The gospel this weekend talked about the demons. Jesus called out a number of demons named “Legion” and sent them into a herd of pigs that then went over a cliff.
We all have demons. They are the voices in our heads that we’ve heard since we were little. We get the message that we aren’t good enough. Some of the advice is well-meaning. An older adult might say, you can’t make money writing novels. There are only a few authors that become best-selling authors. (You aren’t good enough). You can’t be a doctor and a mother. (You aren’t good enough). You can’t be a priest in the church you grew up in. (You aren’t a man and therefore you aren’t good enough).
These demons peck away at our psyche. Messages we get over the years accumulate and form themselves into the voice in our heads that get louder and louder. We may try to ignore them but the feelings they produce can cause bad behavior on our part. We drink too much, eat too much, become critical of others, and feel depressed and sad without even knowing why.
There are societal demons that pile on – racism, homophobia, and misogyny, all telling us we are not enough because of our race, our sexual preferences, or our gender.
But we are enough.
We are the beloved children of God who loves us as we are. Really embracing the love of God for ourselves can take time. We have to open ourselves up through prayer and allow the love to penetrate and heal the layers of messaging we have received through time. I spent years hearing a priest tell the congregation that God loves us and made us who we are. That we are enough. It took years for me to believe it but I believe it now.
I still have the thoughts that I’m not good enough but I don’t entertain them. The thoughts enter my mind unbidden like a bird that lands on a tree branch. I refuse to let the thought build a nest in my mind. I shoo it away by praying and renewing my sense of God’s love for me. I repeat my affirmation – I am a beloved child of God and I am enough.