Am I Good Enough?
This week I have been studying what makes up people. What drives us to do what we do? What is the DNA of men and women? I am no expert on depression or psychology, but I am an expert on my own experiences. These blog posts are essays. Essays are not finished products, they are tries, because the word, essay, comes from the French verb, essayer, meaning to try.
In pursuit of being vulnerable and open, I will TRY.
There is a pretty famous story in the Bible, the story of Adam and Eve. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, we can learn something deep about who we are as people displayed in this story. If you are not familiar with this story, let me catch you up in a few sentences- if you are familiar, just read the three Bible verses down below. There is Adam, man, and Eve, woman, living in the Garden of Eden with God. God says do not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Satan, the serpent, gets Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and then Eve gives the forbidden fruit to Adam. They have compromised their relationship with God and God speaks to them afterwards. Read Genesis 1-3 for the full story which is better than my cliff notes version.
Am I good enough?
That is the question we ask ourselves all the time.
The fall of man was not really Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. The fall of man really is what happens after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit- the side effects.
God points out to Eve that her desire will be for Adam and that he will rule over her. God points out to Adam that by the sweat of his brow and painful toil he will produce his living. Instead of being defined by God, Adam and Eve and in turn, the rest of humanity is defined by what they do. This is the initiation of men and women asking, am I good enough?
Why does this all matter?
Regardless of if you believe in the Bible or not, we can all agree on one thing- we seek approval. Whether you like it or not, this is true. We may seek this approval in many forms- through a job, a relationship, or something else. Our pursuit of happiness is really disguised by a self-approval to satisfy the question, am I good enough?
In the pursuit of my dreams, I believe that I have lived in faith- faith and confidence that my dreams could and would come true. I bought a one way ticket to Seattle after I graduated high school and never looked back- only forward. Whenever I felt unsure during my time in Seattle, it was because I looked back in fear. Was I really suppose to move to Seattle? Should I be dancing? Maybe I should have just gone to college like everyone else. These questions and doubts boiled to one question- am I good enough?
After two years of additional training and performing in Seattle, I got a job as a professional ballet dancer and my dreams came true.
I am on top of the world! I have everything I have ever wanted.
The downfall of man comes back - the unsatisfaction. The insecurity.
When I started to feel depressed, that is when I lost that faith and confidence. I lost myself and started to get in my head about the lack of ability I had to be great at what I love. I care for dance as an artform. I want to be great and I have ambitions for my life. It is healthy to have ambitions, but how we treat those ambitions can be either really healthy, or not healthy.
We can allow those ambitions to drive us to great heights. Conversely, we can allow those ambitions to drive us to great depths.
During the summer before I moved to Austin in September of 2016, someone asked me, "What are your ambitions for your career?"
I told this person, "To enjoy it. I reached what I have wanted to do- now it is time to enjoy it."
When I moved, I was enjoying dancing for what it was- freeing. I didn't stop liking dance, in fact, I grew a deeper love for dance. Over time, I began to let this define me. If I do well in this career, I will be able to say yes, I am good enough. If I don't do well, I will not be able to say that I am good enough. If I can't say that I am good enough, I cripple myself to the core.
Well- What is crippling is not the fact that I answer I am not good enough, but in fact my pursuit of approval. I have lost the pure joy of dance and the freeing feelings. I have put pressure on something that I love and have been career driven.
Is dance the problem?
No. It never has been.
My career itself is a beautiful thing and I believe that. But underneath me, I am hurting and full of fear. Am I good enough to be a disciple of Christ? Am I good enough to lead another woman as a boyfriend and eventually a wife? Will I be good enough to be a father? Will I be good enough to create friends within my community. Will I be good enough to provide for others?
These are the real fears that I have.
As I have tried to find answers to these fears, I tried to seek them in the one thing I have going for me- my dance career. I have allowed my career as a dancer to distract me from the hurt that I am feeling deep within myself. In turn, I have hurt the very thing that I love- dance.
What are your fears? What are you really struggling with?
We all are hurting.
God gave us Jesus, to redeem humanity from the fall of man. Jesus makes us good enough.
Quite honestly, I lost a lot of faith in God and in His grace because I tried to mask my hurt and fear through dance. I used dance as my scapegoat. I am grieving- truly.
I need help.
I am going to seek that help. I am excited! I am excited to work through my hurt on a spiritual and psychological level.
YOU CAN'T GET HELP, IF YOU DO NOT RECOGNIZE FIRST THAT YOU NEED HELP (RULE 106).
After months of denial and distraction, it is time for me to jump into my fears and understand them, not distract from them. The only thing that I has truly kept me alive is my dwindling faith in God. Yes, it has been small, but it is the only thing that is keeping me afloat and positive that I can be great.
This has been an extremely hard process and this will take time. I am entering a new phase that I am excited for- seeking help. I am humbled but I am ready for healing. With this healing of my true self, I will be able to enjoy the innocent and beautiful things within my life like dancing.