What Sarah McLachlan sings about in Good Enough, with such an achingly sorrowful voice, is an all-too common story. We often learn as children to understand that we’re not good enough, that we should be happy with whatever expressions we can find that seem to express love. Perhaps we learn it through the emotional or physical abuses we suffer from adults, people we are taught to respect, obey and trust, people we are told we should love, that we believe we should love, that we so desperately want to love, and love us back.
The abuse doesn’t need to be harsh, or physical. It doesn’t need to be a constant harangue or a consistent undertone. Sometimes, all it takes is the parenting of another adult who doesn’t believe they’re good enough either.
We grow up. We become adults. And we carry into our adulthood the deeply seated belief that people we respect and love express their love conditionally, capriciously, or weakly. We seek the smallest indication of love, as we did when we were children, and amplify it in our hearts, filling the aching emptiness there. We try, desperately sometimes, to make other people love us. But so long as the truth of our condition evades us, we’ll never find anyone who really will. We look for the wrong people, find them and settle for them. We must learn that we’re good enough. We must learn to love ourselves.
Sarah reminds us all, like a good friend or lover, you’re so much more than good enough.