more enoughness ;)

A reader liked an old post today, “on self-esteem as a precursor for achievement …” and it showed me there is a theme running through my thoughts about enoughness, which I wrote about yesterday.

Societal expectations drive a lot of us to be always achieving, never satisfied to just exist and accept ourselves for our inherent worth. Our self-esteem is dependent upon achievement.

I think it’s essential we question the narratives telling us we need to achieve more — always more, never enough.

What is your enough? Do we need more enoughness 😉

What would your life look like if achievement was just something you did for fun? Because you didn’t need to achieve to just feel good about yourself.

nooculture

I am enjoying the term “overculture” at the moment, in the sense I enjoy gaining new insight into ways we can describe and de-participate from the mechanics of our oppression.

I value the opposing force of “counter-culture” but am wary of dichotomies like antagonist–protagonist, especially in the sense of individuals or even small communities opposing the amorphous and anonymous force of culture, the us/them approach where we get angry because They are fucking everything up with Their greed … who is They in our counter-cultural tirades?

There is conflict inherent in the dominant connotations of counter-culture.

So I’m playing with the idea of nooculture, after Teilhard de Chardin’s idea of the noosphere.

Dig it?

on self-esteem as a precursor for achievement …

… rather than achievement as a prerequisite for self-esteem

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

I’ve been taking stock today — taking it slow and allowing myself to get back in the groove of being a bit more organised than I have been lately. I’ve been posting a lot more here recently, but a few other things like life-admin and chores have gone by the wayside a bit.

This is okay — I’ve been riding the enthusiasm I feel for this blog and the community we can build here. It’s been making me happy. I will find the balance between running this blog and running the rest of my life, as the pendulum swings to and fro.

When I’m taking stock I like to go through my various browsers, closing tabs I’ve had open for yonks. It helps me feel a bit more organised by cutting out some of the mental noise I feel at some kind of subconscious level when I know I’ve been opening tabs like they’re going out of fashion.

Something I stopped on today was this article about how some overachievers turn to drugs for escape because no achievement is ever sufficiently satisfying. It’s published by an addiction-recovery and mental-health clinic, and covers a lot of ground (in three short sections) about how societal expectations drive a lot of us to be always achieving, never satisfied to just exist and accept ourselves for our inherent worth.

I understand this compulsion intimately, though I’m not sure I had quite made the connection between the constant need for achievement and the temptation of drugs that promise a reprieve from this pressure.

I am pleased to be able to say, though, that since I’ve been working more full-time on Kokoro 心 Heart and the business around it, I can relate more to this statement from the article:

Our attempts to achieve and succeed should have their roots in a healthy, already-existent sense of self-esteem, rather than being motivated by its absence.

I can honestly say that I wake up each morning feeling committed to doing this work that fulfils my purpose. Not because I need to supplement a low self-esteem, but because doing this work feels as natural and necessary as breathing, or making nutritious food, or walking in the bush. It’s an act of self-care, this work, and feels like something I am just meant to do — no one else expects me to do it.

I value the work I am doing here, and I do it because I believe it has worth — I wouldn’t be able to do that without others’ expectations if I didn’t have a higher sense of self-esteem than I had previously recognised.

So that’s a nice thing to have realised, and was well worth taking stock for. I am grateful, and very fortunate.

Check out the article, and let me know what you think. I think it’s essential we question the narratives telling us we need to achieve more — always more, never enough.

What is your enough?

If societal expectations drive a lot of us to be always achieving, never satisfied to just exist and accept ourselves for our inherent worth, but also no achievement is ever sufficiently satisfying, what to do?

reaching out ~ what to do with a truant teen

Zane buggered off again today ~ skipped school and bailed on meeting us to drop his uniform to him. We found him, but boy has it brought up a lot of stuff!

My conditioning dictates that I should be angry, but I’m trying to be positive and bring a compassionate perspective.

This is all in the context of me trying to rediscover my place in the dynamics of the family, so I’m feeling very unsure about what my part should be in responding to this truancy again.

I’m a step-dad who has minimal-to-no relationship with Zane, and therefore limited agency for either discipline or influence. The only part I know is supporting Nikki, but she insisted I stay at the library while she drove around looking for him.

At least if I’m not there for the potential confrontation when Zane decides to show up and face the consequences of breaking our trust again, maybe I’ll have the chance to calm down a bit and play the part of compassionate supporter ~ I do want to understand why he’s making these decisions, but in which parallel universe is a 13-year-old boy going to share this with his step-dad?

In which parallel universe does a 13-year-old boy know himself why he behaves one way or another?

We need the skills of introspection and emotional intelligence to know the nuances of our internal motivations ~ skills that are not taught in our sausage-factory schools.

This gap in our education culture is a huge part of why I’m doing Kokoro 心 Heart: we need to learn how to manage our own psychospiritual wellbeing enough to stop perpetuating a culture that results in 13-year-old kids wagging class to smoke bongs down the creek. (That’s just one specific symptom of the cultural malaise I hope to address in the posts here and in the work I’m doing in the business around Kokoro 心 Heart.)

I spent my whole high-school career smoking bongs down the creek, and my decades-long drug and alcohol dependency left me in my late 20s with the emotional development of the teenager I was when I started using drugs, because I didn’t have the mentors to help me learn how to deal with my emotions any other way.

We are letting down our children and our future by allowing these gaps to remain in the upbringing of the emerging generations.

Nikki and I are doing all that we can to access services that will make up for the deficits in our own and Zane’s development.

If you’re going through or have been through this, let me know in the comments. We need all the guidance we can get, lest our son become like Trent from Punchy.

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