Affirmation: I rise up and reclaim my true identity as a sacred being.
Sitting on Cocoa Beach in Florida, my bottom on wet sand, I enjoyed the spot where spent waves lap the land. Warm and foamy water flowed over the lower half of my body. With each receding wave, an accumulation of ocean refuse was deposited around me—lengths of seaweed and shards of shells. I was close enough to the ground to see that among the broken bits were some intact shells, tinier than my pinkie nail. I began inspecting them and then collected them, amused by their diverse designs.
Within minutes I had collected about a dozen tiny half-shells that didn’t come close to filling my open palm. Each one held a minuscule life that had contributed to the well-being of its environment. Small as it was, each one could hold countless grains of sand. I thought, This is abundance. I could count grains of sand and seashells for a lifetime and never reach the last one.
At times I have felt small in proportion to the population on Earth, and I have questioned what difference I could make. While observing abundant life on the shore, I could see my living, my participating at any moment wherever I am, fulfills my purpose for being. A tiny organism living in a tiny seashell and a microscopic grain of sand contribute to the vitality and beauty of the shore. I can surely never be too small to contribute.
Lillian Mastrangelo, my chosen second mother, appeared to me larger than life, certainly larger than her 4-foot-8 physical presence. Mrs. M was born during the Roaring Twenties when most roads were unpaved, home entertainment centered around the radio, and air-conditioning meant opening windows and doors. Wonder Bread, Hostess Twinkies, and bubblegum were introduced when Mrs. M was a girl. The American dream was on the rise, and hard work would ensure it. The stock market crashed in 1929 when Mrs. M was 6 years old. The Great Depression that followed would shape her, along with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and World War II.
Mass production of television, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and the drug culture it spawned would impact Lillian and her family immensely. No matter the heartaches and challenges, though, Lillian stayed faithful to her core value of devotion to her family. She unselfishly cared for the daily needs of her large family, while always making room for others around her kitchen table. Everyone who entered her home was welcome to her macaroni and gravy, escarole soup, and plenty of family favorites—all with her special secret ingredient—Mrs. M’s love. Love was enough for Mrs. M.
An extraordinary woman, a peanut-size spitfire with a super-size spirit, Mrs. M loved large. When you entered the room, to Mrs. M you were the only person. Even if you had been with her as recently as a few hours before, the smile of delight when she greeted you said, “I am happy to see you. You are important.” In fact, for countless hours you could sit on a bench at the corner booth in her kitchen and be relieved of your burdens. For every problem you would speak of, with a twinkle in her eye Mrs. M would calm you, support you, and encourage you with the message: “Don’t be afraid. Life is beautiful. Go live your life. Be happy. Come back and tell me all about it.”
In her own arena, in her own home, Mrs. M demonstrated “enoughness” each day, giving where and how she could to everyone around her. May we do the same. Let us affirm:
Centered in my awareness of God, the Source and universal mind, I breathe and know I am enough. I am enough of love, power, wisdom, and strength. I am enough of understanding, order, will, and release. I am enough of faith, zeal, imagination, and life. Although I am not all of God, all at once, I am enough of God expressing.
Whenever my personal memories give me the false impression of “not-enoughness,” I deliberately turn from my past and claim my divine identity. Whenever I interpret the words or actions of another as a judgment of my inferiority, I choose to disclaim my errant thoughts in favor of the truth that I am enough. Whenever I experience a failure, setback, or disappointment, I remind myself that I am courageous enough to strive for fulfillment.
I affirm my strength of character to know that every circumstance and every experience appears for love. Love is the great magnet of the universe, my calling to be unified and whole in every experience whether labeled “good” or “bad.” I am enough of divine love for everything and everyone I encounter every day. And so I AM. And so it is!