Never Enough: A Poem About Self-Esteem

When was the last time you did something for you without fear of judgement, scrutiny, without concern for appearances?

Why do you seek approval from those who don’t know your soul? 
Your search for validation and acceptance is redundant, depleting; it eats aways at your heart bit by bit and yet you persist:

You criticise.
You compare.
You censor.
You silence.

The pieces of you that once held light and truth get hidden away in shame. 
Their absence reinforces the story you’ve so blindly and willingly accepted for yourself: 

You have no place here. 
You hold no value
You are not enough.

There is no purpose in perfection and yet you convince yourself over and over again that if you could just…
Not enough for them. Not enough for him. Not enough. Not even for you.

If only you had understood the ways in which you fuelled your own insecurities as you obsessed over the aesthetics of your own small life.

If only you had grasped that the imperfections and failings you perceived were not of your own conception. 
Not your responsibility. 
Nothing for you to apologise for. 

If only you had recognised that the kind of happiness you sought was predicated on a lie you loyally embraced: that perfection would deliver purpose.

It is no wonder you feel empty.

Once piece at a time you have disassembled and refashioned yourself. You started small with the pieces of you most easily changed and then gradually… what you could do with your fingers wasn’t enough.
Enough moulding.
Enough patching up.

You took a scalpel to your mind and you ripped out the feeling, thinking part of you. Just a shell of a human left behind. 

They can’t see you bleeding. They can’t recognise your pain. Just as it was then, even now they cannot see you.

Empty. Inoffensive. Invisible. 
Not even you can see yourself anymore.

Still not enough.

If only you had cast aside the standards that suffocated you one by one until every inch of you wilted from the inside out. 

If only you had extinguished the voices that caught fire in your mind instead of fanning the flames with your guilt and shame. 

If only you had understood that what made you different also made you whole. Breathed life into your lungs and filled every inch of you with beauty.

If only you could have seen past what was on the surface. Witnessed the depth and breadth of your being from my eyes. 

Maybe then. Maybe then you would feel enough.