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Wise Words

“We all come as we are.” I heard this statement from a good friend this morning. Here is what transpired between us. A) When I ran into her, she seemed genuinely delighted to see me, even though, as I pointed out, I had been in a grumpy mood the last time we walked together. B) She even said she was just wondering to herself when we’d get to walk again! C) When I expressed regret about my grumpy mood of last week, she said easily, “We all come as we are.” Unbelievably, she did not hold it against me!

Well! I guess we do come as we are, don’t we? I found her simple statement to be kind, lovely, and profound. And it turned my mood around today. It’s pretty easy for me to feel like “as I am” is not quite good enough. And believe it or not, I have even been known to feel like “as you are” is not good enough!

This friend and I have known each other since we had babies and toddlers. If you’re ever going to feel not good enough, that’s a prime time. Everything you do as a young mother (or an old one) seems to be dubious. At least, it did to us. I had a therapist back then who finally asked me, “But are you good enough?” Well, yes, I had to admit that I was. What a revelation! I tried to be patient, consistent (hah!), loving, fun, empathic. I played and goofed around with my boys, read stories and books to them for hours. We had candy cigarettes on road trips and Kool-Aid Happy Hours. I took care of their physical needs and tried very hard to care for their emotional needs. So yes, I was a Good Enough Mother. So much relief.

That was a genius question on that therapist’s part. And it applies to everything we do. “Are you good enough?” I don’t think of it as often as I should.

Am I a good enough person? Yes. A good enough friend? Yes. A good enough writer? Yes. A good enough artist? Yes. Of course I still try to get better at what I do, work at being a better friend (one who doesn’t judge others for coming as they are), and aspire to be a better version of myself. Duh. We all want to be our best selves. But we all come as we are and even with our foibles and idiosyncrasies, nearly every one of us is good enough. I say “nearly” because, come on. I’m human. We all know only too well that there are a few truly evil people in the world.

In what ways are you good enough? Here’s a hint: every and all. In what ways could you improve? Again, every and all.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”― Marilyn Monroe

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”― Mark Twain

“I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.” ― Henry James

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. And if you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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