You Can Never Be Good Enough ~ By Proving You Are

Weekly Word #15 ~ October, 2007

I often ponder with fascination how each of us popped up in family somewhere on this planet. Although there are many beliefs and mythologies about how that choice is made (karma, astrology, a celestial committee and life lessons, the grinning cosmic choreographer, akashic records, punishment, reward), there is a good chance that where and when we arrive is totally arbitrary.

You popped up in a family, in whatever form that took. It might have been a nice middle-class family in a comfortable and safe neighborhood, or ganglord drug runners in the bad part of a big city. You could have been born in a bucolic tropical jungle, or a war-torn city in the Middle East. You could have been any color, any ethnicity, and learned one of more than 5,000 languages in the world. . . while learning to worship one of the thousands of gods that apparently all inhabit heaven together.

Why we popped up into life in the circumstances we did may remain a mystery, however, there was one thing common to all of our experiences: We learned to dream the way our caregivers were dreaming, and we learned to be afraid of being rejected if we refused. Ultimately, we could not refuse, because as little people, it meant expulsion and annihilation ( = death). And the essential leverage used by our caregivers to domesticate us into their particular dream of what was right and wrong, and good and bad, was that we were not good enough until we fulfilled their expectations of us.

We had to be good enough to belong, and we had to prove it with our behavior. Do you recognize this? You had to be ____________ enough. Perhaps your inner Judge is still telling you that you are not ____________ enough. That is the Judge’s job, and he does it well. The inner and outer Judges insist you must prove you are good enough so you can earn love, approval, acceptance, money, a mate, and the other rewards of life.

The unfortunate downside of all this, no matter what the standards of those in charge of wherever you popped into Life, and wherever you are now, is that you can never prove you are ___________ enough. The standards and expectations change, and escalate with your every success or failure.

You can never be good enough by proving you are (the bad news).
You are already good enough just as you are (the good news).

The entire idea that the dream your caregivers believed when you arrived in their care has anything to do with you is so clearly arbitrary that it becomes nonsense. Imagine who you would be if you had popped up somewhere else! Six billion possibilities! All dreaming, all dreams.

To try to prove you are good enough based on the arbitrary standards produced by the random accident of your birth circumstances is useless, a waste of precious personal power, and impossible. On the other hand, since it was probably random, and therefore there is no standard or expectations you need to meet from God or man, perhaps you are perfect and enough just the way you are.

And if you are enough just the way you are, then you are free to be that You that you came here to be, free to enjoy yourself, your life, and your nature as a unique expression of the Life Force that created you here. You are free to love, free to shine, and free to be YOU. That is the goal of the Artist of the Spirit, the goal the modern Toltec-- who remembers the truth of who he or she is, and falls INTO love with their own perfection and enough-ness.

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Allan Hardman is an author and expert on personal and spiritual transformation, relationships, emotional healing-- and a Toltec Master in the lineage of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.™ Allan teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and from “The House of the Eagles,” his winter home in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico. He guides Journeys of the Spirit to sacred sites in Mexico, and hosts wellness vacations in Chacala. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Prince Charles, and others. Visit Allan’s extensive website at, and TACO, his online spiritual membership community.