Because it is extremely important.
Because it is easy to forget.
It’s something we need to hear from the time we’re young, and that needs to be echoed, and whispered and sometimes even shouted from the rooftops as we grow and change and mature.
You. Are. Loved.
You. Are. Enough.
I remember being in college and watching Reality Bites, when Troy reassures Lainey that she is enough:
Lelaina: I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.
Troy: Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself.
And in my early adulthood, soaking in the magic of Bridget Jones’s Diary, being loved for all your quirks and imperfections:
Jude: Just as you are? Not thinner? Not cleverer? Not with slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose?
Bridget: (incredulously) No.
And even more bizarre, in Under the Tuscan Sun, that sometimes getting your wishes fulfilled can look nothing like what either you or others thought they would:
Frances: I don't want to be blind anymore. This house has three bedrooms. What if there's never anyone to sleep in them? And the kitchen, what if there's never anyone to cook for? I wake up in the night thinking,”You idiot. I mean, you're the stupidest woman in the world. You bought a house for a life you don't even have.”
Martini: Why did you do it, then?
Frances: Because I'm sick of being afraid all the time, and because I still want things. I want a wedding in this house,and I want a family in this house.
Frances: My wish?
Martini: On that day we looked for your snake, you said to me that you wanted there to be a wedding here. And then you said you wanted there to be a family here.
In her hospitality to others, Frances got to experience everything she had hoped for, albeit in unexpected ways.
Your life doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s life, anyone else’s expectations.
All you owe life is to be present.
Be present to each day.
Be present to yourself.
Be present to those who cross your path.
You don’t have to make your life extraordinary. Embrace the ordinariness of life, and look for the little joys all around you. Love others, and allow them to be enough, just as they are, just where they are. Be yourself – even if that scares the hell out of you – and open your life up to others. Allow yourself to be filled with wonder at the mundane little ways you can practice love and mercy and hospitality daily.
Open your heart and open your table.
You may change a life by simply sharing a meal and listening to a story.
By forgiving. By being forgiven.
“If each one of us today begins this journey and has the courage to forgive and be forgiven, we will no longer be governed by past hurts. Wherever we may be – in our families, our work places, with friends, or in places of worship or leisure – we can rise up and become agents of a new land. But let us not put our sights too high. We do not have to be saviours of the world! We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time.”~ Jean Vanier, Becoming Human