Last night as I lay in bed next to my sleeping husband, I was overwhelmed by doubts and negative thoughts.
They crowded into my room, stood on my chest making it hard for me to breathe, and demanded to be recognized.
The familiar question Am I doing enough for my children? caught my attention first and I squeezed my eyes shut imagining a million more things I could do to enrich their lives and make them feel more loved.
This thought was quickly chased away by its polar opposite, the old Am I doing too much for my children? I envisioned my children at twenty, overly entitled and incapable, with echoes of a surplus of parental praise ringing in their ears.
The doubt Am I a good enough wife? brought along his friend So many of my friends are getting divorced, will we get divorced too? for the visit. This doubt was a little quicker to banish, because, hello- divorce is not contagious. But it still left its mark.
I edged closer to my husband trying to dodge the next misgivings of I’m so lazy, I don’t deserve all this happiness and its sinister twin I could get more done if I’d just get off my butt. Images of tasks left undone, phone calls not made, projects uncompleted raced through my head.
The final visitor of the night was the Everybody else is so much better than me thought that has been my companion since high school. The temptation to judge my battered and worn insides against the shiny, polished, public outsides of every single woman I know became too great.
Finally, I gathered my strength and shoved those doubts and fears as far away as possible. I sat up and took a few cleansing breaths. I am good enough, I am good enough, I am good enough. My thoughts became a prayer.
In the daylight, I know my children are getting what they need. I know my husband loves me and that we are good together.
In the daylight, I can easily recognize the things I accomplish despite the tasks that don’t quite get done. I understand that everybody is flawed on the inside and that life is not a competition.
In the daylight, it is easy to laugh at those stupid fears that keep me awake at night. It’s easy to feel my own worth.
It’s at night that I sometimes falter. It’s at night that I have to tell myself I am good enough several times before I feel its truth. It’s at night when I plead for peace the most.
Last night I was finally able to banish those doubts. There was no more fear in my heart; all I felt was love, unconditional love. I curled up next to my husband and trusted that everything is fine.
Because, really, everything is fine.