The gift of good enough
Have you been dogged by a feeling that nothing is quite good enough? It’s so exhausting and so antithetical to contentment, gratitude and joy. The glass half empty syndrome. It’s stuck me that it’s pretty much at the base of what drives me, at least when I’m under stress. If I feel that way, I’m certainly going to be subconsciously passing that on to the people around me that I love, like a bitter stain.
We are adapted to see lacks, problems and dangers more sharply than the positive. In the end, people who run up a tree at a rustle in the grass are more likely to escape a leopard and pass their genes on. Over reacting when it’s only your sister sneaking up on you is better than not reacting to a real danger. Read that in New Scientist recently and it makes sense to me from an evolutionary point of view.
‘Good enough’ parenting outcomes for children are identical with ‘no expenses and effort spared’ parenting. I was relieved to read that when I was agonizing on which nursery school to send my son to. I did make an effort not to abuse him and he would like to be a little more neglected (preferably with money for groceries in the house by himself so he can turn up the music and have his friends over). Just saying before you report me to CPS.
If ‘good enough’ parenting allows parents to relax, then maybe there’s such a thing as being a good enough person and _(*Y*&^-ing relaxing a bit, letting in the light and breeze, taking time to follow the stream of other people’s stories, allowing yourself to be interested in something that takes your fancy, like water colors mixed on the page when sometimes they turn into subtle, in-between colors more beautiful than you could ever have intended.
I’m going to give this gift to me, and to people around me. It’s the opposite of judgement, assuming everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, as Arthur Ashe said, I think. As I’m doing.