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A SparkNotes Summary on: You’re not enough (and that’s okay), by Allie Beth Stuckey

Surprisingly enough this is the first book I’ve completed since high school English 4U. It is also the first Christian book I’ve ever read other than the Bible. My friend Candice Hai recommended this book to me and quite honestly, I was only captivated by the title at first. It reminded me of the K-drama, It's okay not to be okay, which I also recommend :). This book was gifted to me during the new year, and I was instantly hooked by how the author portrayed the hot topic of self-love through the Christian lens.

I’ve always struggled with my self-esteem, comparing my successes with others, my looks, my feeling of worthlessness, and loneliness. I’ve always struggled with why God has blessed so many around me when I can’t really say the same about myself at times. This book has opened a new light into what God’s love means, and that it's okay to not be enough.

As I have been greatly impacted by this book it is only right to share it with others who may be feeling the same. Although this may be a SparkNotes-esque summary, I highly recommend you pick it up yourself (I’m also happy to let you borrow it! Just dm me on insta @haiisaira).

The author highlights 5 different ‘myths’ on the meaning of self-love. I’ll be highlighting the first 3 and some resulting ideas that struck me:

  • Myth 1: You are enough
  • Myth 2: You determine your truth
  • Myth 3: You’re perfect the way you are

This may be a long post so I recommend reading 1 myth a day (or you can read it all now too 😊)

Myth 1: You are enough

Our generation has been putting great emphasis on the idea of finding ourselves and doing what makes us happy. But despite our obsession with these goals that are supposed to fill our emptiness, our rates of depression, anxiety, and unhappiness are drastically higher than in previous generations. This is apparent through TikTok videos, Instagram memes, and even through our jokes between friends — sometimes I also joke about wanting to die during stressful seasons. Rather than feeling content, we are left anxious, insecure, and fearful.

In the author’s words, the reason for this is: “we’re looking for it in the wrong places.” Self-love, achievements, and other false solutions are not serving the purpose we hope for them to serve, and it is keeping us in this constant cycle of uneasiness.

“Our desperation is exacerbated because of a reason we’ve already named: the self can’t be both our problem and our solution. If the self is the source of our depression or despair or insecurity or fear, it can’t also be the source of our ultimate fulfillment. That means loving ourselves more doesn’t satiate us. We need something else-something bigger. Simply, we need Jesus.”

Allie Beth Stuckey

Myth 2: You determine your truth

Sometimes we get too caught up in ourselves, our ambitions, and what we deem is right and wrong; we unknowingly push God and what is actually true to the side. We naturally prioritize ourselves over anything else.

Personally, I get too caught up in my academics and my goal to pursue a career in the painfully competitive field of medicine. I idolized this idea of self-success and achievement, which in turn made me push fellowship, solitude with God, and my spiritual health aside. I stamped school as a ‘valid’ excuse to leave these essentials for later and created my own standard of what is right and wrong. Allie points out that we need a standard outside ourselves to tell us what’s valid and acceptable.

(side note: academics is not bad BUT if it controls your happiness and your overall focus, then maybe it's time to take a step back and reflect)

Another point that stood out to me was the idea of meology. Many “biblical” teachers these days fall into this trap. They cherry-pick scriptures that satisfy their interpretation of what a passage means, or what satisfies the needs of their audience and what is relevant to us. They exchange God’s truth for theirs resulting in others being misled. This strongly reminded me of the importance of studying scripture; to be able to discern truth from the lies that are constantly fired at us by the world.

Another fresh example of proclaiming self-affirmed truths over God’s is cancel culture. The amount of energy people invest into putting a specific individual or a group of people down due to a minor disagreement or annoyance always amazes me. With this, society teaches us that our feelings (which are always changing) validate our truths. As children of God, we should not partake in this type of thinking. Our truths should be dictated by God’s unchanging Words which anchor us through the “waves of cultural relevance.” As Christians, we are called to a higher standard.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

— Romans 12:2

“or here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

— Hebrews 13:14

Myth 3: You’re perfect the way you are

It is too easy to listen to motivational speeches, music, worldly friendships, etc. to comfort us in our insecurities, reminding us that we are perfect the way we are and we shouldn’t change. Even if we don’t actively seek these temporary comforts, self-acceptance and self-love are fairly evident within social media, commercials, etc. However, falling into this idea of self-comfort and acceptance can leave room for us to accept sin — which God despises. God wants us to rely on Him, His strength, and His mercy. It is okay to not be perfect because God is perfect — thus, glorified in our imperfection.

This world is in constant need of self-discovery. We partake in personality tests, classifying our zodiac signs, and traveling the world to find who we really are. However, in this never-ending search for self-discovery, most of us find ourselves still in search of answers and are left feeling unsatisfied. We don’t realize that the answers we are looking for have already been laid in front of us. We are not called to worship ourselves and our path to perfection or worldly successes. God has called all of us to one purpose: His glory, fulfilled by loving Him and others with all our hearts, making disciples by witnessing His love, grace, and goodness. This purpose for us remains constant, true to the end, and forever unchanging, a stark contrast to a personality test or temporary fulfillments. And by abiding in God’s purpose, He provides everlasting joy and satisfaction. Our longing to find who we really are is quenched by having Christ at the center of our lives.

Closing remarks

Through all my insecurities and periods of depression, I would band-aid these feelings with motivational talks, or sometimes flip through a bible verse to tell myself that everything would be okay. At that moment, I would only pick verses that would fuel my self-love. These momentary reliefs and moments of sadness would be a constant cycle, as I desperately tried to fill the void with anything other than God.

What I failed to understand was that I should not strive to make myself feel better by feeding into self-love. Although I am imperfect in all ways, God is perfect. God’s love isn’t based on how I look or my worldly accomplishments. What He wants for us is to humbly praise Him, lean on Him through the trials, and embody gratitude for His love towards others. By looking at God before myself, the hole is no longer empty but filled with the love of Christ. I know that I am not enough, and that is okay. 😊

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