YOU ARE ENOUGH. I have spent countless hours in therapy and even more hours on my knees longing to know this truth. If I am REALLY honest, this is the single greatest struggle in my life. I have written on this subject many times because there are days when I don’t believe it. Am I enough as a mom, daughter, sister, friend, pastor, teacher, writer? And the list goes on. I can read all the things about all the things and yet at the end of the day, I sit with thoughts of incompetence. While this search for truth has been hard personally, it has been especially weighty as I raise two daughters. How do I teach them that they are enough when I struggle with it most days?
I have two wildly different and equally strong teenage women that live down the hall from me. One is 17 going on 50. She is passionate and has desires to change the world. She sees injustice and is ready to fight. I also have a 13 year-old with completely different goals in mind. She is the most driven and goal setting non-adult human that I have ever met. Everything she does is with purpose and drive. With one culture shaping dreamer and one hard working athlete, I navigate the balance of teaching worth and value to two far ends of the female spectrum. What I have learned from these two drives me to be better. They show me everyday how to believe that my “enough” is just that – BUT – it may be different than yours, and that is perfectly perfect. Let me show you:
My world changer is brave. She is unapologetically unafraid to dig into the depths of the hardest things looking for answers of truth. In her 17 years, she has navigated things that most adults would ignore and avoid in the name of ‘just pushing through.’ Instead of covering the feelings of adolescence angst with popularity and social media, she has made a choice to first work on herself so that she can bring the same message of hope and healing to the next generation. Daily, she is learning tools that allow her to believe that she matters to the world.
She is doing hard interior work because she knows that her true calling is to love children with all of her being. She gives away her time and talents to children through her charity, Dolls For All. For years, she has used this platform to learn about the foster care system and resources for victims of childhood trauma. And she doesn’t stop at handing a child a doll and throwing a tea party. She has recently committed to an intership at a local children’s advocacy center. Learning alongside the therapist, caregivers and agencies that are fighting injustice for this vulnerable population, her dream is becoming a reality. She does this because she knows that children all over the world need to hear adults speak the truth that we all long for: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
My younger daughter has a completely different kind of passion. Currently committed to achieving lofty goals in her sport of choice, she has walked the roads of doubt and insecurity in her own ways. When you see her exterior, you assume that her insides are as tough as her 5’ 11’ frame. She appears to the world to be a freak of adolescent strength. If you were to meet her in moments of quiet, you would know that she, just like the rest of humanity, feels her limitations. On the days of struggle, it is hard to believe that she has all she needs to be successful. Last year, she had the gift of meeting a woman that takes the call to empower women very seriously. In a particularly hard season of her “mental game,” my girl was introduced to Christen Shefchunas, known to most as Coach Christen.
An accomplished coach and athlete, she developed a product that allows my internally focused girl to express her longing for confidence through jewelry. With Christen’s Confidence Nuggets on her arm daily, my daughter draws from the strength of her role models. Knowing that we all need to hear the truth of our worth everyday, Christen has given a generation of driven and capable women tangible reminders that we are in this together. Each bracelet comes with a handwritten note from Coach. My girl’s bulletin board is filled with these reminders of purpose and encouragement. These simple bracelets have become a touchstone for my daugher. She has given them to family, friends and even her own coach. With great thought for the selected meaning behind each bracelet, Confidence Nuggets are our family’s reminder that we express encouragement and emotion differently.
I tell you these stories to remind each of us that there is no one way to express enough-ness. We need to see these messages from every area and hear them from every voice in our lives. The world screams of scarcity and fear from every corner. With every Instagram post or sarcastic tweet, we are surrounded with message after message that in our own skin and clothes and hair we are insufficient. May I remind you – there is no amount of products or partners or surgery or shopping or wine or pain killers or children or sex or wine that will fill the hole of inadequacy. At the same time, there is nothing in this world like the power of the female voice of encouragement. Be it from your coach, your mentor, your child, your mom, your sister or your ride or die 3 am friend, it’s time for us to raise our voices for each other. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Did you hear that? I didn’t think so.
Let me scream it again. YOU ARE ENOUGH.