From Part 1:
I’ve been reading and processing slowly, Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, in which she reminds the reader, “You are enough.”
I’m considering putting a decal of that on my ceiling over my bed, so that it’s the first thing I see in the morning when I wake up: I am enough. I have enough.
Another synchronicity (and they have been snowballing, let me tell you): There is a connection between “enoughness” and love.
My counselor has been talking with me a lot about love, particularly the love I do or don’t exercise toward myself. It’s easy for me to exercise love and compassion toward others, but it’s very difficult to extend those conditions to myself. I am always the exception to the rule.
(Remember, I’m the person who made fun of the song “The Greatest Love of All” in these very pages just a month ago.)
My counselor and Brené Brown both talk about the notion (myth) of scarcity—we seem to think…and our culture encourages us to think…that there’s not enough of anything in the world to go around, but especially not enough love.
Au contraire, says my counselor; God is infinite love, an unlimited pool of love that you already have access to…that you have always had access to.
She analogizes withholding love from self this way: You’re driving a car to San Francisco, but you’ve only filled the gas tank with 1/8th of a gallon of gasoline. Then, when it peters out, you say, “You stupid car. Why can’t you make it?”
Her point: As absurd as this example is…that’s how absurd the notion is that God only parcels out drips and drabs of love and then expects us to behave as if we have a full tank of it.
She tells me to ask, “How is not loving myself serving me? For what purpose?”
Well, it seems selfish, I reply. We’re supposed to be selfless, not self-interested. Love is to be given to, spent on, other people.
She explains: It is selfish to cut myself off from the limitless source of life and love (God), because then I can’t love others. If I cut myself off from God who IS LOVE, the very substance I need…and that everyone needs…isn’t that definition of selfish?
Well, duh…when she puts it that way, it seems pretty obvious.
We know this is an endless resource, she says, because we were taught to pray (by Jesus himself) “give us this day our daily bread.” It is supplied daily. And it is enough. It is not an eighth of a gallon of gas for the trip to San Francisco. And when the tank runs dry, I can go refill it.
How do I access it? But to ask “how” is to stop the process. How do you access it? You just do. You believe it, you know it, and you do.
I’m trying to get it.
(“Do or do not; there is no try.” —Yoda)
(“tried = tired” —my counselor)
Reframe: I almost get it.
Here’s to living in the land of love.
Long been a fan of stepping out of the scarcity “misthinking” so prevalent in the world. I love how you presented this and how you wove in your counselor’s analogy of the tank of gas. Very well put.
Thank you. The analogy really hit home for me.
Beautifully said. I find that I have to read Daring Greatly in bits, allowing time to ponder and process, and also read this twice, slowly, trying to soak it in.
I agree, Debbie. It’s like a “selah” in the Psalms–needs a “pause and think on these things.”
This is a good series. And you’re right, it’s impossible to do much of anything if we keep running on empty. I think that applies to love, to life, to writing, to exercising, to pretty much everything!
Thank you, Crystal! I agree. It has widespread application. If it can be made an habitual way of thought, it seems to make everything a little easier to pull off.
This is from a book called “Let Your Life Speak”. When I read your post it brought to mind how counsel like this is leading me to the same point of understanding that I have more to offer the world if I am at home with myself.
“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human seeks — we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as ‘the place where your deepest gladness meets the world’s greatest need.’ ” (Parker. J. Palmer)
Peace to you on this journey.
Linda, I love both Palmer and Buechner! Thanks for sharing them. That’s one of my favorite Buechner quotes.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Maybe Jesus knew we’d struggle to love ourselves, but in seeing how much HE loves us, and how easy it is to love others, maybe we can start to realize He wasn’t kidding. You’re on a good path, ma’am.
Thanks, Denise. True that! (“Jesus is not an asshole,” right? He wouldn’t tell us to do something we can’t actually achieve.)
What an analogy. That won’t leave my mind any time soon.
Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Melinda…and for resonating.