“You are smart…you are enough.”

I was recently presented with an opportunity to work alongside a cohort of professionals on one of my organization’s internal projects. We’re in the very early stages of this project, where the foundation is being laid. Key questions are being asked and the work that is fundamental to the identity of this project is being executed.

As with any project, the work is being divvied. My friend drew the lucky straw of drafting a few statements to represent the groups purpose.

After reading these statements, I was left a bit perplexed. Thesaurus-laden buzzwords and corporate jargon had drowned out the message. I asked my friend to rewrite the statements in plain English. Though she knew I had good intentions, she was offended.

I wanted her to see that her message, the one she believed in, the one without the colorful language was enough. Adding colorful language not only took away from the message, but it made the reader work harder. In fact, I had to read the statements more than once to deduce what was being said. And in the end I was still confused and frankly, frustrated.

But this also created a great opportunity for feedback. While, my colleague wasn’t happy with my feedback, I had the opportunity to follow up with what was in my heart.

My feedback had less to do with the message and a million times more to do with what I believed, and what she needed to believe, about herself.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was smart and that she didn’t need to rely on anyone else to tell her that. She didn’t need the “extras” to impress anyone. Simply being who she was was enough. And when she delivers her message from her heart, that would be enough.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was, and is, enough.

 

 

Affirmation

Today, I repeat this message to you. You are enough. Give yourself the gift of relaxing the security of who you are. Stop trying to outfit yourself with the proverbial colorful layers — fancy clothes, an extensive vocabulary, multiple degrees, or the pursuit of the seemingly “perfect life” — to gain the approval of others or even yourself. Don’t water down the magnitude of who you are. Be you.

The Bible says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Who am I to disagree with God?

Take off those layers. Life is a lot lighter and much clearer without them.

Until next Wednesday,

RP

Tell someone they are enough.

Share this message and tag them in it. I can’t wait to hear how you’ve made a positive impact on their life. Be sure to add the hashtag #beaffirmed on IG, Twitter, and FB so I can see how you’re inspiring others.

ON THE SOCIAL MEEDS…

Follow me on IG and Facebook to get itermmitent affirmations

Instagram: instagram.com/affirmeddesignns_reginap
Facebook: facebook.com/affirmeddesignsrrp

 

It seems that the only place I feel free to allow my pain to show is through my blog. I PROMISE…I’m not upset or a sad case all the time. It’s just that when I need to get something off my chest, I seem to come to my blog as an escape.

I’m generally a happy…moody :)…but happy person. I love to smile. I love to laugh and make others laugh. And I’m often the friend giving advice.

The flip side is that I’m often the silent sufferer.

I don’t tell very many about deep problems. I don’t tell everyone when my father is tripping or when I’m going through what my best friend coined “stupid girl syndrome” or even when I’m just having a horrible day. Instead I tend to suffer in silence, only allowing those closest to me know what’s going on. But that creates a horrible illusion.

It may seem life I have everything together, but I don’t.

Today, my aunt hit the nail on the head – I have to stop being so hard on myself. With such a “perfect” life, I’m bound to run into imperfections…and it’s those imperfections that I have such a hard time dealing with. Not necessarily the things I have no control over, but with the things I at least have some say. But she’s right…everyone struggles with something. I just want to be on top of everything. I want to be able to control my emotions and my reactions…but there are times I really just have to let it out. I can’t be cool and collected all the time…especially with the things that matter most. I have to face those things. I have to cry the tears. I have to confess it…and face it…honestly face it…both with myself and with others.

Regina..you’re not perfect. So strop trying to be.

Allow yourself to have emotions. Allow yourself to feel, even if it’s painful. And then allow yourself to heal. Stop burying this stuff. Face it and heal. You deserve it. You deserve to be more whole than you’re allowing.

Stop with the games. Stop with the facades. Be real with yourself and with others.

Life hurts. But it’s not impossible.

Life more abundantly.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical nor mental health professional. The statements below are based on personal experience and opinion. In the event you feel you’re suffering from a mental disorder, please contact a doctor or mental health professional.


I recently read a blog post that I wrote not too long ago. The topic: Loneliness.

Until recently, depression was lurking, tears were flowing, and anxiety was up. Then I realized, depression was a symptom…not the disease. Loneliness was the culprit. And I knew something had to change. And that birthed the idea for this post.

If you’re suffering from loneliness, here are some things that have helped me. If you want to stop here though, the bottom line is I stopped being alone.

