You Are Enough

There I was, at a dinner like any other. Something we had done so many times before. Sitting in a daze of the phrase, “You are enough”.

Maybe it was the way that he held my hands and looked into my eyes when he said it. Maybe it was the fact that I know he never minces words, that he means what he says in serious conversations always. Maybe it was the fact that I so desperately needed to hear it, and more so believe it. Whatever the reason, there it was. Said. Out of his mouth and lingering in the air between us, waiting for me to pluck it from its orbit and soak it into my soul. But no part of me wanted to do that. Walls, barriers, barricades, crocodile motes, pitchforks, fire and brimstone… All the training throughout my life began to kick in. “You have to do more. Be more. Give more. You have to prove yourself.” And all the lessons people had taught me about love. “I’ll give you this if you give me that. Sacrifice yourself for no return. I will love you if you give me… (Oh my God is this really what I think?)… I will love you if you…”
I had to stop. In that moment I had to put my head in my hands and hold onto it for fear that it might explode, rustling my long straight hair as if to close the curtain around my face so I had something to hide behind. There was really no point. I know the look on my face gave me away. But as hard as I tried to avert his gaze, I couldn’t. He held me there and refused to let me go, making me hear it, making me see myself the way he did. There were a few times I could recall being trapped in his eyes before and seeing, really seeing each other. But never like this.
He had asked me how I was feeling. Something we agreed to check in with one another about more often. I talked about how I’ve been struggling lately. A particular event that happened in my personal life recently, was affecting me so much more than I wanted people to know about. So much more than I wanted to know about. He was there when it happened, a reminder of horrible things from my childhood, and he’s been there ever since. No judgment, just understanding. Only, I’ve been there too. Judging myself the whole time. Holding myself accountable for offenses that had been done to me in a time when I was powerless to stop them. Telling myself I should be stronger. I should be better. I should be over this by now.
I’m not.
And I can’t pretend to be anymore. That masquerade does me no good. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do this to me but, I can’t forgive myself. Yet…

But here’s the good news… I’m not alone. I haven’t always chosen the best people to surround myself with but I think I’ve got it right this time. They love me. They want to protect me. They forgive me when I can’t. And my dinner date, the one whose eyes can hold me in a moment and calm me in a panic. The one who has stood up to protect me when I couldn’t do it myself. The one who held onto me when I let go of myself. Well, he’s enough too. He’s more than enough. We both are.
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