12162017Headline:

You Are Enough…and Always Have Been

By KM Huber

There is an art to being enough, although most of us struggle to believe that we are ever enough. How can we know? Far too often when we want to see if we measure up in any or all aspects of our lives, we look outside ourselves, where the answer never is.

The art of being enough begins with the complete and total acceptance of who we are just as we are, without labeling our shortcomings or our strengths. In Buddhism, this total acceptance of ourselves for all that we are is called maitri, the compassion necessary for true transformation.

Acceptance of ourselves means we are no longer concerned with debits and credits but with the flow of life as it is and where it might take us. Being enough begins inside us. If we are compassionate with ourselves in all that we are and do, our compassion is revealed in the world outside us.

“All streams flow to the sea

because it is lower than they are.

Humility gives it its power.”

~Lao Tzu~

The art of being enough is accepting that we meander with the river of life on our way to the sea. Each horseshoe bend of life is the forgiveness we allow ourselves and others–so essential to the flow of being enough. Each bend reflects a challenge met, yet another way discovered.

Bending with life rather than letting life bend us is the power of humility, a delicate balance of keeping our thinking subordinate to our compassionate heart. The strength of humility is not denying our uniqueness but in expressing it, although those waters seem murky at times. Ego will do that.

When we allow our ego to override our heart, we cut ourselves off from the flow of life. We no longer accept ourselves as we are. Rather, we continuously add up what we are and are not—our debits and credits never balance–and with our abacus of self, we evaluate the world’s worth, which also falls short. Without compassion, we are never enough.

The art of being enough regards life as an adventure with infinite possibilities. Rather than adding up life as a positive or negative, in humility we pursue life for the pure experience of it. We are not trying to mold it to assure a certain outcome; we bend with the possibilities, trusting the flow of being enough.

Waverly bridge in spring 0413

How we live our lives is our unique contribution to the oneness of existence, to the flow that is life–in that, we are always enough. Perhaps the best illustration of being enough is the story of the Hindu master and his apprentice.*

The apprentice is constantly complaining about life, how it measures up or does not. It is never enough. The Hindu master grows weary of the apprentice’s complaints and sends him to purchase salt.

Upon the apprentice’s return, the master tells him to put a handful of salt into a glass of water and drink. The apprentice says the water is bitter. The master smiles and takes the apprentice to a lake.

At the lake, the apprentice is told to throw in a handful of salt and then take a drink from the water’s edge. The apprentice says the water tastes fresh. The master tells the apprentice:

“`The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain… remains…exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.’”

There is a grace in learning to bend with life—in sipping its daily waters—in being within the meandering flow of life. In the words of the Hindu master, “`…the only thing you can do is…enlarge your sense of things….Stop being a glass. Become a lake.’”

You are enough just as you are.

*All citations are from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening.

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KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch@gmail.com.

© 2013 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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