On Being Enough : Part Two

Following up on part one: I still don’t have it all figured out. All I know is that striving to get to “enough” wasn’t working and it wasn’t really what I was after. Problem is, if I want to be seen, I have to put myself out there. That kind of make me feel sick. It takes a ridiculous amount of vulnerability to put my words to a page and put it out there but it’s soul soothing. It’s as much about me as it is about the reader. I have so much to learn.Butwhen I found something I felt compelled to do, I had to do it.

And do it afraid.

So with all of my inadequacies, quirks and insecurities – I write.

Take this post as an example. As I write, these are the thoughts that have been running through my head:

– someone else could say this much more eloquently than you
– someone may really connect with this message
– you aren’t really thinking that writing is something you are good at, are you?
– these are some powerful words flowing out of me onto this screen
– what the heck are you even trying to say?
– I can’t share this with the world
– I can’t not share this with world
– I need chocolate

It’s terrifying yet relieving to hit publish these posts. It’s nearly impossible to refrain from editing old posts. Somehow the perfectionist in me is learning to accept that destination:perfection will never be reached and everything will still be okay, If I want to be comfortable in the space in between all things neatly figured out it means I should be able to allow and expect myself to fall short, screw up and make an ass of myself and still feel like I am winning at life.

I love failure.  By that, what I really mean is that I hate it. But every single failure is an opportunity to assess and retry. There is no end destination of finally-getting-it-all-together. Just day after day of opportunities to learn and grow.

A recipe for messiness exists in all of us. We have habits and scars and tendencies that land us in bad places, scary relationships and lonely lives. We strive to be enough but our humanness inevitably causes us to miss the mark. It’s the picking yourself up after the failure that is the hardest. Instead of throwing in the towel, make the messes count. Mess up. All the time. But make it count. Let it grow you and stretch you into a better version of yourself. You won’t ever be enough but you can just be you, messy but learning.  And that’s enough.

On Being Enough

A quick confession: I read a lot. Books? I always have two or three on the go. Blogs? I lose myself for hours reading through them. I even fall victim to those too-long-to-be-a-Status-update-posts on Facebook (you know who you are). Because I am a life-long learner, I am always scanning for that small encouragement, new idea that furthers a discussion or story that puts something in a whole new light.

Every now and then I come across a message reminding me to ignore that message of not being enough. I’ve been through those years. The ones where I shopped, dressed up and painted my face but was never pretty enough. The ones where I starved and puked but was never thin enough. The ones where I cut but was never relieved enough. I was never, ever going to be enough.

Yet, on the other end of that, was feeling as though I was too much. I would share my opinion among a group of peers and feel as though I was too headstrong. I would laugh and regret being too loud. I would share a story and think I had occupied too much of everyone else’s time. For goodness sake, I thought I took up TOO MUCH AIR.

I suppose because I have hindsight, it should mean I have progressed (or because….meds.). But given that this blog is called a Recipe for Messiness, it would seem to indicate that I don’t have it all figured out. And I think that may be the trick. Knowing you don’t have it all figured out and being comfortable in the space in between.

This.

This I know.

You will never reach the other side of striving to be something you are not.

Because when you think you are about to arrive, the destination changes. Picture a cat chasing the glow of a moving flashlight – aha! Gotcha! Wait? Where did the fun, shiny thing go? Over there! Get it! Huh?

Why could I never be thin/smart/pretty enough? Why could I never be at peace? Because it wasn’t the heart of what I was after. What I was after (and what I think a lot of people are after) is just to be seen. I needed to know the reason for my existence on this planet. I needed to know there was a part for me to play and that I had something to offer.

And apparently I want to offer the world my words.

Part 2 coming soon!

Lessons from a Fire

We recently experienced our first (and hopefully last) house fire. Everyone evacuated safely and my two young boys were excited to hang out in the back of a fire truck. And we have house insurance so all is well, right? Ya, I thought so too.

Two days into our “adventure” (that’s what we are calling it for the kids’ sake) I came upon this post and the paragraph regarding control hit me like a ton of bricks.

 I live my daily life like I am control of it. I drive to work, I stop for coffee, I pay my bills online (always late, but alas, I pay them), I parent my children (although this may be in doubt) and I feel secure and confident in my independence when I make things happen and plans come to fruition. I acquire material goods that make life feel comfortable and easy (Snuggie anyone?).

 And then something unforeseen and out of my control comes along and sideswipes me.

I am now living in an unfamiliar setting, wearing uncomfortable clothes (because they are not mine) and am reminded a hundred times a day of just how inconvenient this whole situation is (looking for tweezers – I have none, where are the extra mitts – we have none, has anyone seen the boys’ skates – they are at the “fire house” as my little guy calls it). Its overwhelming. I keep grabbing at this stuff over here, purchasing this stuff over there and rescheduling this and that but I just can’t seem to regather all of life under my domain.

Its exhausting.

And then in the quiet I realize that I was never really in control in the first place. That it was all an illusion. I can try to anticipate, accumulate, regulate and manipulate for my own sense of security but it’s all trickery.

 Newsflash: I can’t see or guarantee the future.

But I do know someone who can. Someone who loves me incomprehensibly and unconditionally. Someone who tells me I must lose my life to find it. Someone who, when I stop looking around and instead look inside, whispers “Be still.  Know that I am God”.

 And you know what? When control is realized as impossible but we have assurance that the One who loves to depths we can’t imagine is in control, it is so easy to let go.