The “not-enough” that I will discuss today is not the usual “not-enough”. The usual “not-enoughs” that women say they struggle with are in the areas of money, time, and energy.
Today’s “not-enough” is more dangerous because we are often unaware of its presence.
The “not-enough” being discussed today is in the mental/emotional arena. We women struggle with “not enough” love, “not enough” appreciation, “not enough” admiration, “not enough” attention, and (here’s my favorite) “not enough” high-treatment. Think about the last time you were left out of a small group invitation. Or think about when a clerk at a store didn’t hurry to wait on you…or didn’t treat you with respect. Or your disappointment with a friend who didn’t text you back. Or maybe your husband didn’t appreciate or admire you enough. When we are overlooked, ignored, or passed over, we flinch, buck, and sulk.
The “not-enoughs” in the self-pity area are subtle. “Why, I should be treated better than this!” you think. Maybe your gifts are not recognized at your church. Maybe your mother-in-law doesn’t value your opinion. Maybe another mom didn’t compliment your child like she did some others. Over and over, we must deal with the “not-enough” problem in our life.
Did you know that one characteristic of addictive behavior is someone who doesn’t get “high-enough treatment?” Since they are offended so easily, they end up feeling wounded a lot, and thus, the desire to medicate the hurt appears (food, alcohol, excess spending, etc.). They see themselves as not getting the “high-enough treatment” they deserve.
I often read business/leadership books and how interesting it is to me that the top business leaders are not easily offended. Of course, they get criticized and are misunderstood. But instead, top leaders “give the credit, and take the blame” (thank you, Jim Collins).
Jesus described himself only one time in the New Testament and it was in Matthew 11:29. He said, “…learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart”. Humility! The lifelong pursuit of laying down our egos will never be over. We must learn to not be offended, but to “overlook transgressions” (Proverbs 19:11). People disappoint us and we must learn to let it go. Have a cemetery in your back yard where you constantly bury the weaknesses and disappointments of how others treat you.
Self-pity seems to go hand-in-hand with those who are easily offended. “I am not treated well enough”. “I am ignored.” “I am overlooked.” “Poor me, I have it so hard.”
Throw it out. Let it go. Think about how you can love and give…not about how you are being loved or given to. Don’t be a woman who is obsessing about her “not-enoughs”. Focus on/ think about what you bring to the table, not about what is not being brought to you. Focusing on what is missing and disappointing is a surefire prescription for depression. You are in charge of what you think about. Let the offense go.