Sometimes thoughts pile up like clouds scudding quickly across a blue sky and I can't quite follow them. Day after day, I'm busy with people and children and one small white dog, and it is hard to find time to sky gaze. So I come to the keyboard to try to untangle, to look deep within, to find a thread that I can follow along until it brings me to a place that can be used to face the day. 

Today is it something about the feeling of "not enough" that has dogged my steps for my whole life. By now I know that nothing I do can erase this feeling— it is caught in my arteries and my muscles, in the mysterious pathways of my brain. It will not go away if I do more. It will not go away if I help more. It will not go away when I publish books, or clean my house, or run a mile. My wild mind, the unsafe one, can find a myriad of ways to highlight how I am not living up to some standard. It will point out people who are more beautiful, fitter, farther along, wiser. It wants me to despair in my own home, the home of my body, my family, my wooden house in Thailand, to belittle the small things I do to bless the world. Not enough, it laughs, not enough. A cruel, cruel companion who motivates through shame.

"Step out of the circle," I tell people when I guide meditation. It's an imagination exercise when we prepare for the silence. "Imagine your thoughts as birds flying around you in a circle. Watch them go by. When you are ready, step out of the circle."

I step out of the circle. What I find beyond the birds is so lovely—maybe one day I will truly believe it. Maybe it will make its way into my veins and limbs, into my heart and the mind that holds me captive. 

It is not that I am enough. It is that "enough" is not a factor, in this wide space outside the unsafe mind. This is God's space, free and holy, and Loved is the only qualification here. Loved is the motivation. Loved is dancing, smiling, wearing clothes not to look beautiful but to be beauty. Loved is serving, loved is nestled like an egg in a very soft nest, waiting to break out and fly. Loved is a parent, loved is a child. Loved is sung over at night, gloated over. Loved is the same working and resting. Nothing can change loved. Loved is carried like a baby next to the heart of Jesus, loved is weeping at his feet. Loved is caught up and thrown into the air, shrieking with joy, and caught and kissed all over her face. Loved is so completely beautiful every single day, because every scar, lump and line has been gazed upon by its own maker. Loved gets more beautiful, more captivating, the older she becomes. Loved can't walk away from the lover. Loved is in the gentle gaze. Loved can't live by her own rules anymore. The wild mind stills, the hands are at rest, the cage opens, and all is lovely outside, bathed in golden light. Shadows dance across the ground and Loved dances with them. 


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