Earlier today I was talking with someone who, like me, has spent a lifetime trying to become good enough to be loved by someone we love. It’s so easy to recognize it in someone else, this agony of trying to make a parent/sibling/lover notice, love and care about us. We try everything: diet, exercise, this shampoo, that deodorant, this skin care, that makeup, new clothes, self-help books, therapy, being less attentive, being more attentive, and on and on and on…until we’re exhausted and depleted, and then we try again.
Did you notice how they don’t? They don’t notice our efforts because it’s not about us. It’s them. Really. The critical parent is going to continue because they believe that’s their job. The mean, distant sibling is probably jealous or just doesn’t want us around. And the elusive lover, well, they have their own agenda, their own self-interests no matter what they may say.
Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is about to begin in my part of the world. It hit me this morning, that maybe my sin, and perhaps your sin, isn’t about not being good enough. Maybe the real sin is allowing someone else, someone who is not our Creator, to dictate who we are supposed to be. Maybe our real sin is in not letting our individual lights radiate, in not being who we were created to be.
Think about roses. They are beautiful at each stage. From the bud to the blossom to the rose hip, they just are. They radiate what they were created to be.
It reminds me of the following quote from Marianne Williamson:
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What if, by living in forgiveness, we begin to realize we are enough. What would life be like if we believed, really believed, we’re pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough, a good enough parent/friend/lover. Yes, you (and me) with the imperfect hairstyle, the extra pounds, the coffee breath. We ARE enough, exactly as we are.
Now let’s go out and live that way.