You Are Enough Until You Aren’t

This seems to be developing into a series of “Pinterest Posts I Hate”, doesn’t it? I don’t like to use the term curmudgeon, but, please, get off my lawn.

Initially, that sentiment of being enough is quite liberating. Especially for those of us who live with the sad suspicion that we’re not. So, at first, I was all, “You mean, me being me, breathing in and out is enough? I don’t have to use up everything I’ve got saving the world to distract it from the fact that I’m here, taking up space and daring to breathe in and out??? Cool!”

As I said, liberating. And it’s good to take that sentiment right inside of yourself, breathe it down to your toes and relax. You, as you, are enough. We don’t have to buy our place on this earth. Our life is not a parking spot, requiring regular payments to the meter. So I enjoyed it for awhile, smiling for the first couple of dozen times I saw it on Pinterest.

And then, as I so often do, I tilted my head the other way and thought, wait a minute…

Because with your head tilted that way, after seeing this saying over and over and over again, you start to see a little undercurrent of “so you have to do this alone” and that doesn’t feel nearly as liberating.

Maybe it’s the life I lead as a blogger and the life I had for awhile as a sole owner of my Reiki practice, but I’ve gotten very used to doing things on my own. If I don’t know how to do something, I Google it, find the answer and then do it. There have been times that I asked Alan for help, but as he got busier with the bakery, I felt less and less comfortable doing that. Without realizing it, I had gotten less and less comfortable asking anyone for help with anything.

Because I was enough.

In a pinch, Alan and I together were enough, but neither of us felt comfortable reaching outside the circle of just us two for help. And I’m thinking we aren’t the only people who have fallen into this trap.

There’s nothing like getting really sick with a mysterious illness to make you tilt your head the other way and realize that you aren’t enough, that if this life that you’ve built and love and wish to continue is to continue, you need help. It’s been about the most humbling part of the last year and a bit and I’m still really bad at it, but I’m learning. I’m beginning to learn. We ask for help and people line up, eager, thrilled to be able to do something to make my path a little less difficult and lonely, to be able to share in the really cool adventure of running an independent bakery, happy to be part of our circle.

And as I sit in breathless wonder at the goodness of the people we have gathered into our lives, it finally dawns on me that we were never meant to merely be enough, all on our own. We are meant to be part of something. Because life, all of life, is a team sport.

Go out into the natural world and have a look around. It’s a huge, exuberant team effort, with the bees and the worms and the rain and the sunshine and all sorts of other things that I don’t fully understand but that I know are there and essential to this whole thing carrying on.

This planet we live on hangs in space because of all the other planets and stars around it. We’re all holding each other together.

Even our own bodies, little ole me, is a massive collection of life, of cells and microbes and synapses all working together to get us out of bed and out into the bursting with life world so we can go about our day, relying on the people around us and being relied on in turn.

We need each other. And far from it being a weakness to admit that and ask for help, it is our greatest strength. Even if we’re really bad at it.

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2 Responses to You Are Enough Until You Aren’t

  1. This is SO timely! As someone who tends to feel most comfortable as the helpER I find it excruciatingly difficult to be the helpEE (oh the hideous thought of putting someone out for little old me, even though I willingly ‘put myself out’ for other people). But a couple of days ago I felt I needed some help to talk through a problem and I reached out to a newish friend and told her straight up that I’d like to come and essentially talk her ear off and then hear her thoughts, as she felt like just the person who could help. We met today, and as promised I talked her ear off, rambled my way down a thousand cul-de-sacs and got to hear her thoughts, which as predicted were spot on and helpful. It felt really good for me to talk to her and get a new perspective, and she told me she was chuffed I’d felt I could confide in her. So I think we both walked away feeling like our friendship had deepened.
    I’m seeing your post as a little knowing nod from the Universe telling me it’s important to ask for help, and show my vulnerable bits too.

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