Getting Off the Hamster Wheel of Unachievable Standards
I remember the first time I cried in a dressing room. It was my junior year of high school, and I couldn’t fit into the size I was used to wearing. I was on the cross country team, running six miles every morning, so I knew I was in the best shape of my life. Up until that point, I had been able to squeeze into the smaller sizes at the store, but something had happened to me over the summer. I went from having girl hips to having real hips. As much as I tried to wish them away, they were there to stay.
Like a lot of women, I’ve seen the advertisements and the pictures in magazines of women with flawless skin and perfect bodies. They look like they’re ready to swan dive into the ocean in a swimsuit at any moment. I’ve read the articles and heard the sales pitches about the perfect hairstyle, lipstick, or piece of clothing I need to make me beautiful. I’ve struggled against the draw to compare myself to the girl next to me. I’ve heard my heart ask a lot of questions, all pointing to the main question: “Am I Enough?”
I thought the answer might lie in a new haircut, new diet, or new workout routine. I’ve found myself wondering how to fit all three of these into my schedule, and then realized I’m on a hamster wheel. I’m running and running, but not getting anywhere, because there’s always one more area that makes me feel like I’m not enough.
The truth is, the only place I’ve found a real answer to this question is in the presence of God. I’ve tried to find it from guys. I’ve tried to find it from people I look up to. The only Person who’s spoken to the depths of my heart is God. I’ve brought Him my insecurities. I’ve told Him the things I don’t like about myself. He loves the places that seem unloveable.
My workout routine is not frequent enough to be classified as a routine. I usually sleep too long to be able to spend more than one minute on my make-up. I have realized partway through getting ready on several occasions that I only shaved one leg and completely forgot about the other one, but I am enough.
I’m enough today, and I’ll be enough tomorrow.
At my best and at my worst, I’m enough.
I’m enough when my hair’s messy, and when it looks like a Pantene commercial.
I’m enough when I’m sleep deprived and when I start the morning with a three-mile run.
What I do is enough.
Who I am is enough.
I work hard enough.
I love deeply enough.
What I have to give is enough.
I’m going to be enough for someone to marry.
I’m going to be enough for someone to call mom one day.
I am enough.
I am enough because God looked at creation in the beginning and called it good. I’m enough because my mistakes and shortcomings have been covered by His blood. I am enough because the places where I am weak are where He shows Himself strong.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are carriers of beauty. We reveal the very traits and attributes of God. The God who clothed the lilies of the field and spread the stars across the sky did not hold back when He was making each one of us. Next time I feel myself running on the hamster-wheel of unachievable beauty standards, I will think of His words and remember that I am enough.