Have you ever stopped and wondered, “What are we really doing here?” I mean, really… what ARE we doing that is meaningful and why are we so busy while we’re doing it? The holidays are a good time to stop and check-in to see why we do the things we do. Often, so many of our to-do activities end up driving us into the ground. We end up sick, tired, grumpy, and too exhausted to enjoy time with our families. At least that’s true for me. Is anyone else willing to admit that?
Sometimes I look at my life from an observer’s standpoint, and I end up noticing something new… I end up seeing myself differently. Have you ever stopped to look at what you’re doing and why? Here’s what I saw when I recently took a good long look at my life:
- I saw myself struggling to make things better rather than accepting how things are. I wanted my family to feel happy and loved and not be exposed to the brokenness of the world around us. Sometimes, I still believe I can do that, but my life has proven otherwise.
- I saw myself trying to control outcomes, not for the sake of being a control-freak, but in an effort to prevent myself and those I care about from feeling disappointment or being hurt when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped. I still have to wake up every day and remind myself to let go, and focus on being strong and capable even if I fail, rather than focusing on prevention plans that don’t actually work.
- I noticed that I put a lot of time into making sure things are perfect, so much so, I’m available to those I love most. I stay busy and slightly unavailable to others, preventing me from really feeling connected and loved. I struggle because I believe its in the smallest details that the greatest difference can be made… but sometimes the details become more important than the people I love. It’s a balancing act for me, and I’m still wobbly.
- I noticed that a lot of what was driving me to do more, or to make what I am doing even better, is because I need to prove my worth and I need to show that I really am good enough to be loved by those I care about. Do you ever do that? Try to prove you’re good enough? Worthy?
Well, if any of that resonates for you, I have a gift I want to share. I discovered it in a pile of old files while cleaning out our storage area a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know where I got it, but obviously I knew it was something worth holding onto. Typed onto a plain piece of paper were the most insightful words I have read in ages. It was as if I acquired this letter years ago, but I wasn’t ready to read it until now. It felt like a divinely planted message and spoke right to my heart. Thankfully, the person who wrote the letter also signed the letter. I do not know her, or how I came to have her letter, but I’m glad she shared her words of wisdom and that her words came across my path right when I needed to hear them.
I’ll share her letter with you as we enter this season of giving, and receiving and remembering the season is all about love…
You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love; Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often.
You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering.
But unconditional love? Stop telling yourself that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and plan and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.
-Courtney A. Walsh
Powerful words, huh? I hope you take them to heart. You are enough. What you do is enough… more than enough. I’m letting it in, again. And allowing myself to rest in the wisdom of this letter. I hope you will too.