A while ago I had a nightmare where I was doing the Scooby Doo thing with basically all of my friends and family in a creepy mansion. At some point, an entire house full of ghosts started trying to murder me. Worse, the ghosts used my friends and family to do it. Only my dog, Murderfloof, remained on my side. I was upset about this dream, enough so that I couldn’t go back to sleep again. But as I started going through my morning routine, I got upset about not being enough of a skeptic to not be upset about it. Supernatural horror is a good enough story that I get drawn in, no matter how skeptical my logical brain.

That feeling of not being enough of whatever is such a terrible part of many a brain. Not active enough, not queer enough, not productive enough, not mom enough, not writer enough, not man enough. The list goes on and it feels like everyone has their own, and we’re all just trying to do our best. And it’s so easy to decide that you’re just going to try harder or put yourself down for not being enough. One of my teachers once told me in no uncertain terms to not do that, because there would always be more than enough people who would do that for me. And let’s be honest, the same applies to you, dear reader.

Back in Viable Paradise, one of our teachers led us in a chorus of “thank you, I appreciate you saying that” as a way to respond to compliments that your brain doesn’t think you deserve. It’s a brilliant response for two reasons. 1: it acknowledges that it’s the speaker’s viewpoint, without actually acknowledging that you think they’re right. 2: it gives you something to say to acknowledge and make note that you appreciate the other person for having had that thought to begin with. I love this phrase so much. I keep teaching it to people every time someone argues about a compliment I give them. And even when I get it back from someone I’ve taught it to, it makes me feel better about giving the compliment than the argument would have.

Maybe none of us have to be enough. We can just pretend until we are.