I have been writing a series of essays that I call The Enough Essays. I started the project several months ago, as the result of a chance meeting, an act of supreme bravery, and a sudden realization that, in fact, I am-- in and of myself-- enough. You can read the original, Enough, and then some here.
That first piece is mostly about the generalities of my enoughness. Funny thing, though: as I was polishing it and putting on the finishing touches, I had a small epiphany: I realized that I am enough in a whole bunch of ways. This is not to say that I'm perfect in any of them-- not be a long shot! But I'm also not woefully deficient, either. So adding to the general enoughness, I wrote about them as well: faith, hope, grace, world-saving and mom-hood. They're scattered throughout my blog, in no particular order, though most have the word "enough" in the title.
There are more-- some posted on my blog, many more still swirling about in my head, waiting to be written. There are always more, because one of the gifts of diving deep and discovering who I am and how I fit, is finding all those pieces of enoughness.
But here's the thing, the secret thing, the I'd-really-like-to-keep-this-under-a-rock thing: there are some dark places in there. Places I'd prefer not to disturb. Places I'd have to use a ladder to get to far-from-being-enough. I won't bore you with the gory details. If that means the hidden spots stay hidden a little while longer, so be it. They've managed to thrive as they lurk and slither through the muck.
This is Elul, though, and I am called to dive a little deeper, shine the light a little brighter. As scary as those dark and twisty places are, there are a few questions that I can't quite keep quiet. Not now, not while I've committed to walking this particular path. So.
When am I forgiven enough-- for my humanity, my brokenness? When do I say I've had enough pain? When do I demand "Enough" and then have the courage to lay all those broken bits of me, the hidden places and twisted secrets-- when do I have courage enough to lay them down? How can I be redeemed when I still cling to all of this, more intimately than a lover's embrace?
How can I ask your forgiveness, ask forgiveness of God, when I cannot forgive myself?
And perhaps because this is Elul, because I have committed to illuminating all of me-- the good, the bad, warts and all-- I am reminded (when I get quiet enough, am still enough): when I leap, I am caught. Without fail. I know how to forgive, how to show up with compassion and kindness. For you. Perhaps I need to dive a little deeper, and find the compassion of forgiveness for myself.
And those leaps? They don't have to be made with seven mile boots. A stumble, a step at a time is enough. Who knows-- maybe this is the year I will find forgiveness enough to return.