Do you know what it’s like to be never enough? 

It’s a bit tough.  

 

It sows itself like a seed at the first frown of critique; 

Where your grades aren’t enough, you could’ve tried harder, and even still your hardest is not hard enough. When you aren’t as social as you should be, you should make friends not excuses, approach people with a smile, but even your friendliest approach is not friendly enough. It’s a bit tough.  

 

And the seed is watered through every drop of admonishment.  

When you don’t dress smartly enough, we buy you the best, why don’t you handle the rest, learn to follow the trends, but even your trendiest is never trendy enough. Lose weight, it’s not great, when others your age look so much thinner, it’s people’s perception that makes you a winner, but when even your thinnest is not thin enough. It’s a bit tough.  

 

The plant is nourished through every stage of disappointment.  

How you have little household skills, she can do everything if she wills, you just don’t have the drive, but when even your strongest tries are not willful enough. We have high expectations, but are surprised when you succeed, don’t ask for compliments for it’s the equivalent of greed, but when even asking for a nod of approval isn’t grateful enough. It’s a bit tough.  

 

It branches out further with each sigh of displeasure.  

Why don’t you worship God enough, you need to pray more, but when you finally find your way, you’ve become too extreme they say, too godly and yet never godly enough. Learn to stand up for yourself, don’t hide your opinions on a shelf, but the ones you share are too bold, too unconventional and strange, discourage confidence and say you’re not confident enough. It’s a bit tough. 

 

And throughout the long years, the plant has become a mangled forest.  

It’s a mirror on which the reflection is never complete. It’s a mind that learns to question itself on repeat. Second guessing, undermining, self-loathing that becomes self-defining. I’m anxious (so stop stressing!), I’m overwhelmed (but life is a blessing!). I’m scared (so who isn’t?), I’m in despair (it could be worse!), I’ve felt pain (But alive!), I’m failing (learn to strive!). When every weakness, every sorrow, every pain, every hurt…is eventually stymied with disapproval and lashes; the plant born to thrive becomes little more than burnt ashes. But those ashes are making a mess on the ground. Even your mess is too messy, why aren’t you ever enough? 

 

Never enough. It’s a bit tough.