Dear Brave Ones,
The irony of my writing a blog is: typically, once a grand gesture or statement is made in the public square, I am soon tested within the scope of that once grand gesticulation.
Only through writing or “talking it out” do dots connect among the issues I ponder. Most folks appear to connect dots before they speak…or write. Not I. Everything is illuminated in transit.
Two weekends ago, this “Everyday DerringDo: Live Bravely” conversation began. Though, I’m not an authority on DerringDo, I sure desire to develop everyday courage and chutzpah.
I’ve skied off cliffs, traveled bits of Europe and US alone, have been a single parent for most of my parenthood, but have a not-uncommon Achilles heel when it comes to being brave.
Since last weekend, I’ve come face-to-face with the spectre of my aggregated fears; distilling them to their common denominator.
I am not enough.
Have you ever felt this way? Does a persistent fear follow you like a hungry wolf?
Sadly, last week’s dive into the well coincides with a less-than-expected meeting with someone harsh. Just the thought of a “reunion” had me in tears…in Target. I did all I could think to do and texted a friend who has wisdom appropriate to this heart-twiddling. He offered such grace and perspective that I was able to enter the meeting without fear, nausea, or desire to confront. He kindly suggested that I view the interaction as if I was meeting someone in the parking lot – without shared history or future. So simple.
But since Sunday, the old wounds and fear snaked their way around wisdom and camped deep in the woods of my thoughts.
You see, despite all of my best efforts, 20+ years of honest prayers and listening, learning, traveling new roads, accepting appropriate responsibility, asking for help, more hard work and hard looks at what is real…my life – on paper – is a disaster.
Have you met these two kids that I grew up with; the Lousches?
Do you know how grateful I am in people who share friendships and adventures?
Have you walked the Konza, cycled across the Flint Hills, met the Kansans along the blue highways?
These (and Madi’s goofy giant pup) are what make me rich.
An embarrassment of riches.
Even as I know stuff, position, and power are not true measures of a person, I fall prey to the lie. “To be enough,” I’d have some of those elements on my current resumé.
In case you are wondering:
My attic home is tiny by design and necessity.
When I returned to Kansas, I was thoroughly broken. Now, I’m not. A little glue here and there helps still.
My job is very ground floor.
Last year, I lost a job in a “reorganization.” It was devastating on top of every other thing. Fortunately, a call and an invitation to apply for a K-State position arrived – no promises, just a “heads up.” In this place are learning adventures of every kind. I think I’m helping to prepare fertile ground for a long good harvest. Like many, I live closer to the bone than I’d hoped.
I have dated a wee bit. Not much.
Dating is such a minefield of quantum relational physics for me. Fellas: when I try to subtly reveal interest, I hit the turf in flames. Audrey Hepburn, I am not.
Friendships are more my thing. And isn’t that what we ultimately desire in “relationships” – a friendship that catches fire and imagination for the long walk home?
Anyhoo, I write this as reminder to all of us who hear the growls of an angry “dementor”:
We are enough. We just don’t know it yet.
How do you reset your courage-o-meter?
Where do you cultivate your derring-do?
At this point, I know to not give up. I recall the stats behind David and Goliath and glean the one thing out of “World War Z” (the movie) that is relevant: we must not mistake appearances for “strength” or our feelings for good measures of reality. Sometimes our greatest “weakness” – our most troubling deficits – become our greatest offering.
We must live as though we are enough.
Still growing, risking, failing, and falling.
Still waking and rising and clasping hands with others as we move forward.
There is a lot we do not yet know.