2020 Catholic Press Association, First Place: Family Life
2020 Catholic Press Association, Second Place: Healing/Self-Help
2020 International Book Awards, Finalist: Spirituality—Inspirational
Peggy Weber has spent much of her life wondering, and doubting, if she is enough: smart enough, attractive enough, holy enough, impressive enough. She knows that she is not alone in having these feelings.
In Enough as You Are, Weber shares her experiences of doubting herself and discovering that she is enough; that we all are enough for God’s love. Each chapter includes anecdotes and life lessons for readers, as well as some “Saintly Inspiration” to help us continue recognizing that we are enough. Each chapter also includes a guided Examen and practical ways to put this discovered truth of value into practice.
This is the perfect book for women searching to rediscover their own self-worth and tune out the voices of self-doubt and insecurity while tuning into the truth that we are all created and loved by God, and that is enough.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1:Feeling Enough
Be who you are and be that perfectly well.
—St. Francis de Sales
For whatever reason you decided to read this book, thank you. We are beginning together to change the channel, so to speak, and listen to a voice with an affirming message about who we are. Are you ready? Are you hopeful? Are you willing to believe you are enough?
As you begin this book, you might want to grab a pad of paper and a pen. I like using a yellow legal pad and a fine-point, roller-ball pen. Perhaps you are high-tech and want to use your phone or tablet. Pick up whatever is useful to you. Now, make a list of five things you would like to do on a day off. This is not a bucket list. It’s just a list of possibilities. Perhaps you want to take a hike or go to a movie or have lunch with a friend. You might even be practical and list catching up with laundry or grocery shopping.
How about buying a bathing suit? Did that make the list? Probably not. Most people do not feel excited about the chance to slip into polyester and spandex and stare at a full-length mirror that shows the body at every possible angle. When I have embarked on this task, I have rarely found myself twirling around, examining every inch in the three-way mirror and saying, “I love the way I look!” Bathing-suit shopping is just not a task that most people relish. A study at Flinders University in Australia found that even just imagining trying on a swimsuit can worsen a person’s mood. It makes sense. I have heard the fittest people I know say something like, “I don’t like my thighs.” We always wish we had more muscles or more curves or a flatter stomach or a big T-shirt to cover everything up. Something always seems to be lacking.
When trying on a bathing suit, we’re forced to scrutinize and to stare and to analyze ourselves, looking for potential flaws. And too often this is the sort of attitude we allow ourselves to adopt in other parts of our lives. Despite compliments, kind words, and maybe a lot of love from family and loved ones, we often are deeply critical of ourselves. And when we do receive praise, so often our inclination is to deflect it. How many times has a friend said to you, “Wow! I like your outfit. You look great!” and you replied: “Oh, I got this on sale. It was so cheap.” Why can’t we just say, “Thank you”? More importantly, it can be so hard to truly mean “thank you” and accept kind words.
Dancing in a Bathing Suit
While we adults can be weighed down by our insecurities, we also know that it was not always that way. Just spend some time with toddlers. They do not fret about a lot of the nonsense that takes up our time and causes us concern as adults. And when we witness this sort of self-confidence and lack of self-consciousness in toddlers, it can stick with us. One such memory of my youngest child still makes me feel as warm as the August afternoon when it occurred.
Our family was at my husband’s company picnic at a local resort. Our three children had gone swimming, played shuffleboard, and gotten more than their fill at the ice-cream truck handing out free treats. There had been nonstop food and fun. Everyone was tired, and it was almost time to go home, but we stopped to listen to a DJ who was playing music at a pavilion. Our youngest, Elizabeth, who was two at the time, jumped right in and began dancing joyfully on the wooden floor. She was swirling and moving to the music and feeling the rhythm with her whole soul. I cannot recall what song was playing, but Elizabeth felt it. Swaying side to side and spinning about, our toddler was a lovely sight in her little pink bathing suit with ruffles. A professional photographer was snapping pictures of those attending the annual event. He took several photos of Elizabeth, who was having the time of her life as she pranced and jumped and smiled. There was no digital photography back then. These pictures were not instantly posted on Facebook or Instagram. Rather, we saw the photos about a month later when the company displayed some poster-sized pictures from the happy corporate event. And when the display was taken down, we were given the giant photo. We cherish it to this day.
In looking at the photo, you can see how Elizabeth radiates so much joy as she stands with her arms outstretched, making up her own dance. Her little belly sticks out. Her thighs are chubby. Her hair is askew from a day of swimming, playing, and now dancing. There are smears of ice cream and a bit of cotton candy on her face. She is so happy. And she is so beautiful. I remember how others on the dance floor commented on her lovely blue eyes and the sheer glee she showed as she moved around the floor. No one looked at this blue-eyed darling and said, “Oh, she is so cute, but her hair is a little messy.” Nor did anyone say, “She would be even cuter if she were thinner.” No one criticized her dance moves. The faces around her were smiling. People appreciated her just the way she was. And probably many of them wished that they, too, could feel that kind of freedom. This photo of our daughter dancing in her bathing suit represents more than our family history. It is a reminder of the desire to get back to that feeling, to that time when we quite literally danced as if no one were watching.
Putting Faith into Practice
Make a list of five things you like about yourself.
Accept a compliment—do not qualify it. Simply say thank you.
Listen to the voices around you, including your own. Are they positive? Are they realistic? Are they honest?
Look around and notice the people you admire. Why do you admire them? Identify a quality in these people that you can nurture in your daily life.
Table of Contents
1 Feeling Enough 1
2 Friends Enough 11
3 Smart Enough 21
4 Loved Enough 33
5 Good Enough 43
6 Stuff Enough 55
7 Impressive Enough 67
8 Had Enough 77
9 Quiet Enough 87
10 Holy Enough 97
11 Embracing Enough 107
Closing Thoughts 117
About the Author 121