As a spiritual searcher and self-proclaimed self-help junkie, I've heard countless times about the scarcity myth versus embracing abundance. I've read all the reassurances that someone else getting praise or success does not in any way take away from the abundant success that is available to me. And every time I hear it, I take it in with a mix of gratitude and a sense that while it's well-intentioned and undoubtedly true, it also feels like these assurances are missing the mark somehow.
I feel like I should say something profound here. Or funny. Or shocking. Something that will grab your attention. Because that's what I'm supposed to do, right? I'm told I have about 13 seconds to get you interested in what you're reading, or you will move on. And perhaps that is true. Probably it's true.
A little less than a month ago, my daughter texted me from school. This happens on an almost daily basis, so I didn't think anything of it. But the content made me raise my eyebrows a little. Hey Mom, Sami is coming over after school. We need to talk to you about something. You're going to be mad.
Well, that's interesting. I am? I asked.
Yes. You're going to yell at me.
My curiosity piqued, I spent the next hour pondering what she might be needing to tell me: that she crashed the car; she wanted to drop out of school to join the circus; she needed to know how to get blood out of clothing and couldn't tell me why... Then my phone notified me of another text.
Mom, I'm going to tell you now, because I can't do this in person. I'm pregnant.
I always dreamed of having a big, happy family. A mom and dad who truly liked and respected each other, brothers and sisters who drove each other crazy but underneath it loved each other deeply, and extended family who came over on holidays and sometimes just because. Loud, noisy, rambunctious, and always there for each other.
When my daughter was very little, and eating baby food, she did this thing whenever we fed her. As soon as she was settled into her high chair, before she even saw the food, she'd open her mouth, and then she'd just wait, in complete faith that eventually food would appear. After each bite, she'd open her little mouth wide again, and then wait until food magically appeared in front of her again.
My son, on the other hand, was much more realistic. He'd wait until the food was right in front of his face before he opened his mouth. He wanted evidence that the food was there, before he opened up.
How often, I wonder, do we approach life like my son approached food, not opening up until we have all the evidence in front of us?
I stood on the scale and looked down in dismay. I knew I had made some bad decisions that week, but I didn’t think it had been THAT bad. As I stepped back, I wondered once again why I was even trying.
It felt like I had been trying for years, with no result. Well, that wasn’t really true. I was seeing a change. Every week the numbers on the scale went up, no matter what I did. Sometimes, if I did everything exactly right, I could lose two or three pounds. It might take a month for that to happen, but every time, it felt like hope. And then one day I would skip a workout, because I was really tired or my legs hurt, or just because I was human and a skipped workout sometimes happens, and in one day those three pounds would come right back. It was like there was a magnet attached to my body, and those pounds would just latch on.
Have you ever been so mad that it took your breath away? So mad that you could feel it eating away at every positive feeling in your body, like a cancer? A few years ago, I was pissed off. Really infuriated. Not like "I'm having a horrible day" mad. Not even a hot, volcanic rage that explodes and then is all over. This was a cold, slow-burning fury, although periodically it did explode, all over whoever happened to be nearby. But I didn't want to be mad. So I convinced myself I wasn't. A year later, I was still mad. It took another year before I was able to move beyond the anger. During that time, I lost many opportunities for love and beauty in my life.
Pulling out of the driveway, I took a deep breath and tried to swallow the anger. It wasn’t working. I could feel it shooting out of my fingertips, scorching the steering wheel. Why can I never get ten minutes to myself? Why does something always come up and get in the way? Why do my kids always need me RIGHT NOW as soon as I pick up a book? Why does someone in my family invariably NEED to talk to me as soon as I hit play on my podcast?
You know that photo that has been circulating for awhile with this perfectly balanced rock tower? There’s often an inspiring message that goes with it. I have one in my office, actually. My husband made it. It’s very good. It has the perfect rock tower with the words “you are enough” under it. He’s very talented and he did a lovely job on it. The problem is, the message kind of sucks.
I mean, the sheer flawlessness of the tower combined with the words “you are enough” are like an indictment of our Western culture, aren’t they? You can almost see the “if” that is implied in that photo.
You are enough if your tower is perfectly balanced.
You are enough if you make for a pretty picture.
You are enough if you have everything lined up just right.
Hi there, I'm Amy. I'm so glad you're here. I'm a writer, photographer, mom, wife, and highly sensitive introvert, just trying my best to show up fully for myself, my family, and my life. It all gets a little crazy sometimes, and it helps to have a place to connect honestly about what's really going on. This is my place.