In my work as a Health Care Chaplain and a Spiritual Midwife, my role is to spiritually companion others on their life journey. I work with people who are seeking a closer relationship to the God of their understanding at all different stages of the life journey, including those who are suffering and those who are dying. One of the personal challenges of the work is responding to what is. Sometimes, I am right where I am needed, just when i am needed. Other times, I am not working the day someone I have companioned dies. As a result, i spend a bit of personal energy on appreciating what enough is and living into two truths: people are able to die without me – everything they require is within them and; people want my loving presence at times when I am unable to provide it. The result of this for me is that I pause often in the course of a day to ponder if what I am about to offer to another is enough.
It is certainly true that the sense of not being enough for the situations one encounters in health care chaplaincy and spiritual direction work is not mine alone. Indeed, when I step into this particular vulnerability and share it with others, they resonate profoundly with my struggle. Just today, my day off, some patients have died. And here I am wondering if I offered enough, should have offered more…. And so it begins…this journey into the inner work of letting go of expectations and opening to what is with humility. Learning to trust that whether or not I see it, things are as they are meant to be as part of a larger story than me and this particular other. I offer prayers and I practice letting God work. And I pray, as I do prior to every visit, that I might get myself ‘out of the way’ and leave space for Spirit ~ May this be enough.
For me, for now, this is the barometer of what enough feels like.