All new employees in the school district have to attend orientation.
So that’s where I was yesterday. New employee orientation. Lots of going over procedures and policies. Handbook reading. Instruction on how to use the online gradebook. Not super exciting stuff.
But there was a keynote speaker and as she talked, my ears perked up.
She began talking about the basic needs of human beings, about our need for food and water and shelter and air. About how we aren’t slow in expressing our need for those things. There’s no social taboo on saying you’re hungry or thirsty or even tired.
- But what about when we need to know we belong?
- When we are desperate to know we matter?
- When we’re exhausted from striving and reaching and we long to know that we are enough, right now in this moment.
Those are basic human needs as well.
The speaker’s emphasis was on education, how a student won’t learn anything if they don’t feel as if they matter in the classroom.
But the message for me was personal.
I sat there in that auditorium needing to know that I matter. Right this minute. That I make a difference.
Wishing for more, more, more
Want to know the honest truth?
I spend way too much time wishing I was different.
I wish I was thinner, prettier, smarter, wittier, wiser, friendlier, younger. There have been days when I’ve locked my true self up in an emotional closet under the stairs and walked into the world pretending to be somebody else. Somebody who was not so much–well–me.
- I spent much of my youth and young adulthood believing that who I was simply wasn’t good enough.
- I’ve cried real tears over my appearance, over my shyness, over my sensitivity.
- I’ve pushed myself beyond exhaustion as I tried to mold myself into a person I thought would be acceptable, liked, wanted.
The speaker today said these words: “You matter. You are enough.” And I needed to hear it.
Here’s the principle: Right now, sitting at my computer with the top button of my shorts undone, my house a wreck, and my hair a hot mess, I matter. I am enough.
Just the way you are
It’s what I’ve been saying all along on this blog about you. I believe it to my core that you matter, and I preach it all the time because it’s true. You are a unique God-crafted miracle, created to do incredible things. You’re made to contribute in ways that only you can. Just the way you are right now.
I write it here to you, but in this moment I need to remind myself. I matter. I am enough.
And no matter how many times I’ve said it before, it bears repeating. Because, yep, you need to hear it today, too.
- I know you wish you could lose those thirty pounds.
- I know you want to be smarter and more organized.
- I know you want to be productive and successful and the best parent you can possibly be.
- I know how desperate you are to get your act together.
- You want to read more, create more, play more, earn more, relax more, be more.
But here’s a safe open space for you to inhale. A place where all the “more, more, more” can fall away.
So take a deep breath. Now let it out. And this is what I want you to take with you this day:
You matter. You are enough.