Feeling like you are not enough?

Four years ago my mentor said “Belong is enough”

I had been frustrated for weeks because no matter what I tried I could not seem to help a couple in one of my classes. They were constantly arguing. I tried everything. “Hey guys, just try to be supportive.” Nothing. They still argued.

Next class. “Hey guys, maybe just dance and don’t talk.” It still didn’t work. Third class, “Hey guys, do you want to be out of rotation?” But no matter what I did I just couldn’t help them. I was frustrated and I went to my mentor for advice.

He said, “Belong is enough.” I started crying. It was an unexpected trigger for me.  I said it can’t be.

He interrupted “Why?”

“It can’t be that easy. That belong is enough. That I’m enough.”

My mentor explained, “If you don’t appreciate your gift, you’re gonna lose it.”

Fast forward to now. Toronto Dance Salsa students often tell me,” Aleks you’ve created this beautiful community.” I thank them but I don’t really believe it. I don’t believe I’ve created anything. I haven’t done enough to feel like I’ve created something. But just for a moment a couple of weeks ago I started to believe.

We had a potluck at my place for all the helpers, assistants and instructors from Toronto Dance Salsa. After over three years of not having helpers due to the pandemic, we are back! I was nervous. I was worried they wouldn’t have fun or get along. You know, they are my kids. I’ve gathered these people together and what if they don’t have a good time?

At one point, I was washing dishes and looking into the living room, stressing out and trying to make sure no one felt left out and it hit me. I started to believe because I saw it. Everyone was smiling, vibing and feeling good. I started to tear up because in that moment, I heard my mentor’s words from years ago, that belong is enough. That maybe me just being myself and attracting people and having a space for them to connect is enough. And I’m so emotional, even now, as I write this because it’s still only maybe 5% that I believe.

We often confuse doing enough with being enough. The real problem is we’re not allowing ourselves to celebrate enough. Celebrating being enough. And it’s hard. It’s hard for me. If you ask me to sit down and list things I love and that I’m good at, it’s uncomfortable. Like taking Buckley’s medicine – it tastes awful but it works. It doesn’t go down smoothly and I hate it.

For the last 20 years, I’ve been trying to do more and more and more to feel like I’m enough. Maybe, I need to change what I’ve been doing. Because what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working that well. We’ve all heard the quote “Insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

This week I’m practicing a little bit more gratitude even though it’s uncomfortable and makes my skin crawl. It took four years for me to have that moment. To see my beautiful family connecting and me feeling like that’s enough. And maybe if I practice that feeling of gratitude a bit more, I’ll feel like I’m enough.

I forget we are human beings, not human doers. Our being is enough. And this week we can concentrate on and be grateful for being a bit more.

If you need more reminders about why belonging is enough, please read Without You the World Loses Some of its Shine.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in from week to week, have fun, socialize, and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].