i’m in a place where i’d given everything i had and now i’m giving everything that i have and at no point has any of it measured up to the problem. it doesn’t even seem like it’s much at all – and it probably isn’t. it definitely isn’t enough to meet the needs of the people around me, though that is what i’d like to do.
i was having a bit of a…meltdown about it earlier. the overwhelming sense of not being enough even when i am giving everything in me was making me feel immeasurably sad and pretty worthless. i am trying but i feel myself holding out empty hands to people i love all the time and i hate that.
and then i had one of the most Christian™ moments i’ve had in the past four years: i remembered a bible story. (a moment that is – frankly – something i’m not sure what to do with, as my relationship with my faith is complicated as shit, and i’m really uncomfortable even talking about it in this way that reminds me so much of the faith of my youth…but here we are.)
in mark – 12:41-44, if you’d like to look it up – jesus is watching people donate to the temple, cuz he likes to be up in people’s business like that. rich people are putting in rich people money, i.e. a lot, and then a poor woman puts in so little that it wouldn’t be worth mentioning if the money was what we were talking about. jesus calls over all his friends to point out what she’s done. “she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on,” he says. he’s praising her.
(i think it’s important to note here that he never said she was required to give everything she had to live on. i find it to be perfectly acceptable for you to retain what you need to be alive – god put you here alive in the first place after all, if you believe in that sort of thing. but the point stands that the magnitude of her gift is not in its actual size, but in its relative cost to her.)
so mate, i figure if jesus is cool with me offering nothing but my empty hands – since they are all i have – then i’m cool with it, too. this very little, this not-enough, is better than nothing; it is, after all, my best.
loves, there are 100% undoubtedly going to be times when your best doesn’t cut it. when it isn’t much and it isn’t even making a dent in the problem and it’s failing the people you love. it’s probably gonna happen a lot, tbh. but it’s beautiful that you’re giving it. you’re amazing for trying. look at how great you are, being your bright, broken-winged self, struggling against how much everything fucking sucks. you’re killin’ it, kid, you really are.
and, to be clear, i don’t just mean your best when you’re at your best, but your best at the point at which you’re giving. (relative to her remember?) i have this habit of comparing what i’m giving now to what i’ve given before – of comparing performances, as it were. my best has been greater than this. but i hadn’t lost then what i’ve lost now. i hadn’t been under the strain then that i’m under now. i didn’t have this new trauma. i’d had some rest. i hadn’t given most of me away already. so it’s really unfair of me to look at a past high when i’m at this present low. i am still giving all that i’ve got and it is just as good that i do so now as it has been in the past, even if it’s much less in quantity and quality now than then. and the same goes for you, babes.
that’s not to say that you don’t strive for improvement. tomorrow, my best might be better than it was today. i’m hoping so. i’m hoping that eventually, my low best will be better than my past high best. i’m working toward that.
just remember to treat yourself with kindness and to recognize that your best is a sliding scale. and even when it isn’t enough, which is going to really fucking suck and i’m sorry about that, it is still valuable – you are still valuable.
i believe in your worth, darlings, and in the worth of your offerings, however meager you may feel them to be. and i’m pulling for you. ❤