I had a dream this morning. My alarm had already gone off and was set to snooze. I sank back into the pillow and pulled the covers up tight around my neck making a cocoon of sorts and off I went.
In the dream I was curled up in the fetal position on the floor, my head resting on a pillow. The pillow was a bright pink color and the room was mostly white. It felt familiar, as though I had been there before, but it was not my room. The space was full of women standing, sitting, listening to a tiny woman sitting on the floor. I knew the woman, I have seen her many times. I have heard her speak and been moved by the words, the spirit and the energy that flows from her. Her lithe little body was sitting cross legged on the floor, knees not far from my face and she had asked me a question.
What are you afraid of?
For a moment I could not answer, fear seized me, glueing my mouth shut. What am I afraid of? I knew she was not asking about mice or snakes or those types of fears. She was asking about the hard stuff. I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes. This, I am afraid of this. Of telling someone what I am afraid of. Of sharing my fears. Of being judged when I do. Of being judged period.
Why are you crying? She asks me. I am sitting up and trying to muster the courage the answer her and the other woman are turning to look at me.
Of not being enough, I say. It is barely audible. She is staring straight at me as if to say ‘yes, this is what I was waiting for you to say’.
Of not being good enough. Of not doing enough, I continue.
I feel like I am let things go, doing one thing in favor of another, that it is all never enough. Therefore I am never enough. It’s an endless cycle and I cannot get out of it.
I laugh, make some sort of joke of it-a typical response to stress for me and we all begin to disperse. The dream ends, drifts off like tendrils of smoke, and I am awake.
I carry those words with me all day, wondering why they crept into my subconscious. I could start a list perhaps. All of the areas in my life I do not feel like I am enough, good enough, strong enough, smart enough…But what good would it do? I try to remember the last few days and what has made me feel like this, made me call forward this thought so much so that it took such vivid shape in my sleep.
Sunday I was sharing with a friend the idea I have for my next tattoo. A white one, simple typewriter font on the inside of my wrist-‘enough’. To remind myself everyday, I told him, that I am enough, I have enough, I am good enough. I smirk at the irony of it.
Last night, I read with eagerness an article on ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and wondered if that is indeed what I am here-an impostor? Am I pretending to be something I am not-a writer here, a photographer there. This week I nervously handed my business cards out, wanting to draw in new clients, but fearful at the same time. I emailed someone about freelance work-who am I to offer services? Am I fooling myself? Who said I was good enough to do all of this?
As I left for work this morning I kissed my son goodbye with guilt on my lips. I hate leaving him home alone during the summer days. They should be filled with fun and adventure and memories. Not spent home alone. I looked around my house at the papers in disarray and the laundry stacked on the dryer. I thought of the last time my husband and I were together, it seems like weeks ago now. Am I even getting this right? Am I good enough as a mother and wife?
The list is endless-the ways I feel less than enough. The ways we make ourselves feel inferior and smaller, our contributions insignificant, our efforts wasted-they could go on in an endless loop if we let them. I have to draw myself back and find my faith, my balance, my center in all of it. I have to say that word out loud and feel it, trust it, and know that I am, enough.