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.)
Need a little more soulcare on this topic?
You might also like:
- Stop Trying So Hard
- Old Tapes, New Messages
- All this material came out of the life we live together in my online soulcare community, Flock. Want to grow this way with us? Click here to join our nest. (Welcome Home.)