I spent the day in MacGregor on Sunday where my parents live and where I grew up. On the way back home, Ben and I began dreaming about our future.
I found myself doing something we are all used to doing- doubting my abilities. I doubted my intelligence, my skills, my passions, my future. I compared myself to others and constantly fell short.
Years ago, when Ben dreamed of getting his Masters, I applied with him because Ben gives me confidence... but my mind was telling my I wouldn’t get in and couldn’t handle it anyway. I doubted. But then I got in. I was accepted. I still remember that morning so clearly- Ben woke me up with his phone in his hand showing me his acceptance email from Laurier. I could tell that he had been up for awhile already and had been thanking God for this gift. I checked my phone right away expecting to simply spend the day celebrating with Ben and preparing for what my role would be when we moved to Ontario. I had been accepted, not even waitlisted. They saw potential, intelligence, determination in me. In ME. I was enough.
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know that many years ago I invested in myself and lost around 50 pounds. I disliked myself because of my appearance and I had decided that only losing the weight would mean I’m worth love and belonging. When I started, my thoughts told me that I would never be able to lose even a pound or run a mile. And when all the weight was gone, suddenly I was enough. After a few years of self-actualizing, I suddenly know how wrong it is to be enough only when my looks meet the standards of culture when I know that no woman will ever meet their standards since they are impossible to meet. I am enough as I am- with the 50 pounds back on me and then some. I am enough.
As a therapist, I tend to feel a deep sense of responsibility to my clients. I am the holder of knowledge, skills and expertise that is supposed to help them to crawl out of the loss of a spouse, years of depression, daily anxiety, crippling trauma experiences or relationship hardships, just to name a few. I do have a responsibility to them however it’s impossible for me to know everything, to say exactly what they need to hear, to facilitate an “a-ha” moment each session or to cure mental illness. I wish I could. But I am enough in the therapeutic relationship. I bring what we all need: acceptance, compassion, empathy, kindness, patience and sometimes wisdom. Though I am not perfect in any of these attributes, I am enough.
Two weeks after I brought Azazel home, it was a never ending stream of thoughts that I would never be enough for her. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t exclusively breastfeed her, I was deprived of sleep and normal self-care and I had no hot clue what I was doing. I don’t know that I have any better idea of what I’m doing as a Mom but I have tackled and garbaged so much of the guilt and shame that came with the first few months of bringing home your first baby. I am finally coming around to the idea that I may be enough for our little Izzy. Being enough for her has so much to do with who I am as Megan, not just who I am as a Mom. Being enough for Izzy has to do with dreaming big, following through on my values, living my life with empathy and respect for others, loving her and her Dad selflessly, being strong in the face of adversity, braving vulnerability.
When I moved to Winnipeg many years ago, I felt closed in by all the buildings and cement. I would often drive to my parents’ just to feel like myself again. There is still some of that in me. Getting out of Winnipeg and breathing in the prairie air is good for my soul. It reminds me of how truly small I am, in a good way. I’m glad to have moments of clarity in what is normally a beautifully chaotic life.