“Enough” rewinding

blog ferris wheel photo(The second blog in the two-part series on “EMBRACING THE NOW OF NEW BEGINNINGS”) 

“God is life.  God is life in action.  The best way to say, ‘I love you, God’ is to live your life doing your best.  The best way to say, ‘Thank you, God,’ is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now.  Whatever life takes away from you, let it go.  When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment.  Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”

 — Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements:  A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Grounded in the new me after two life-altering events, I spent some time recently looking back.

The first round of reflection revolved around a core belief many of us hold of not being enough.  For a long time, I didn’t feel “enough” because I was the daughter of a schizophrenic, shamefully thinking I was “less than” for having a mentally ill mother.  Fast-forward after a lifetime of healing my childhood and I now see that adversity gave me strength, tenacity and much very hard-earned wisdom.

Then I didn’t feel enough because I was a single mother in a community of mostly married people at the time.  In first grade, my son was one of the few to come from a household of divorced parents (sadly more than half of marriages now end in divorce).  Now, reviewing all it took to raise a six-year-old and ten-year-old to becoming two great young adults without the physical or emotional support of a spouse or any extended family, I see my mothering to be one of my most amazing achievements. Yes, I made many mistakes, like most parents do—particularly around overcompensating for the childhood I didn’t have.  I wanted to “be there” for my children no matter what, a decision that cost me financially but was emotionally worth every moment.  Hillary Clinton was right when she wrote, “It Takes A Village” to raise a child.  I was my own village, who fortunately sought out the help of two babysitters who remain dear friends today, decades later. That exhausting journey of single parenting taught me to build a circle of loving friends, which I have continued to do.

The last big curveball that sent me to feelings of inadequacy was my breast cancer diagnosis two years ago, when I initially thought no one would love me after such a health scare.  In truth, I dated more men post-cancer than before, and none ran when I disclosed my healing journey.  It was I who left to find the new me who has been emerging.

I spent a year of playing and working with greater flexibility (nights and weekends) as an empty nester (see related blog), living without primary or additional responsibility for others for the first time in my life.

While play and companionship will continue to be an integral part of my life, time alone to rest and “be” is also essential.

In my new  “being” state, I release the past and feelings of not being “enough,” focusing on my own and others’ divinity, along with the beauty of “now,” and all that unfolds from there.

COMING NEXT WEEK:  The kindness of now.


1.    I allow myself to release the past and any feelings of inadequacy.

2.    I allow myself to honor my divinity.

3.    I allow myself to live in the now, anticipating wonderful surprises.

Beth Shedd’s photo reminds us of the awesome power of being in the present. Life, like the ever-turning Ferris wheel, brings with it the bright and beautiful perspective of constantly changing “nows.” You can learn more about how Beth sees the world at PhotOptimist.com.


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  • Beth says:

    Hi Gail…just read your new post. I too was raised by a mentally ill Mom…not properly diagnosed until she was 78 years old. “Shamefully thinking I was less than” hit home for me strongly. I felt “hit” by your words when I read them. I needed that realization as probably only you can imagine. I became rapidly flooded with thoughts and feelings from my past. The choices made, doing the best possible because of the situation. I have much to process and journal. Thank you for the work you do and share, my friend! Beth

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Beth: I am so sorry you endured the challenges of having a mentally ill mother, too. It must have been particularly difficult to learn of her diagnosis so late in life, perhaps leaving you in early years questioning your own judgment amidst the craziness that no one identified. The paradox is that although we as children may have felt “less than” from the shame of the stigma attached to mental illness (and also experiencing our mother’s odd behavior which can cause many excruciatingly embarrassing moments), we are in fact stronger and “more than” in ways we could not have possibly planned. Now, perhaps, allowing in gentleness and compassion for your self and all you endured may add to your healing journey. My wish for you is that you experience feeling cared for, too. I am thrilled my blog supported you in some way to process and journal some of the feelings coming forth. And thanks for so bravely sharing. Blessings, Gail

  • Cynde denson says:

    Gail – this place of not being “enough” is so pervasive, regardless of what the “outside” looks like. It certainly has been a driving force in my life. I resonate with you on so many levels. Thank you for shining the light on this dilemna with vulnerability and honesty.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Cynde-thanks for your own honesty in sharing how this belief of not being enough has impacted you as well. Healing this belief and claiming our innate goodness and worthiness often requires an inner journey, where we come to accept and love our sacredness independent of all externals. So grateful you took the time to write. Blessings, Gail

  • Maria says:

    Hi Gail-

    I have been doing some sorting through my desk and file cabinet and came across this quote from Anita Stansfield and think it fits in well with last week’s and this week’s blog. If not, please do correct me:

    “Let’s say that the beliefs we have about ourselves are like plants. Weeds are the negative or false ones; flowers are the positive ones, the ones that help us become our best selves.
    You can chop off the weeds over and over, but unless you pull out the root, it will keep coming back. If you have false belief deeply rooted in there somewhere, then when something goes wrong, it can make that weed grow out of control and smother the flowers.”
    “Now you have to ask yourself, WHAT is the weed? and WHERE was it planted?”

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Maria: That’s a great quote. Thanks for sharing. To elaborate on your weed analogy: Many of us hold subconscious beliefs created during the first seven years of life that continue to hold us back as adults. The trick is getting to the “root” as you say, as it’s often difficult for us to uncover these hidden beliefs on our own. I teach my clients the six core beliefs to healthy self-esteem, and give them tools for integrating them. Visualizing by using our imaginations to create new outcomes is one key way to make shifts. But back to that core belief of not feeling we are “enough.” It is a limiting belief held by many, even those who were well parented. We are bombarded with messages daily about not being “enough” and needing to buy more, or bigger and better to feel enough. As with any limiting belief, once we discover it, it is important to release it with compassion, not judgment towards ourselves for having had it. Often, we were way too young, without enough skills in discernment, to refuse to accept such a limit on our own sense of well-being. The most important thing to know is that we have within our power now as adults the ability to choose which beliefs best serve us, and focus on those that help us thrive. And sometimes, we reach a point of surrender when the old no longer serves us, and we’re not sure any longer how to release it. At that point, we may deepen our trust in grace to guide us forward. With gratitude to you for prompting me to elaborate on my approach to coaching and living, Gail

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