I recently completed the first week of a new online course about intuitive plant medicine which included a closed Facebook group. Many of the course attendees, including myself, posted a small story to introduce themselves and post a few photos. As I read people’s bios and admired their pictures, I had a huge up-swelling of “I am not enough”. These people were life-long plant connectors, living in rural areas surrounded by amazing flora and fauna that they could name on sight, talking about their lives as medicine healers, photographers, and such. I could not have felt more disconnected. Their lives seemed so much better than mine – they seemed to have everything I wanted. And I could tell all this just by their Facebook post! (insert laughter here)
Apparently I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, as the instructor decided to do a live feed to discuss not feeling enough, and assure us that we ARE enough and whatever we are doing is exactly what we need to do. I wasn’t completely convinced. There was discussion of being a “highly sensitive person” (hsp) and life as an introvert. I did the test to see if I was an hsp, and I was not (which I sort of already knew). And I surely knew I was not an introvert. I love being social and the more people the merrier. I was really struggling with fitting into this online world. I was a nature lover, I studied herbal medicine, but I seemed so BEHIND. Doubt about my abilities and sense of belonging lingered. I had to snap myself out of it.
So I went to Sharon Woods, a park near my home that I LOVE and took a walk. Sort of a moving meditation to get to the heart of the matter. And 2 things were brought to my consciousness:
- The feeling of not being enough has LONG been ingrained in me, and is a known trigger. My life coach and I worked on this and developed coping strategies. Apparently I haven’t felt this way in a while because I could not remember how to cope! I just now took out the book she created for me to see how to cope. #1 under “Life Passions”? Communing with nature! It literally said “Go outside where there is lots of room. Attune and appreciate nature.” I had the key to dealing with my feelings of not enough and I was already employing it by going to the park. AND it had to do with nature when I was feeling I wasn’t nature-y enough (whatever that means). If that isn’t synchronicity, I don’t know what is!
- When in doubt, give gratitude. I may THINK I don’t have what my fellow students have, but what DO I have? I have a great-grandmother and mom who shared their love of plants with me. I tend to plants inside and outside of my house and while I may not know their official names I believe they know they are loved. I have a beautiful backyard where squirrels, birds, rabbits, and even the occasional turkey hang out. I have an amazing park nearby that feeds my soul with its abundance of running water, stones, trees, ground cover, and paths. I started my own Reiki business that is barely a few weeks old (I need to rediscover my patience). I am taking the steps necessary to go where I want, and I trust the universe has my back. I AM ENOUGH.
You may not have a life coach, but you always have gratitude to rely on. Don’t worry about what you THINK you don’t have and be grateful for all that you do have. I highly recommend making a list of all that you are grateful for and reading it over often. And keep adding to it! That reminds me that I should get my gratitude journal out and start doing daily gratitude writing again. Let’s all work on our gratitude, shall we?
And if you need even more perspective on feeling “less than”:
The Buddha reminds us that the four conditions in life which cause suffering are: birth, aging, illness, and death. No one, no matter how powerful, successful, wealthy, or fabulous they seem on the outside, can escape these truths. These conditions effectively make ALL of us equal. What’s left, then, are values which truly make our brief existence on this earth worthwhile: self-acceptance, quality relationships, and a meaningful life’s purpose. For each of these, the answers and our ability to realize them come from WITHIN. No external accomplishments, privileges, entitlements or materialism alone can achieve them. No superficial status, ranks, stations, or possessions are required to realize them.
Amen. “Quality Relationships?” Check. “Meaningful life’s purpose”? Check. “Self-acceptance”? I want to say that I’m working on it, but I am going to say Check. I have accepted who I am within this community of amazing people who love plants just as much as me, and I now realize that the diversity of the group is it’s strength. I understand that we are all individuals whose paths were separate but have now joined to walk together for the next few weeks. When our paths separate again we will continue our individual journeys, led by our everlasting love of nature and followed by our memories of our time together.