I love the name of Miriam Macmillan’s debut book Already Enough: Love Yourself Messy and really feel this is a great place to start for all of us in our healing journey. Can we let go of the idea of who we feel we should be and start enjoying who we actually are?
Miriam and I are swapping books but she’d just run out of copies when I met her! However, the title of her book remains embedded in my brain. I’m sure I’ll learn lots about her journey and myself when I read it but for the time being I enjoy mulling over the wonderful title she decided upon.
Do We Expect Too Much of Ourselves?
I spent most of my teens and twenties wracked with self-doubt. This was made worse once I discovered how much I liked drinking – or so I told myself. I was relieved when having children reeled in that side of me and the less I drank the less anxiety I experienced (I try and avoid using the word suffered). The self-doubt remained though. This wasn’t helped by having a dad who treated me to long bouts of silences – the last one encompassing the last four years of his life.
Visions of Perfection
I also spent a lot of my 20s having a vision of what I should look like and felt eternally disappointed when I saw the reflection that greeted me in the mirror. I now realise this was because I spent a lot of that time reading magazines like Marie Claire & Cosmopolitan. It never crossed my mind to compared myself to the average person on the street!
So many people talk about not feeling like they were enough – not funny enough, not good enough, not successful enough, rich enough, pretty/good-looking enough. We beat ourselves up over who we aren’t and never celebrate who we are. None of us want to pass baggage we’ve struggled with ourselves onto our children do we? But that’s exactly what we’ll do if we don’t learn to heal from our experiences and accept ourselves. It’s hard living with tough experiences. I’ve yet to meet one person who hasn’t experienced some kind of trauma. Yet these experiences make us who we are and allow us to feel empathy to others who’ve experienced something similar. There are so many examples of people suffering trauma who go onto help those who’ve suffered that way too.
Our Experiences Are Our Lessons
We don’t just need books to teach us about life – we need experiences. Some will be good. Some will be bad but life is full of ups and downs. It’s how we deal with them in the long term that matters. But we also need to learn to love ourselves and to feel proud of ourselves for learning to live with whatever trauma we’ve experienced. To learn to accept that no-one is after perfection. Accepting ourselves and telling ourselves we are enough is enough. If we can bring children into the world that don’t carry our baggage – children who see us working through our stuff without harming others or pushing them away they’ll understand that we aren’t perfect beings.
We’re just doing the best we can.
Please check out our website for Miriam’s book and don’t forget to leave a review too. Us self-publishers rely on reviews, positive and negative, to get our message out there so the more reviews the better.
I cannot wait to read it myself and am very excited that we’ll be announcing a joint book-launch evening in the near future!
Please go to the books page on our website to purchase her book. Love Yourself Messy is under the Self-help and Counselling section www.joinavision.co.uk.