I was unprepared.
I'm starting a shift at the Counseling Center of our local state college today. I spent 9 months up there last year (you can read about it here), so I know what I'm getting in to, and I'm looking forward to it. Throughout the day yesterday I was in contact with a couple of folks up there for various reasons, and the message I got was that I would be busy today. I wasn't entirely prepared for that. In my mind, I knew I had an appointment with one client from last year. She's awesome and I was looking forward to that. The rest of the time I figured I would catch up on some research I wanted to do for a dream group that I would be facilitating this year and generally hang around and be available if a student came in and needed to talk.
By the end of the day yesterday it was clear that this was not how the day would unfold. I needed to interview students for that dream group, I had at least two intakes, and that regular client as well. I also needed to meet a guy at my house to get a bid on some flooring work, so there will be a lot of up and down the hill and running around.
Back to my dreams... I reflected on this feeling of being unprepared. Did I have what I needed? My mind raced through all the physical items that were required. It was a short race. It's a short list. A bottle of water, my reading glasses, a couple of pens and a notebook. Maybe a snack.
Back when I was a cabinetmaker it often took over an hour just to load the truck with the tools I might need to do an installation. (cabinetmakers in general do not like to leave the shop, it makes us nervous, and we don't know how to travel light)
With this work, it's all about internal tools. It can take a while to develop them, but once you have them, they're always on board. So the discomfort that was showing up in my dreams wasn't about forgetting a crucial item, it was about questioning my internal readiness.
My unconscious was working through my anxiety around this.
Not so much "am I ready", but "am I worthy"
I received a gift last Thursday when the staff and interns of the Counseling Center gathered for the Put In, the start of our journey together this year. We did a short meditation and as I sat and allowed my mind to weave it's way through whatever wildlands I had created for myself, a message came through.
"You are enough"
This is truly one of the most precious things one can say to another. More importantly, it's one of the most important things we can say to ourselves. On that particular day however, there was another part to this message
"You always have been"
Sometimes when we hear something important, we can't let it all the way in. Sometimes we need to go back a ways (sometimes a long ways back). Sometimes we need to get down on one knee and look that kid in the eye and make sure they understand. Often it takes more than one try, you know how kids can be.
Sometimes in life it's about trying as hard as you can, but other times it's about letting go and trusting that you are exactly what is needed, just as you are.
Before I lose you in a Healy-feely haze where the only sound you hear is a rousing rendition of Kumbaya, let me be clear. This is one of the bravest and most difficult things we do as humans. To show up in all our messy, unprepared, authentic ways.
I don't know how the day will turn out. I don't know who I will sit with, what they will need or how I will show up for them. I do know that I will show up though, and despite my dreams of not having what I need, I know that this is the only thing that is required.
It will be enough.