Language is tricky. And this word can have a little bit of a negative vibe. “What’s missing! I’m not missing anything!”
Now, I could just use the term hungry. It’s a really evocative phrase. It’s also one my friend and co-conspirator Rachel Cole uses as a really central part of her message. And frankly she uses it more effective and with more focus and power than I do. So I’d rather just let her wave that flag. So I’m going with missing, and I want to make sure we are on the same page with what that means.
The truth is that you (we) both are missing something, and you (we) are not. We aren’t missing the substance. We’re missing the practice. The substance is there in all your deep wisdom and intuitive laughter. But it may not be put into action yet — at least not in a sustainable, right-fit way. A yummy way. A you way.
So just to make sure we are on the same page of the dictionary, I want to tell you this:
You already have everything you need.
(It’s just time to activate some of it.)
I’m going to be writing more about what’s missing and how we might heal it up together next week. But this weekend, as part of the healing balm recipe, here is a vintage Magpie post for you all about your enoughness.
(It will shore you up with truth.)
*your magpie girl
Vintage Magpie: Good. Enough.
Â Last week in the car my 14 year old daughter, Eden, turned to me and said:
“Mom, you used to raise money for a food bank. Then you ran a shelter for homeless teens. Then you were a pastor. After that you raised us, and took in the boy down the street when he needed fostering. When G was in the NICU for so long, you took care of his family. And you look out for your people on-line when they are having a hard time. You are always being a caregiver. It’s just not in Africa. So why do you always think you should be doing more?”
Eden is right. I am a compassionate caregiver. Paid and unpaid. Job title or not. My life is compassion. My life is service.
Yet I constantly under value the way I live.
I refer to my work as “my expensive hobby.”
I call my life “cushy.”
I self-identify as a privileged middle-aged upper-middle-class white lady.
(And I am. But I’m aware of my privilege, and I use it as well as I know how in service to others.)
So why do I so often fall into the trap of thinking it’s not enough?
Because I believe the lie.
The lie that if it’s not intense it doesn’t count.
The lie that a caregiver doesn’t also deserve (and need!) care and comfort herself.
The lie that if I’m not changing the world, I’m not doing anything worthwhile.
I suspect it’s not just me. I suspect that you also get stuck in the same erroneous thought whirlpool. And those lies spin you round and round, moving you from reflection to rumination, sapping your strength, and making you wonder if you are actually making progress swimming up, or if you are slowly sinking down?
You deserve to know the truth. In fact, it’s the only way to really live. So here it goes, my magpie. Here’s the gods’ honest truth…
You are living intentionally.
You are attentive to the world around you.
You are compassionate.
You are not “good enough.” You are good.
(And that is enough.)
This isn’t going to be true someday.
It’s not waiting for when you are finally done running on the endless self-help hamster wheel.
It’s not a merit badge you will get when you finally feel grown up.
These are truths about your personhood right now.
Does that mean we aren’t ever supposed to change, you and I? Does it mean that we don’t have lessons to learn? Am I implying we never make mistake, snap at our partners, eat too many donuts?
No, not at all.
You are not broken. Niether are you are stagnant. Nor are you done.
You are simply, growing.
Are you enough right now? Can you be enough tomorrow? Will you grow in your enough-ness for as long as you surely shall live?
I think you are.
I know you can.
I hope you will.
(And I’ll be doing it there with you.)