Finding your enough. Is really, really hard. But a great exchange for half-happy.

There are days that you feel like the brave turtle that struts its stuff outside its shell, sharing its happy go lucky self, confidently with the world. Other days, you tuck fast and furiously back into your shell, afraid an exterior source can and will stick a bomb to your tiny turtle tail and light it.

Feeling “enough” is tricky business. It’s hard and it is internal; but just as much as it is internal it is also external. Who we surround ourselves with and let in is crucial to all that we are, and who we become.

As a child I took unfathomable names that a “loved” one called my tender hearted and beautiful momma and I tucked them into my shell. I tucked and tucked and tucked and gave each unnecessary and harsh name power. I gave an external source power to control all that I felt about myself. If I failed, I was a stupid ugly (not worth repeating) word. If I succeed, it was still a “You are no good. What is wrong with you?” Followed by some unnecessary name of some sort. These words took and covered an important shimmering, confident, and self-loving layer of my internal shell and turned it dark, self-loathing, and dull.

Unknowingly, I turned the off switch on the most inner core of me. I moved forward on a day-to-day basis happy enough (aka. half-happy) but pretending and sure that there were things in life that I didn’t need, want, or deserve. That these needs and desires weren’t meant for me.

I wasn’t enough.

Where I have always been lucky though is I have always, no matter where at in life, been surrounded by strong, compassionate and loving humans. They would yank and pull to keep my “stuff out to strut” and I’d yank and pull to tuck back into the confusingly insecure and half-happy comfy shell.

Then, something beautiful happened.

Something I never thought could happen.

The right time, the right person, and the right amount of bravery I full-heartedly let someone in and vulnerability out. I let love happen. And it was so worth it.

He would text and I’d be humming songs all over town. In the shower, walking the dog, in the grocery store, you name it. Anywhere. My internal shell felt what it was like to truly feel happy. No boundaries, no sudden halts, just plain and simple love.

He’d walk through the door and a hop would bounce out of my step.

He would hold my hand, laugh, and kiss my forehead and I physically felt cracked pieces becoming whole. Our interactions, his hugs, the sound of his laughter, were helping to chisel chunks of that dark and dull shell away and putting back its shimmering more confident wholeness. It was an outstanding and indescribable feeling. One that in no way could I have ever fully done myself. While being “enough” is definitely an internal project and always takes work, there are elements of it we can’t do on our own. We need others. We need to be vulnerable enough to let people in and embrace all that goes with it.

It is wonderful and it is painful.

It’s scary and a big leap.

But, what I learned is it is worth every forward and backward and forward again step.

I am stronger, happier, and braver because our paths crossed and our moments happened. I allowed a high quality and good person in and vulnerability out. There is healing, growth and full-hearted happiness in that space. I am forever different and better because of it. My shell is filled with more shimmer and my confidence isn’t as easily breakable.

What is so cool about life is we can always rebuild. We can attract amazing people and we can be amazing for others.

We can break and come back stronger and more thankful.

We can grow and know that even when we break there are others that will help us rebuild if we let them.

We can embrace the good, the bad and the confusing and one day finally see that we are enough.

We were always enough.

We just needed the strength and help to see it.

Sara Kauk