep breath and say to yourself ‘I am enough. I have enough. I don’t need to be, do or have anything. I am enough and I am whole.’ Try it once and see how it feels.
We live inside a cultural narrative that is constantly brainwashing us into believing that we need to do more, buy more or get to the next level in order to be worthy; that these things will suddenly, magically make us feel whole. But we must see through all the damaging, self interested messaging, the advertising, the fake lives of people online, and we must flip it all on its head. We must realise that nothing external will ever give us true value. Instead we need to come from a place of intrinsic value, that perfect seed that is always inside us but we are never taught to look for. That seed, that essence, that simple innocence and true that lies at the heart of us all has unwavering, incorruptible value.
We are all alive and we are all human. We are sharing this planet, trying to muddle through and do our best. Therefore, we all, equally deserve to live a decent and happy life, we are all of equal value. We don’t need to earn external validation, we don’t need to pay our way to become complete. When we come from that belief, we’re not trying to fill a void to become something, we’re already there. And the rest? It’s just for fun, icing on the cake and we don’t need to take it all so seriously.