My heart is still.
This afternoon I stole away a few hours to escape to the woods with the man I love. Something about being surrounded by the tall trees, fallen leaves, running water and fresh air made it easier to breathe. I felt the familiar whisper in my soul, 'Was this all you needed then?'
I took pictures, got my feet wet in the water, marveled at squirrels and birds that gathered in the clearings. We talked, and I cried, and my heart was unpacked on the picnic table.
And something happened there, something I didn't expect.
In class lately we've been opening up the idea of meditation, and the Holy Spirit. I've been attracted to this idea of Spirit, of the very breath of God. Maybe it's the poet in me but I want to say in this moment, after days and weeks of silence, I felt the breath of God upon my skin for a brief second.
I never considered myself a jealous person. But over the past few weeks I've found myself staring longingly at my facebook newsfeed and instagram feed in envy. There are people out there who's lives seem so much more together than mine. Their hearts don't carry such great losses. They are better artists, better lovers, better servants.
Lately it's felt like my heart is being pelted by incoming hurts. I give and give to those around me. Everything in my life is categorized into something that must be done. There's not enough time, never enough time. Old traumas and hurts resurface. New conflicts tap into old wounds. I fizzle into nothing, burn out. And I want that.
That bright, new, shiny thing over there that looks so much happier and prettier than my reality.
And I realized that by constantly idolizing that, I'm continually putting my life in a place of "Not good enough."
I always need to be better, always push myself to feel like a success in every single area, and in the end I am doing 99 things but none well. I am busy, and everything looks like a to-do list and things I used to enjoy become something I need to do to get onto the next thing and in all of it I feel like I'm failing.
I was talking to a friend of mine earlier this week and we were talking about this very thing. I challenged her to start small. You can't change the world in a single moment, so start small. I challenged her, every day for the next week, to get up and tell herself that she was enough.
How I didn't know my own heart was aching to hear those words too.
I am enough. As a daughter, as a girlfriend, as a student, as a servant, as a worker, as a leader, as a writer. In all of it, I must hold up my actions and proclaim over them the word enough.
When I stand in this place of perfectionism and control and getting things done, I'm hurting myself and the people I love. I'm not giving my 100% because I'm exhausted and burnt out and I'm not getting more of what I want out of life. And I'm not allowing room for the grace of God.
Sometimes, in my own pride, I say I don't need it. I don't need grace. I have it all under control. Yep, you picked the right person for the job, God, because, see, I can get it done all by myself. You can count on me.
My own pride is standing in the way of my happiness. Perhaps there is beauty in humility, not the kind of humility I always saw as stooping down and serving others and putting yourself last but the kind of humility that admits I can't do it all.