Recently, the inner narrative, “I am not enough or am I too much” has been playing increasingly louder and louder with every passing second. The other day, the whistle on the pressure cooker blew off the lid, rupturing into a cathartic release of warm, cleansing tears running down my cheeks. In the presence of my Divine Maker, I entered into the wilderness of my inner soul. Nestled in the warm embrace of Love and Intimacy, I struggled with the ways in which I have made internalized sexism my companion. Alas, I faced the foes “not enough” and “too much”.
Yesterday morning, while I was making peace with my truth: “I am exceedingly hard on myself without merit”, a dear friend sent this “disturbingly powerful” video to me.
I swear she must have been a spectator in my inner world, watching me struggle with the voices of internalized sexism shouting, “You are too much” and “You’re not enough” at the exact same time. She must have been sitting with me, in my inner wilderness, as I labored towards my inner liberation, from the ways in which I have bought into the lies:
You’re too intimidating. You’re too shy. You don’t know enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re too smart. You’re doing too much. You’re not doing enough. You’re take up too much space. You don’t take up enough space. I am not thick enough. You’re too pretty. You’re not pretty enough. You’re too dark.
And the list of accusations goes on and on and on…
I recalled times that I made myself small in order to make someone else feel big. I remembered times I chose to hide so that I would not be seen.
As I watched the video, three times, I found myself asking myself: “Recall those moments when you knew and/or felt you were enough.” In remembering, I named the essence of my enoughness in those memories:
- I knew the inner-peace of my enoughness when I recognized it was my boundaries that were most unlikable and undesirable, not me.
- I saw the power of my enoughness when I spoke my truth and was met with respect.
- I felt the strength of my enoughness when I trusted that I knew what was good and right for me.
- I tasted the sweetness of my enoughness when I embodied vulnerable truth-speaking.
- I touched the warmth of my enoughness when I choose self-compassion over self-condemnation.
The violence of sexism isn’t only a battle fought at the structural level of systemic and institutional systems, practices, policies, laws, etc.. It is also an individual reality that is fully present and active within our interior lives and interpersonal relationships with other women (and men). One’s social consciousness or “wokeness”, does not take the place of the individual work that is required to resist the way in which internalized sexism distorts our sense of self and others, robbing women (and men) of opportunities for personal and communal flourishing.
I am naming and claiming my enoughness as an active practice of resisting and surviving the violence of internalized sexism. Join me.
Cheering you on…