Hanging out with a lot of other rabbis can bring up many feelings of inadequacy for me.
(I'm currently at the Central Conference of American Rabbis' annual convention)
We're all the same, we all have the same degree and training. But so many of my colleagues are wise and talented, well-spoken, well-written, and doing amazing work.
I am NOT fishing for compliments here, I'm being serious. I know very well that I'm happy with my work, doing well in my job, and outside of the professional realm, absolutely unbelievably BLESSED with my family and friends. But it doesn't really matter. I still feel that little question nagging at me - do I really belong here? How on earth can I stand shoulder to shoulder with so many amazing people and really feel my own sense of worth?
The rabbinate isn't really like academia, for example, with its concept of "publish or perish." I can dwell in obscurity and do my work happily. I don't have any need to be "important" in the rabbinic world - I'm not aiming to be president of the CCAR or even sit on a board. But I do want my voice to be heard, I do want to bring something to the table and share my ideas and beliefs with my colleagues. Often, though, I am reticent to open my mouth since I usually think "oh, there's someone way more qualified than me to say that."
Maybe when I'm older.
Maybe when I've been at this for longer.
And so it goes.
It just so happens, however, that the blogging world has done it again. It has reminded me, in its infinite wisdom, that I AM WORTHY.
Just by being me. That no matter how I feel in the presence of colleagues and friends, no matter how I might, in the secret moments just before bed at night, wonder if I'm really just pretending to be something that I'm not....that no matter....I am worthy. Today and Everyday.
But, damn, it's hard to say sometimes.