The Place Called Enough (Cultivating A Life of Gratitude)

There’s a place I like to visit from time to time: a place called Enough.

It is that place where my endlessly racing heart finally slows, where the ever-clenched muscles in my jaw release, where my labored breathing stretches from short, shallow sips into slow, savoring swells. There, my chest expands and contracts fully without interruption and my mind no longer chases what was or might be or should be, but pauses to quietly rest in what is.

There in Enough, all of the hot, crackling noise within my head ceases; the constant comparisons that tell me that I am not measuring up, the never-ending criticisms that forever state their disapproval, the taunting whispers reminding me of both what I have failed to grasp and what I am most surely bound to lose.

When I am firmly planted in this place there is no frantic striving, no jockeying for position, no desperate running-after, nothing more to do or prove or earn or achieve or make. There is only the wide, soft expanse of gratitude upon which I can rest all of myself.

I so love this place, though I always feel like a temporary guest here, only stopping for the briefest of seconds before care and expectation and worry all conspire to rip me out and pull me back to a familiar place of failing and lack and less-than. No sooner do I find a momentary clearing and my thoughts are once again cluttered with swirling lists of works unfinished, of needs unfulfilled, of looming battles needing to be waged—and I begin to run again after that which is forever just beyond the reach of my outstretched fingertips.

And though this self-induced struggling is all rightly exhausting, I fear that I have developed an insatiable addiction to more, to better, to greater. It causes me to breathlessly pursue a high that never satisfies but only promises that it soon will; just one more win, just five more pounds, just a few more bucks in the bank, just another hundred follows. Then, I’ll get to Enough for good—instead of this not good enough.

I’m tired of just passing through gratitude and holidaying in contentment.

I want to linger here.

I want to live in this place.

I dream of the time when I will make my home here, when I will for more than a day or a season, find thanksgiving my soul’s default setting—when I will dwell upon the sufficiency and beauty and goodness of the present without it needing alteration or upgrade.

I look to the day when what I see in my home and my bank account and my work and the mirror are no longer reminders of what is yet to be gained or done or fixed, but clear confirmation of what is already mine—and that this news yields only a full, satiating joy.

Maybe today will be the day when I permanently retire from the striving, when I forever abandon the noisy melodrama; the day when I finally stop running and can lay my head back upon this singular moment and need nothing else to complete it.

I hope this for me.

I hope it for you.

May we believe presently that we have enough, that we do enough, that we are enough.

May you and I learn to live in thanksgiving, to take up residence in contentment, to make our homes in gratitude.

May we find the waiting, elusive, beautiful place called Enough, and may we stay there for good.

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