Begin here. The children are at school. It is the end of summer. I am sitting in my favorite chair, surrounded by books, read and unread, little reminders of things finished and unfinished. Our backyard is a similar state of affairs. The vegetable garden has some peppers and eggplants ready to be picked growing alongside tomato and squash plants that are for all intents dead. The air is surprisingly cool for this time of year, as the fullness of summer is just starting to crossfade. Eventually it will give up the ghost and fall will be upon us. It is Friday, the end of the week for most people, but in so many ways for me it feels like the start of something.
As I enter into this new season of writing, I am searching. I am trying to find the right words that will cut through the chatter. Looking for my voice, not so much in the sense of not knowing what to say. I have a general sense of what that is, but not sure of how to express it.
If you’re reading this, chances are you are also searching for something. You’re trolling through your Twitter or Facebook feed, maybe looking for the answer to a question or the solution to a problem. Or maybe you’re just bored.
I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, so I’m not going to ask you to take a long journey with me. But maybe we can just take a few tentative steps together and see how it goes.
As we carry ourselves in this age of 140 characters and 6 second video, we tend to look at our lives through the artificial lens of “neon vision”, as John O’Donohue called it. We focus on all things external, whether it be the popular movie or television show, the hot new gadget that will make our life complete, or simply the photos showing up in our Facebook or Instagram feed. As a result, we become shallow, our lives merely shadows of the people we want to be.
There is one central thought that I keep going back to as of late. It has served as sort of a lifeline for me through good times and bad.
You are enough.
It sounds too simple, I know. So simple that we want to add to it. God told Moses that he was enough, and Moses replied with a litany of reasons why he wasn’t the man. But he was. Jesus said we are enough, but still we have added our own rules, regulations, and religion.
We focus so much on externals. We try to model other people’s behavior, turning life into a formula. We avoid ourselves, hiding instead in the anonymity of the crowd. We are filling our lives with noise to drown out the silence.
You can’t help other people put on their oxygen mask until you put on your own. In the same way, you can’t change by looking outside yourself. It’s an inside job.
You are enough. Ponder it, debate it, dismiss it. But it is true. Go ahead and live in it. Since the striving, scraping, competitive way hasn’t worked for you, what have you got to lose?