I’ve felt like I was both not enough and too much so many times and for so many reasons. Sometimes simultaneously, which is the ultimate no-win situation.
Maybe you’ve been there, too.
Building a home or embarking on a large project like a remodel can bring these feelings to the surface. These kinds of projects are exposing because you’re taking the dreams that have been in your heart, usually for many years, and making them visible to the world. It’s a brave and beautiful thing, but I think it’s good to acknowledge that it’s hard, too. I know because I’ve been there.
When I trace back these feelings for myself, I find that the root of the not enough & too much is a fear of judgement. Not just about my decisions, but about who I am.
Let’s look at both sides of the not enough / too much coin
The home we have is just one of the many ways we often measure and compare. We use lots of other things, too. (Status, wealth, appearance, intelligence, our children…)
I think to some degree, we can all see the lack between what we think our homes should be and what they are currently. It’s tempting – even for me – to feel like I’ll never be able to measure up and want to give up.
While I love and appreciate design, it’s not a good measuring stick for your worth. A home can express something about you, but your home has nothing to do with your value as a person.
When getting ready to dive into a big project, you might also fear being too much. You’re subjecting yourself to potential criticism for spending money, how you chose to spend it and what the end result looks like.
What will they say?
Unfortunately, we often have a pretty good idea of what they will say because we’ve heard people say things about other people. It’s good to remember (myself included) that whenever we gossip, it’s also damaging to the people receiving the gossip, not just the people who are the subject of it.
When it comes to design
I know it is a luxury in the eyes of many to work with an interior designer. You can get a home built and a remodel done without a design professional. It will be a different experience and end result, but you can do it. Some people feel they are stewarding their finances well by saving on this extra expense of design services. They believe that hiring a design professional is too much. I respect that. You should do the best you can in the best way you know how.
To others, working with a design professional is stewarding their finances and time well because it provides another expert to help them consider their options and best use of their finances.
Maybe someone wants to hire a design professional, but feels not enough because it’s not in the budget for them right now – or ever. That’s OK, too. I absolutely don’t think less of anyone for that.
Residential work is very personal, so if we work together someday, please know that I will assume the best about you. I only know the goals you’ve shared and my job is to help you achieve them. With discretion, without judgement and with joy.
How to battle Not Enough / Too much
This conversation of being Not Enough / Too Much has reminded of one of my favorite books that I used to read to my kids when they were younger. It was one of those books that was as much for the parents as the kids and more than a few times I’ve found myself tearing up while reading it.
It’s called “You are Special” by Max Lucado and in it, the main character meets his maker, the wood carver Eli, who tells him that “the more you trust my love, the less you will care what they think.” The parallel between us and our Maker is easy to catch for adults. I think you’ll enjoy hearing the story if you haven’t read it before:
It’s OK for your home to be a work in progress. And it’s OK if it never gets truly “finished”.
It’s OK if you don’t have the bandwidth for or interest in interior design.
There are so many things that are OK!
I want to be here to cheer you on, encourage you, and inspire you to find freedom in your home and in your identity.
Freedom in our Identity
Let’s practice living in freedom.
I say practice because it’s something that is more than just a decision. It’s a one-step-in-front-of-the-other, keep-going kind of a thing. I’m on the journey, too.
You can celebrate and express what you like (and don’t) and how you were made in your home. (For example, if you’re an introvert, you’ll have different design needs than extroverts.)
You can choose to fight the lies that tell you you’re not enough or too much. Release the criticism and judgement you might receive from others and even from yourself. You can believe that what God says is true about you.
No amount of good design can rescue anyone from an identity that’s not secure. Good design can’t protect you from feelings (or words) of not enough / too much either.
They will label you all your life. But there’s only one label that truly matters: