Should I do more? Have I done enough?
I’ve long intellectualized the idea of enough. I’ve weighed it in my mind, considered it against a known quantity, against the shadow of death. I’ve often asked myself: if I die tomorrow, have I done enough?
Always this comparison has left me not measuring up. I can do more therefore I should do more. There it is, the Should Monster. Easy to identify but far too intelligent to merely crumble away and disappear upon inspection.
I’ve encountered it again and again on the field of battle as I try to defuse the threat of doing enough that creeps in throughout the day. But I’ve only focused on the mental struggle with it, and while occasionally I’ve won the fight—I still am losing the war.
That has been the story until recently. The battle has slowly and quietly slipped from my mind. Yes I can still hear the rumble and rustle at times, but now it feels far more distant and disconnected from me. Almost a memory, or a reminder of the past. The secret? Not using my head.
The less I think about the answer to the question of whether or not I’ve done enough and the more I feel the answer the better.
I’ve done enough when I no longer feel like doing more. I’ve done enough when I feel I am tired and want to go home. I’ve done enough when I feel I have offered my best attempt.
Death, legacy, fear, and so on aren’t really brought in to the equation any more. It’s just me trying my damnedest at being present. Sometimes that involves some intentional breathing, but most of the time it just means trying to ascertain and accept how I’m feeling. I try to listen, to pay attention, and to trust my body to tell me.
Some days are easier than others, listening to yourself takes both effort and courage to undertake.
Honoring yourself can be quite trying, but I can assure it leads to the path of connectedness. Connected to myself and to my body. Connected to others and my energy level to best interact with them. Connected to the beautiful unfolding of the world happening all around us and the many wonderful creatures that fill it.
I hope you want to join me in deepening all of our connections, especially our own. I invite you to consider slowing down and listening to what your body/emotional space are telling you next time you are thinking you didn’t do enough or that you should do more. Use that doubt/fear as a catalyst to connect with yourself.
See what feelings arise. Honor them by acknowledging them and then trust yourself as you allow yourself to merely make another step along your journey of being alive. Trust that there is no rush and that your path is far more complex and interesting than you could ever imagine.