A friend of mine posts these really great inspirational messages on her Facebook page. She comes up with original questions, collections of photos surrounding a theme, and generally spreads love and light throughout the world…with an occasional “f-bomb” thrown in for emphasis. Her name is Barbara. I think she should write a book or have a syndicated newsletter or something because I never see her stuff without feeling uplifted and in awe. I love her.
Yesterday she posted the following question:
WHO ARE YOU?
Name, Job, Things you Did, Friends
As I always do with her thought provoking posts…I sat and thought. I made a cup of tea. I stared out the window. I listened to a recording of ocean waves. And…I sat and thought some more. I could answer many things. Christian. Gypsy. Dreamer. Giver. Lover. Friend. But those things only answer a part of the question with those parameters. I decided on this…
I Am Enough.
When this picture was taken, I was visiting my dear friend, Patti from Buffalo Baking Company in California. I had just completed a few of my big “firsts”. My first foray into the world of dating. HUGE mistake on the dating end. BIG help on the “having a shoulder to cry on” end. It didn’t turn out very well for either of us, unfortunately. Too much…WAY too soon. I had survived our anniversary, our birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And I headed to the west coast to stay with a woman I had never met in person…I only knew her through this blog. But I knew her heart and she is good and she loved on me for a week.
I had it in my head that once the clock struck midnight and 2013 turned into 2014, I could say…”He died LAST YEAR”. Somehow I thought that would sweep up the wreckage of my life from the floor where it fell eight months earlier. It would be the glue to piece my heart back together. On this day…New Year’s Day 2014…we drove to Half Moon Bay play tourist. We walked the beach, browsed the shops, ate fabulous seafood, and enjoyed each other’s company.
When we got to the beach, I asked if I could have a moment alone. I walked to the water’s edge and talked to Mr. Virgo. I told him how much I loved him. I let a little piece of him go free. I placed a few strands of his hair into the foam around my freezing bare feet. And I cried. As I was walking back to Patti and her husband, I saw she had her camera poised and I threw up my hands as if to say, “Ta Da!!! That’s done!!!”
Oh…I was SO naive.
I only THOUGHT I was done. I thought the New Year would bring a new me…sans tears, anxiety, sleepless nights throwing up, fits of rage and depression, and deep melancholia. It was far from it. It only opened my eyes to the stark reality that this really WAS real. He really WAS gone. And now, I got the opportunity to feel it all without that protective gauze of grief sheltering my weary heart and mind from the full blow. Now I was raw, open, searing with the painful presence of daily life…without him. Without my heart. Without my mind. At least as I had known it.
That second year was exactly like holding a sword into the white hot heat of a forge. It tempered me. It made me stronger so that when I was beaten, I held my edge. I became sharp and strong. I was honed into a new version of me.
When you look at the edge of a well-honed sword, you do not see a sharp, straight line. You see little bits and fragments and fingers of metal that have been forced to line up in the same direction. But there are chips and divots and feathers of steel lining up like soldiers marching in formation. Yet, zoom back out and you can cut a watermelon in midair with one easy stroke.
When you hone a sword, there is a stopping point. There is a place where you say…that is enough. If you keep going, the blade doesn’t get any sharper. It just wears away. This is where I am on this journey now. If I keep grinding away at this, I just get worn till I’m useless. There was that tipping point somewhere along the line where I said to myself…I Am Enough. This is good…this life I have built. I have surrounded myself with love and light. God, in his infinite Mercy, has given me more hearts to love and more time to love them. If my edge should dull…and it will…I will put my feet to the flame again and get strong and sharp. Over and over and over…ad infinitum. It is what we do. It is the best we can do. It is ALL we can do. Do the work. Walk through the flames. Become stronger. And proclaim to the world…
I. Am. Enough. And, my darling friend…you are, too!
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 NIV11