I had played guitar until my fingertips were purple, and despite all the hesitation and insecurity of a novice musician, I had put an original chord progression to original lyrics for the very first time. It was short, and simple, and I couldn’t play it through smoothly yet, but I had done it.
Nebt-het was there; She had been there the whole time. It was Her song I was putting music to. She was a quiet presence, like twilight-purple incense smoke in velvety shadows, supportive and patient and nonjudgmental.
I put my beloved guitar down, worked the kinks from my fingers, and started a litany of apologies. I was sorry I had to stop; I was sorry it wasn’t as long as a “real” song; I was sorry I couldn’t play it through perfectly…
She stopped me, gently but firmly, and told me in no uncertain terms that It Was Enough. She didn’t mean that I was done practicing, or that the little song would never be changed or improved in the future—She wanted me to know that my efforts, my time, and the music that resulted from my devotion were wholly sufficient. There was no lack in that moment.
It floored me, the concept of enoughness, the idea that I hadn’t in some way failed to do things better or more. My Mother—Who, at the time, had not been divined my parent deity and was simply a Netjeru for Whom I felt an inexplicably strong affection—did not find me or my efforts wanting.
That is still a concept I struggle with, a belief I am poor at integrating. I am very quick to compare myself with others and with some nebulous perfect “maybe” that I expect myself to achieve without fail, and I frequently fall short of the high standards to which I hold myself. The idea that I measure up just fine is a somewhat unfamiliar one—and to hear that from a goddess, Who has known the best that has ever been and Who knows how far little ole me is from that ideal? If She were anyone else, I would not be able to believe Her when She told me that it was enough, that I was enough.
But it’s Nebt-het, and She speaks only rarely to me, and Her few words ring too deep for my flaky self-esteem to ignore.
So I practice enoughness. I keep my high standards in mind, but I try not to writhe too much when I don’t meet them. Nebt-het is a goddess of compassion, and so I learn from Her how to embrace the reality of a thing without denial or rebuke or rosy fantasy. After all, if I strive to extend unconditional compassion to others, I must start with myself.
Last year’s first E post was on extinct totems.