  1. I started going back into the office. Unlike some of my friends, I’m an extrovert.While working from home is nice, the reality is that I wasn’t only working alone, but I was taking lunch and breaks along alone , and I was alone in one room for a REALLY long time. And since I didn’t have many plans after work, home was where I spent my time after work. I was spending entirely too much time alone. But going back to the office has put me around kindred spirits and this has helped me light up from the inside out.
  2. My brother started coming over my house. He would come during the daytime hours on some days when I was working from home, and he also would come some evenings. Even though I was in my office most of the time when I was working, it was nice to simply have someone around. And the good thing about my brother is that he respected the fact that I was working. He didn’t interrupt often. And when I came out of the office, we may chat for a quick minute or less or more and then I would get back to it.
  3. I started going to my parents house more often. This may sound lame to some, but I really enjoy being around my family. We have a grand, old time. So why not be around the people you love and enjoy? Be positive about it. Don’t think “this sucks…I have to hang out with my family because I don’t have any friends or a man/woman.” Think about how amazing it is that you have a family you really get along with and accept you unconditionally. And if you don’t  enjoy being around, try a friend. I
  4. I hosted a gathering at my house. I pulled out the good old Facebook events app, created the event and invited people. The truth is that I know a ton of amazing people, but I get caught up in both social anxiety and negative self-talk. “Maybe I’m not cool enough.” Sound familiar. And even if a ton of people didn’t or don’t come (in the future), at least I got to develop deeper relationships with those who do attend…and maybe meet some new people along the way.

This final statement is one that will help squash the mental nonsense.

Stop creating negative stories and don’t linger on negative self-talk. Maybe it’s not the fact that you’re not cool enough at all. Maybe you just haven’t created a bond because you don’t share a common ground. I’m coming to this realization right now. And frankly, this isn’t my season for certain groups. I know that God has a special assignment for me. I don’t know what it is or exactly when it will come, but I know it’s on its way. And while it’s hard to stay focused on that at times, I know that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22), and frankly I don’t think I’m giving up much because I see a big reward on the way.I knows the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you… (Jer 29:11)

 

 

Wow! This is one of those topics many people talk about, but I’m not sure how many people really get it. And I’m okay not everyone gets it. Frankly, to get it, you kinda have to go through it or to even close to get it, you may have to be REALLY close to someone with clinical depression.

Before I go on, I’d like to say, I’m not a doctor or therapist and these and this post consists of only my opinions. If you have or think you may be suffering from anxiety or depression, you should see a doctor or therapist.

Many know my story; that I suffer from depression. So, I’m not going to go into many details about that. Instead, I’m going to go into details about my experience – my thoughts and feelings  that I don’t share with many – with the hope that this post helps you understand the complexity of the disorder and the goal of understand there’s a ton that someone who has this disorder (or any disorder to that fact) may not share.

