Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Enough is Enough

When I was a little girl, I have fond memories of my grandmother pouring me milk in a little cup. Each time she prepared me a drink, she offered me a little dose of independence by telling me to "say when," once she had poured enough. So, each time she poured, I listened to her words, watched intently, and eagerly shouted, "When!" once she reached the imaginary line in the cup which meant to me that I would have enough.

Inevitably, by the time she reached that imaginary line, I shouted, "When!", and she pulled the milk away, I ended up with way too much.

With milk, it was no big deal. Either I drank it, or I left some in the bottom of the glass.

There are other things in life, however, that can feel like a bigger deal when we end up with way too much.

As an adult, sometimes I struggle with knowing when I need to say "When!" It's often hard to speak up when enough really is enough, especially when it comes to things like work, relationships, other committments, and emotional stressors. Sometimes I wait to late to say "When!" and I end up with more work, more committments, more stress, or more relationships struggles than I am able to manage. Sometimes I fail to stay connected to my body and to my emotions and I miss little cues that tell me to slow down or back off. Other times I hear the cues loud and clear, but fail to listen, either because I am too busy, I judge myself for not being able to handle more, or I forget that I'm important enough to be able to set limits to care for myself.

And then there are times when I listen, I hear, and I speak up. And the milk keeps coming. I know I have had enough and that I don't want anymore stress, work, pain, etc. but it comes anyway. Wow! Those are tough times! Those are times that test my resilience, my ability to care for myself and manage my emotions, and my willingness to accept my own powerlessness.

How about you? What do you struggle with when it comes to saying "When!" Is it your self worth? Your ability to be in tune with your own feelings and needs? Your willingness to have your voice heard? Your disbelief that your voice will be heard and heeded?

Enough for now,
Katie