“This is preeminently a time to tell the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly….Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Inauguration Address, March 4, 1933
I heard these words from Doris Kearns Goodwin on CBS This Morning. (open link for the interview) Her historical knowledge of American disasters offered wisdom and perspective that was very helpful. Doris described the Civil War, the Depression, and other challenging moments in history with the words, “They did not know how it was going to end, there was enormous anxiety. And yet, history tells us that in each of those situations the leaders came through, the citizens came though. We really did emerge stronger than ever before.”
My mission in these six years of writing to you has been to tell the truth, my truth anyway. I have shared experiences and observations from my life, and sought to “make meaning” from my stories. It was and is my desire to connect to you, to your stories, and to your sense of the sacred…to affirm our shared human experience
Today we find ourselves in a new reality, ever changing and completely upending our sense of home and safety. Each of us, we and our neighbors, find ourselves in various states of denial and awareness. But if I am to tell the truth, “the whole truth, frankly and boldly,” let me add my voice in favor of our capacity to adapt and to grow in the midst of this crisis.
Four years ago, I claimed March 24th as “I Am Enough” Day. It was an idea that came out of my prayer and healing journey. We celebrated simply, the idea being that for one day let each believe that “I am ok, I am enough.” I know that some of you have no difficulty with that concept, but I also know many who do. So, as my ministry grew, I sought to affirm folks in their “enoughness.” It’s been fun, enlightening and needed. Nathaniel Branden, a psychologist known for his work in self-esteem, puts it this way,
“The feeling that ‘I am enough’ does not mean that I have nothing to learn, nothing further to achieve and nowhere to grow to. It means that I accept myself, that I am not on trial in my own eyes, that I value and respect myself. This is not an act of indulgence but of courage.”
Oh friends, too often we find ourselves “on trial in our own eyes”…..after that phone call or text; within a place of deep grief – where we question every choice; following a change in a relationship or work status; and now – in the midst of constant self-doubt about our Covid-19 behaviors and our uncertain future. Now, more than ever, it is time to consider and embrace our enoughness as the act of courage that Branden describes.
As these sheltered-in-place days seem so long and so alone – it is indeed time to embrace the unique being we are. Let us “value and respect” ourselves, dig deep and listen to our inner wisdom. We were created in love, by love and for love. Let us shine our light in the spaces around us! Yes, we must practice physical distancing but let our hearts extend love into the world. Yes, we must renew practices to protect ourselves, but let us do so on behalf of others. That is our call, that is our mission, that is our reason for being here in this moment in history.
With affection, Lisa
Please join us on March 24th, light a candle, send your love to our hurting world. Know that you are enough and can make a difference.
“Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new, give us more to see.” Stephen Sondheim