Our self-image can be a precarious thing. We learn how to look at ourselves through the eyes of other people. As children, we see ourselves through the eyes of our parents and how they teach us to look at ourselves. When we are taught how to love who we are, we carry these feeling with us throughout our whole lives. However, when we are put down, told that we are less than who we are and degraded, we cannot possibly know how to love ourselves. I was emotionally abused when I was growing up. My step-father never told me that he was proud of me or that I was doing a good job. Because of this, I never felt good enough and would do whatever I could to get his approval or some sort of praise from him. I did this without fail.


I remember a certain incident very clearly. One of my poems had been published in an anthology. I was really excited and I showed it to him. The first thing he asked was, “are you getting paid for it?” My heart dropped. I was so proud that someone actually recognized my work and here he was only worried about the money. I carried that feeling with me for the rest of my life.


The last two years, I have been on a journey called “The Song of My Spirit.” According to my people, everyone has a song inside them that they sing. This song is within our spirits and it holds our very hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It is the path that guides us and generally makes us who we are. This is very important to me because I had felt that I had lost my way and fallen off of my path in life.


February 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of my divorce. A marriage that had left me lost, broken, and 150 pounds heavier than when I went in. The minute I decided to walk away from the hurt and the pain, my new journey had begun.


The Creator works in mysterious ways. Every test that he throws at us is a learning experience. In any given test, there is more than one option: Right and Wrong. At this time, I think of the fork in the road scenario. I was stuck at an impasse and I had to figure out which was the right direction to go. This was the hardest part for me. I had to leave my comfort zone. I had to leave the comfort of my home, and start over again. I knew that I was making the right choice but it didn’t make it any easier for me.


My path isn’t an easy one. I tend to put others first and worry about their needs more than my own. This often gets me into trouble. I want to change the world and help those who really do not want to help themselves. This was what happened in my marriage. I thought that I could help change my husband. I had to learn the hard way, that he didn’t want to change. This was a choice that I couldn’t make for him and I wasn’t doing him any favors by pushing him. This was a decision that he needed to make on his own.


I had to learn to accept the things that I could not change. I couldn’t change how people acted, how they felt toward me or even treated me but I could change how I reacted to it. Most importantly, I could change how I felt about myself. I had to step back and try to stop doing for others what they couldn’t do for themselves. I had to stop trying to change them. I had to look at me.


I started to realize that when I put myself in the role of changing others, it gave me a sense of pride; a sense of feeling good enough. It was a cycle that went back towards those feelings of trying to prove myself to others. I still was looking for my step-father’s approval in everyone else. But, I wasn’t looking for it in myself.


This euphony struck me like a chord. After all, that I had accomplished these past two years, I was still searching for that acceptance. I remember having this conversation with a friend of mine the other day, and her response was, “Why aren’t you good enough for yourself?” This made me think. Why wasn’t I good enough for myself? I had to look at myself from the inside and figure out what was it that made me feel that way.


I guess the most important question is what can I do to feel good enough?


This journey that I am undertaking – to make a better me – is sitting inside of me waiting to be sung. Once I find it; once I answer these questions, I will be able to view myself in the light that was intended for me. I have to learn how to let go of the past and work towards my future. This baggage that I am carrying with me is heavy and frankly, I don’t want it anymore.


For the next few works, I am going to writing about my journey. I want to catalog what is going on in my life, personally, so that I can better answer the question, why aren’t I good enough for me?

Published by Kristen Debler