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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More about shadows

Two places I go for solace and support - the labyrinth and the grave. Tonight, after a long and tiring board meeting that left me feeling beat up, dragged through the mud, and totally spent, I went to the grave.

On the way there, the tears flowed... again. The words that escaped my trembling lips were "I am not enough."

More than anything else, these days, I am realizing that I am just not enough. I am not enough to fill the tank of all of the people who need it. I am not enough to respond to all of the hunger in the world. I am not enough to fill the ever-present needs of my children. I am not enough to provide the affirmation and support that my staff (who sometimes think I'm a little aloof) want. I am not enough to respond to the demands of my boss, my board, and all the stakeholders who want my leadership, my decision-making, and my vision. I am not enough to support the friends and family who need supporting. I am not enough to reach out to the people in the neighbourhood like the young mom who just died of a drug overdose. I am not enough to do the volunteer work that I often feel guilty about avoiding.

I am just not enough. I cannot fill everyone's tank. Especially when mine is empty.

As I sat there at the grave, I leaned on a sturdy tree and looked out across the rows of graves. With the sun setting behind me, my body cast a long shadow across the grass.

A gentle voice whispered in my ear. "You can learn something from that shadow. If you stand here and trust the Light, it can make you much taller than you ever dreamed you could be. Keep the Light behind you, and even if you bend over with the weight of the world on your shoulders, you can reach the people who need to be reached. Leave the rest to someone else."

Somehow, I've got to find and trust others who are willing to stand with me with our backs to the Light. I'm tired of trying to do so much alone.

6 comments:

Olivia said...

I have been where you are, Heather. So much gratitude for that gentle voice of love.

You cannot do it all alone. You can only do a little.

But...you ARE enough. Absolutely, you ARE enough. And just exactly what you CAN do IS enough.

Drink in what you need, sweet sister, and take good care of yourself...rest, relax, take some more time in meditation at the labyrinth and the grave...and remember---you are enough!

Much love, O

oshee said...

I am such a lurker. I honestly can't remember the last time I commented let alone posted on my own blog.

BUT

My heart echoes your words..deep in its empty not enough-ness.

I am so grateful you find what you need in your quiet moments. It gives me hope.

Anvilcloud said...

We can only do what we can do. Some have the gift of doing more than others, and I think you are one of those, but we all have very finite limits. It's just the way it is.

andrea said...

We can only try.

Your post about the grave is very touching. I wasn't reading your blog yet when you wrote it so thanks for the link.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Oh, Heather, all the Universe wants from you is for you to be enough for YOU. It ripples from there.

But to think you can ever be enough for other people? That is simply not your primary job at all. It is THEIRS.

I used to think I had to save everyone. But as the Dalai Lama says in Kundun, "You cannot liberate me. I can only liberate myself."

You cannot liberate anyone but YOU.

Seeing all the pain and the need in the world can make you feel responsible, but your guilt and pain only add to the pain and the need.

Who said that wonderful thing: You can NEVER BE POOR enough to feed the world. You can NEVER BE SICK enough to make the world well.

Pamela said...

hey.... you're casting a shadow.
Some of us aren't even doing that.