I am a huge fan of chick flicks… so it was only a matter of time before I incorporated one into my blog.
Have you seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? It is, without question, one of my all time favorite movies. It’s about a girl who grows up in a Greek family amidst a very white-cultured city in America.
Much of this movie hit home for me, and I’m sure my fellow Persians can say the same. My cousins and I have said it’s as if they put our lives up on screen. But there was one scene in particular that really struck a cord… It was at the start of the movie when the main character, Toula, was in Elementary school sitting near a bunch of white girls eating their Wonderbread sandwiches. She sat alone eating her Greek stew… which the white girls proceeded to make fun of and call, “moose ca ca”. It was pretty humorous.
It took me right back to my time as a 6-year old. I was sitting at the lunch table with all my fellow 1st grade classmates. I was already aware of my unique Persian heritage while growing up in a suburban white-washed bubble… but being at the lunch tables heightened that gap for me.
I remember sitting there chatting with friends, enjoying my food… doing whatever little 6-year-olds do (probably chatting about princesses and mermaids). One girl, a classmate, began walking around the long table handing out invitations to her birthday party. She casually skipped over me and resumed giving invites to everyone else, except me. My 6-year-old self was confused and sad. I quickly ran over to her, still carrying my Tupperware filled with steaming Persian cuisine.
“Why aren’t I invited to your party??”
“Um… because you eat that.”
Just like that. At the age of 6, I was restricted from going to a birthday party because of my culturally diverse food. Because of my unique heritage. Obviously it was fairly traumatizing if I remember something this vividly from nearly 20 years ago. (PS, I told you this movie’s my life!)
And thus begins the culture of “not enough”. It starts early and progresses quickly. In first grade, I was already learning that I had to do (or, more accurately, EAT) certain things in order to fit in. I had to measure myself up to others and make sure I wasn’t veering off of what was acceptable… or else I would be disconnected. I would be marginalized.
How young are we when we begin to think that we’re not __________ enough? Fill it in with what you will.
And when I look at my life now and all the circles I’m a part of, I can clearly see that the mentality of never being enough dominates our culture. It causes us to constantly compare ourselves and to disengage. I have talked with countless friends, namely women, over the past several years that have dealt with excessive comparison and painful insecurity because of this culture (including myself).
It reminds me of this quote a friend once sent me,
The opposer’s intent is to keep you in perpetual identity crisis. Feeling not worthy enough, not good enough, like you should be more of this or less of that. The result is ineffective, joy-stolen, clarity-stolen poeple.”
I still fall into this mentality sometimes. But now that I have a precious baby boy, I want more than ever for him to feel enough. I want to start cultivating a mindset that embraces differences and imperfection. Because I know I won’t be able to protect him from other kids… from media.. from society in all areas of life. He will be confronted with a culture that teaches us to be hyper-aware of lack. He will want to think about the ways that he falls short or the areas that he doesn’t particularly succeed in. But I hope that right now, we can start creating our own culture in this family. One that looks inwardly and decides “I have plenty of shortcomings, but I am enough. I don’t need to compare myself to others to measure my value. I am worthy of love & belonging.”
I’m grateful that I love & serve a God who is continually reminding me that I am his precious creation. I hope to instill this truth in my son. God was purposeful when he created him.
And with that… I will leave you with this awesome verse that I always turn back to whenever I’m feeling not ______ enough.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.”