And I am not speaking about the kind of good enough that is really our egos convincing us not to speak up or dare to play bigger.
I am speaking of good enough as a radical act of self-care. Let me explain.
On the whole, I’ve found the transition from two to three kids to be much easier than I anticipated. I even find myself picking up my friends’ kids with greater ease and frequency (what’s one more really?) – and having a fuller social life than I did six months ago.
But when I walk around my house, I sigh. A lot. Things are out of place. Dishes are in the sink. Laundry is piled up and waiting (oh, waiting) to be put away.
And my children have been a handful lately, too. (As I write this, my friend just dropped off a couple of books on sibling rivalry.) I know that there are likely several contributing factors to this current stage, although my ego wants to hold me largely responsible for what I am – and am not – doing.
But rather than replay episodes of my parenting that I’d rather undo, I remind myself that they are loved and they are safe. (And we all screw up sometimes.)
Whether it’s my house or parenting – or my changed body or a could-have-gone-better-meeting – I am often tempted to believe that I would be happier if I could tweak things just a little.
But I know that this is a lie. Happiness is primarily an inside job.
And while I could scurry around the house and tidy up, furiously read through the child-rearing books, eat less chocolate and be more rehearsed before meetings, I know that there will be more room for happiness if I simply choose to let it – the house, my parenting, my body – be good enough. Right now, as is.
Good enough does not mean that we abandon the dream, or settle for what no longer brings us alive. It means allowing ourselves to be fully human – to be messy, to be triggered, to stumble over words (or toys left strewn on the floor) – while we seek new experiences that improve the quality of our lives.
It means that we do not act from a place of desperation, urgency or inadequacy. This only furthers us from what it is we truly want, such as to be happy and loved (by our selves first and foremost.) Rather, making room for good enough means just that – making room. It is freeing up our energies that are driven by the need for perfection or impression.
So let there be a mess on my floor and laundry waiting to be put away. Sometimes what we need most is the breathing space between doing – a resting ground between efforts.
And we must choose our efforts wisely.
When we allow ourselves to be good enough – even with our blunders and idiosyncrasies – we invite deeper, more meaningful connections. As we let go of needing to have it all together, we allow others to do the same.
So I challenge you this month to practice this radical act of self-care. Do that thing you’ve been waiting to do even if you – or the circumstances – aren’t just right. Let it be good enough.
Because you are.