I am pretty sure that you have gotten an email from a friend that contains one of those sappy letters which-at the end-requires you to send it on to ten other friends or risk doom, loss of all your body hair or some other catastrophic impact for breaking the chain. Delete. I still have all my hair, have not turned into a pillar of salt or been shunned from the book club (at least not yet). I don’t pass them on (sorry) and rarely read them all the way through. However, last week-in a moment of intense weakness-I read one.
It was dutifully sappy and pulled all the emotional strings but the prayer at the end has stuck with me. It went like this:
I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I pray enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-byes.
I will avoid my typical over analytic approach to all things spiritual or theological and suspend any aversion to populist ‘hooks’ and touch on what stuck with me-the enough. I don’t know about you but prayer-for me-tends to be an all or nothing proposition. I don’t just pray for work-I pray for a ‘good job’ (translated $$). I don’t want my friend to feel better, I want complete and total healing and a great new haircut to boot. I pray for more, bigger, better, best- but enough? What is enough? Can I relate to ‘enough’? Aren’t we wired to want more? Shouldn’t we want the best? This simple little chain mail really got me thinking-more than I anticipated.
This time of year I struggle with resolutions. Everyone around me is resolving to loose weight, get fit, get a better job, be a better person, do more of this less of that, facilitate world peace and learn how to change a tire. Me? I suffer from performance anxiety on a regular basis and making resolutions is another way to get my knickers in a knot about not living up to them-thus I avoid them-like the plague. This may be one year that I succumb to a resolution-really! Enough. I am going to say it-and I feel those knickers creeping already-I resolve to live enough. While this may seem like an under achievers kind of resolution, trust me-it isn’t.
Let me clarify here. I am not willing to settle for mediocrity-that isn’t what this is about. This is about being open to contentment and acceptance and to being, living, in the moment. Pain isn’t something to run from. Loss is a reality. Rain can be a blessing. Why should I spend so much time getting past these as quickly as possible? In pain-physical or emotional-I tend to draw nearer to God. Loss does the same and increases my gratitude for what remains. Rain? It may move me indoors but think of the nourishment it provides. I am an expert at overlooking these things-of focusing too much on what isn’t happening to me, what I am not good enough at and guilty of the intense navel gazing that inhibits my ability to see past the end of my nose. So, with this track record-enough will be a challenge. A big one.
My husband once told me that I am never satisfied. For some relationships them be fighting words. For ours he was pointing out something that I have prided myself on-never being satisfied. My next painting will be better. The next time I do whatever, I will do it better, I will always move forward, I will never settle for less than what will mean achieving a better state of whatever–see the trend here? This makes it very easy for knicker knotting and performance anxiety. Not a great equation for contentment. So enough. I pray that 2012 marks the year when I can see enough in the world around me, the people around me, the circumstances around me. Enough.
I pray this for you as well. I pray you enough.
May you have a beautiful 2012!