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Dear Woman, 

When the house has descended into quiet, and the day is over . . . 
When the dishes are dripping dry on the counter, and the candles are burning low . . .
When you finally sit down, and when you finally look around at your home . . .

The place you painstakingly created.
The place you contemplate at two in the afternoon when you daydream.
The place you feel most comfortable, and the place where you can easily sit with your vulnerability. 

Your place.

When you’re there and it’s dark outside and when you are sitting with yourself . . . you begin to think about who you are, where you are, and how it all got to be the way it is. A gentle feeling starts to nudge at you. Your toes curl in response, as if you’re physically trying to stave off how it will start to feel any minute.

Like you maybe just . . . 

Aren’t enough.

Maybe not enough for the man snoring upstairs.
Maybe not enough of a momma to the babies that hug your legs while you’re doing those dinner dishes. 
Maybe not enough at work, where the papers just pile up and your heart just isn’t in it enough to keep up.

Maybe just not enough.

It starts to press on you, this feeling. 

And you think to yourself that maybe, just maybe—

If you love harder.
Love bigger.
Love everyone just a little more.

If you encourage the people around you a little more.
Smile a little bigger.
Say yes a little more.

That maybe the Not Enough will stay away for another day.

But it just doesn’t. 

It comes over you in waves and you wonder how the whole house doesn’t hear the crashes against your chest. 
How the whole house doesn’t hear the aching bang of the piano—a refrain you’ve heard a thousand times.
How your neighbors can’t hear echo of your heart slamming, beating, hitting, breaking over and over.

It doesn’t stay away.
You can’t get it to go away.
So you make friends with it. 

Your momma did always tell you to keep your enemies the closest, so you start to snuggle right on up with your Not Enough. You recognize it. Allow it space in your soul, your head.

And on the days when the love of your life stares blankly at you over his chicken casserole.
And on the Tuesdays when your kids beg you to stay home with them, to play with them instead of going to school. 
And on the days when your work just wasn’t quite your best.

You sink back into the knowledge that you weren’t Enough anyway. Deftly. Like an old dance you’ll never forget the steps to. 

But like the Woman—the Warrior—that you are, you say a prayer for peace, say a prayer for strength, say a prayer for a better tomorrow.

A tomorrow that you will finally know and love.
A tomorrow where the dishes and the lunches and the work won’t matter.
A tomorrow when you can put your Not Enough away and—

A tomorrow when you can step into the warm light of feeling . . . 

Whole. 

A tomorrow when you will realize that all along.
Even during the nights that you only had the blankets to comfort you.
Even during the storms and the shackles and the never-ever-afters.

All along.

You really were. 

Always.

Enough.

 

This article originally appeared on Rebecca Cooper, Author

 

Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper-Thumann is an English teacher in a sleepy town in the midwest. She has published four novels and is currently working on a fifth. She has a precocious four-year-old son, she loves nachos and Jesus, and she tries to live her life every day rooted in courage and joy. 

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