…Or is it? What is ‘enough’, after all? Is there some objective ‘enough-ness’ that any of us could recognize? Is ‘enough’ entirely subjective, to the point of being ever-changing with mood and circumstance? ‘Enough’ feels so good when I have it – or recognize that I do. When do I not have ‘enough’? Is that, too, subjective or state-dependent?

One moment of 'enough'.

One moment of ‘enough’.

In any give life, or on any given day, during any particular moment, is my ‘enough’ recognizably enough to someone else? Would someone outside my experience look at my idea of ‘enough’ and find it to be ‘too much’ or perhaps somehow lacking? I have the idea that ‘sufficiency’ is about ‘enough’, and that ‘contentment’ or ‘satisfaction’ are the feeling of it; I observe that I don’t always enjoy those experiences together, which strikes me as strange. This is a puzzle of a relatively subtle sort that leaves me wondering whether it is a lack of experience and understanding, a lack of education, or my injury weighing in on my experience of living by limiting what I am presently able to understand. I observe, on a tangent, that I no longer feel a sense of finality in my lack of understanding, quite the contrary, I feel rather as if nothing is out of reach – it’s only a matter of time, training, effort, will… my brain may be a bit shop worn, and damaged, but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.

Sufficiency, and the contemplation of sufficiency – living a sense of ‘enough’ in a modest and comfortable way – has been a big deal for me this year. One more step. Yesterday, as my heart continued to trudge along my wreckage-littered journey through life, I had a moment of recognition. I realized that although I’ve come a long way on the ‘taking care of me’ path, there’s more. (Of course, there’s more.) I considered the term ’emotional self-sufficiency’ but could not recall if I had read it elsewhere (I read a lot), or if I simply ‘made it up’. I Googled it. Some of the articles were quite interesting, and apparently it is a thing. lol.  I like the sound of emotional self-sufficiency as a term, and I could easily understand why several articles caution that emotional self-sufficiency, in and of itself isn’t,a goodness or a challenge; it is a characteristic. It’s a characteristic I think could serve me well – and not to isolate me from others, but to nurture myself and my deepest emotional needs first from within – hopefully resulting in a level of emotional well-being that has the result of making it easier to live around others, respect their needs, and enjoy emotionally reciprocal healthy relationships based on the desire to be engaged, rather than the urgent need for some particular emotional experience. Less about demands, more about decisions.

Lacking much emotional self-sufficiency, but having made important gains in mindfulness, perspective, quality of self-care, emotional resilience, and emotional intimacy, I sometimes find I am incredibly easy to hurt, and the TBI leaves me stunningly open to expressing it. Having experienced a lot of trauma, and spending the time I currently do working through that chaos and damage, the result is sometimes an uncomfortable fit, socially. People who love me don’t want me to hurt.  Hurting is part of my experience right now, more often than I’d like.  (I’m dragging around a lot of anger, too, and if the tears are an uncomfortable fit socially, you gotta see the anger; epic doesn’t begin to describe it.) Perhaps necessary, perhaps understandable, perhaps even ‘long overdue’… but yeah, very very uncomfortable to be around.  Will improving my emotional self-sufficiency also improve how comfortable I am with strong emotions, or my ability to comfortably nurture and sooth myself, unassisted?

Is this too much for a Tuesday morning?

Life's lessons are not always obvious; the path is not always paved.

Life’s lessons are not always obvious; the path is not always paved.

This morning begins with contentment, and a good espresso. Where will the day end? Yesterday began with challenges and moody fussing with old hurts and current frustrations, and ended with connection and love. I am learning to be open to affection, beauty, and wonder, regardless of the now I find myself standing in. Still a student, still asking questions. The soothing trickling sounds of the aquarium in the background, the smooth warmth of my espresso, the soft light of a new day unfolding illuminating the room, all reminders that ‘enough’ is a very personal thing. I suspect that this, too, is more about what is within, that what I am without.

Today is a good day to push ‘more’ off its pedestal and embrace ‘enough’. Today is a good day to share the best of who I am, and appreciate the best offered to the world by others. Today is a good day to treat myself well, and set clear boundaries that meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to remember that all that bullshit ‘out there’ isn’t personal; it’s just bullshit, and it’s ‘out there’. Today is a good day to care, because I need caring, and to love because I enjoy being loved. Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see in the world.

A small moment for joy and sufficiency, and to appreciate what matters most, and taking time to find answers in metaphors.

A small moment for joy and sufficiency, and to appreciate what matters most, and taking time to find answers in metaphors.