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.

The Carrot on the Floor

bbf10-carrot

 There was a carrot in the middle of the living room floor this morning. I snacked on carrots and hummus last night while snuggled on the couch with a novel so I know this carrot has been hanging out on my floor all night long. I sat in my chair looking at that carrot. I knew the compulsion to run over and pick that carrot up would sweep over me. I knew I would want to remove that carrot from it’s wrong place and put it in it’s right place. I knew I would be uncomfortable in my imperfect living room until said carrot was removed.

 I don’t enjoy being uncomfortable and will naturally do what I can do avoid it. Being uncomfortable sometimes involves distress, pain, anxiety and fear. I don’t particularly enjoy those emotions or feelings and none of those do I willingly enter into.  Suddenly though, as I am just coasting along, life gets messy.

So far, my 2014 has been really messy. There has been a ton of hurt, crying, anger, disappointment, exasperation and frustration. As it continues on, it’s incredibly uncomfortable and difficult. To be honest, I just want it all to be over.  I want my easy, care-free, pretty-much-pain-free-life back.  My instinct is to just fix it all up nice on the surface so that it feels good and I can pretend everything is a-ok.

Except, sometimes when we all we really want to do is clean it up, we prevent the work that happens in the midst of being uncomfortable. As an example, I recently started doing Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown and mid-workout she instructs us to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” As I am stretched to my limits (and sweating my butt off), she reminds me that enduring the uncomfortable is worth the end goal.

Smack in the middle of this crazy mess, God is working. He is teaching me patience. He is forcing me to see that deep down my choices are rooted in self-preservation, self-promotion, and self-soothing. He is challenging me to prove what love really looks like. If I forego the difficult and uncomfortable parts of life, I miss being shaped by Him. If I just skip over the unbearable-I-really-don’t-want-to-do-this parts, I miss an opportunity to grow in character and in relationship with Him.

More than anything else, I want to know God, love God, serve God and show God.  When I signed up for this Jesus thing, I knew I was signing it all over.  Comfort, wealth, family, ease, friends, my own plans – all of it.  I am confident of the depths of God’s love for me and will continue to yes to Him.

That carrot?  I never did pick it up.