Maybe it’s been like this for a very long time, but it feels as if I am running across writing, workshops, podcasts, and all manner of yearning by many of us to feel and believe we are enough. The surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has identified this as a component of the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in our country:
“This is a time when so many people feel like we have to be a certain person, to build a certain brand, to meet other people’s expectations. I think to not be able to be who you are takes a real toll on people.” He wants to promote “a culture that allows people to be who they are without making them feel judged or ashamed, in which people can practice what he calls radical authenticity.”
What have we designed or come to believe that pits so many of us against ourselves? What are we doing to ourselves or going along with that allows such a notion, that even our best efforts are not enough? Perhaps it’s part of the package for people who are willing to look at all of the aching need in our world and dare to feel it and care and try to make a difference.
What if, instead, you believed that you were enough…at work, in your personal life, as a spiritual being, a parent, an adult child, a sibling, a citizen? What if you could hold onto what, deep down, you know to be true, that we are here to experience life in all its facets. That joy and grief and frustration and feeling stuck and laughter and buoyancy are all part of what it means to be alive. None of us get to skip over the uncomfortable bits.
Could we then, perhaps, be able to appreciate that our being is the juice, the essence, and what we do is meant to simply support our being?
It’s not easy in a dominant culture that defines success by externals, like wealth or fame or thinness or title; where busy-ness is glorified and silence is very hard to find.
It’s a miserable way to spend a day, not quite measuring up to what we think we should do. Even when we pull off a refreshingly productive day, where to- do lists are checked and we even manage to eat healthy and exercise, there is a nagging sense that it might not go so well tomorrow.
How about this…what if you and I trusted that the gifts we have to give to the world are good and beautiful and enough? That the most valuable thing we can do is to be Wildly ourselves and nothing more. What if, when things are really hard, we managed to remember that this is just part of being fully alive, accepting that there aren’t short cuts through the tough places, only the radical notion of not taking them personally or thinking we’ve done something wrong.
I hope today that you pause, step outside, and listen to bird song or watch a squirrel race along a branch and feel a kinship and a whisper of truth that reminds you to sing your particular song and balance on whatever thorny branches are in your path. This is your Wild truth and it is already enough.