You know that photo that has been circulating for awhile with this perfectly balanced rock tower? There’s often an inspiring message that goes with it. I have one in my office, actually. My husband made it. It’s very good. It has the perfect rock tower with the words “you are enough” under it. He’s very talented and he did a lovely job on it. The problem is, the message kind of sucks.
I mean, the sheer flawlessness of the tower combined with the words “you are enough” are like an indictment of our Western culture, aren’t they? You can almost see the “if” that is implied in that photo.
You are enough if your tower is perfectly balanced.
You are enough if you make for a pretty picture.
You are enough if you have everything lined up just right.
I don’t know about you, but my tower is never perfectly balanced. Nothing in my life is lined up right. My rocks are going every which way, falling over, poking up at weird angles. My rocks are a mess. And I want to believe that I am still enough, with my hot mess of a tower. But whenever I see one of these photos that glorify the perfect rock tower, I feel a little worse about my own tower. I feel guilt that my rocks don’t look like that. There’s some shame that sneaks in.
The crazy thing, of course, is that NO ONE’S rock tower actually looks like that, unless we are literally talking only about rocks. A friend of mine makes these rock towers that are actually perfectly balanced, one rock on top of another. They are awesome, and I love her photos of them. But she also knows that real life isn’t like that. For her, it’s just a simple rock tower. I worry about the people who don’t know that, the people who think they are supposed to have things all worked out, in order to be “enough”.
Sometimes I am one of those people. I’m better than I used to be, but the stories about perfection still come up and whisper in my ear occasionally. They wriggle around in my brain and convince me that if I mess up, all the love in my life will go away. They tell me that my worth is based on how much I achieve, not on the simple fact that I exist. And so I look at these photos and it’s like my worst fears played out in art form.
I need a photo that reminds me that I am enough no matter what. No matter what my rocks looks like, I am still okay. I am still worthy. Even if the whole thing tumbles to the ground, I am still enough. So I created that photo, and I’m going to print it out and put it up in my office, opposite the perfect one. I’m going to look at it every day and remind myself that I’m enough, in that moment, in the midst of my messy, imperfect life. If you would like this photo too, as a reminder to yourself, let me know and I will email you one.
Hi there, I'm Amy. I'm so glad you're here. I'm a writer, photographer, mom, wife, and highly sensitive introvert, just trying my best to show up fully for myself, my family, and my life. It all gets a little crazy sometimes, and it helps to have a place to connect honestly about what's really going on. This is my place.