  1. I feel broken…literally. I feel like there’s something about me that needs to be fixed. I’m not talking about a cure. I feel like someone needs to reach inside my body and take something out or put something in to fix me.
  2. I’m afraid of being well. I have been like this for so long, I’m kind of afraid of being “normal” again. Like…what would that look like? Who would I be? Would I really be happier? I have to believe the answer to the latter is yes.
  3. I have generalized anxiety disorder, which is why I get depressed more than “I just feel depressed.” Sometimes, I get so frustrated that it makes me sad. There are other times that the anxiety just overwhelms me to a point of depression.
  4. I have A TON of fears and am embarrassed by them. This causes me to do a ton of irrational things.  I’ve become a germaphobe primarily because I don’t want to get other people sick. Sometimes I pray over my food multiple times. I avoid cracks in the sidewalk. I count a lot of things because I’m afraid of things in threes, as well as the number 6 and 18. I’m also afraid of the letter “F’ because it’s the 6th letter in the alphabet. I am scared A LOT! And I am totally embarrassed about this.
  5. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to talk about it too often because I don’t want to be judged as being a person who’s looking for sympathy.
  6. However, I do appreciate and maybe even look for private sympathy at times because it’s hard as heck! I get it. We all have problems. But feeling like you’re walking around with a bricks on your shoulders, a tense neck, and a cloudy brain flat-out sucks. Just knowing someone cares means SO MUCH! I mean so much.
  7. Just because a person doesn’t look depressed doesn’t mean they’re not. My grandma has said, “you don’t look depressed” at least 2 times after I’ve said I’m depressed. The latest time, I literally cried in the parking lot of an ice cream shop the same day…not because of what she said, but because I was, in fact, depressed.
  8. Just because a person doesn’t seem anxious doesn’t mean they aren’t. I have literally had “silent” anxiety attacks right in front of people.
  9. Support systems are super valuable. My support system has been one of the most valuable things People helping me in the hard times, encouraging them, giving hugs, shoulders to cry on, simply passing a tissue, being a listening ear, and so on. This along with God may have been what has literally saved my life a many a times.
  10. I hate when people tell me to pray it away. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves…right after someone telling me that it’s imagined. Believe me, I KNOW God can heal. I also know how he’s given me peace in some of my hardest times. However, I have prayed, and I have believed. I’ve questioned Him. I’ve done it all. Guess what. This is something He has allowed me to go through and though I don’t like the disease, I’m okay with it. I am okay with the fact that He allows me to go through it. I don’t like it, but I’m not going to let it stop me from loving Him or ultimately giving Him the praise. It may get me down at times and even take me out of my element, but I know that I’m gonna be okay.
  11. Everyone who has suicidal thoughts isn’t going to commit suicide. BUT YOU SHOULD TAKE EVERY COMMENT ABOUT SUICIDE AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS SERIOUSLY. This is the hardest thing for me to talk about, but several clinically depressed people have suicidal thoughts – including myself. However, I appreciate my life too much to let this horrid disease get the best of me. I consider myself an overcomer. This is where I totally see God’s power coming through. He’s like, “No Regina. You’re too good for this. You’re an awesome person and you ARE going to do great things. I put you on this earth for a reason and you WILL NOT depart from it until I call you home…until you’ve fulfilled your GOD-GIVEN PURPOSE.” Writing this makes me want to cry because it shows me just how much God really loves me and how everything else that’s going on is just deception; things that are trying to get me off my game…because if I’m off my game, I can’t fulfill what He has for me. This is where my strength comes from. That is the power. That is the cure. Knowing He has something totally awesome in store for me…that He really wants to use me. And the devil is just mad because I’m saying, “God, I’m ready. Use me, Lord.” [Yep…I just got in tune with the Spirit there.]

God is amazing, guys. This started off very dreary. And though I’ve been going through a lot, I can’t help but to give Him praise simply because of who He is. He is amazing, and I must just give him praise. How He holds me through tough times. How He protects me in the hard times. And how He even shelters me from the rain. [And there’s the testimony. smile]

I’ve been going through a very trying time; both at work and personally. To put it mildly, my stressIMG_0006 level has been on 10. From managing a potential relationship to dealing with parental issues to working on a pretty intense project, the concept of fun and games has been pretty low. Add a wedding that’s less than 30 days away, a bridal shower that just passed, an upcoming bachelorette party, and surviving a car accident that happened literally 14 days ago, and you’ve come across a pretty frazzled chick. BTW…I had no idea all this stuff was going on in my life. And the list doesn’t end there until reflecting while writing this. But I digress.

And with stress comes a couple more things…depression and anxiety attacks. And if any of you are like me, you may have silent anxiety attacks. At least that’s what I’m calling them. They’re the attacks that don’t paralyze you. You barely even know they’re happening. But when you stop to think about it, you realize you’re having an anxiety attack. Yep…totally had one of those today…accompanied with internal shaking and anger.

One thought. Meds and sleep.

But I took a different route.

I hit the treadmill. I was determined to literally work out the aggression.

30 minutes. Aggression still there.

41 minutes. Anxiety and anger still there.

And it wasn’t torture. I even started dancing on the treadmill. (Don’t try that at home.) I took pics, recorded a video, and had a couple of conversations via text. And let’s not even talk about my Twitter timeline.

Then I wrote my mom, “I want to back slide.” I totally wanted to revert to old habits – at least the one where potty mouth was in effect. Swearing was my thing prior to living for God. And boy, could I go in. I told her I needed prayer and holy oil plugged into me via IV.

She responded with the most profound comment of the day:

“OK, just hooked up the prayer iv line up; I think I found a good vein and there flows the blood of Jesus.”

My goodness. Those are shouting words (as we say in the black community). I mean…do you get it. The blood of Jesus is available to me. He took stripes, suffered, and died specifically for this. And now, I have access to this grace freely. My goodness. Or should I say His goodness! (SMH)

***I have to stop just for a moment of praise. God is so good!***

I tried to do so much to make it right, but God…

Anyhoo…to the title of this. The reality is some things have to go. Toxic relationships are an example of things that need to go, especially when you’re living in a fantasy.

So, today, I say farewell to a fantasy. Sorry, guy, but i have to let you go. (Not the guy I referred to in my last post.) You have to live your life and I have to live mine. I love you, but it’s doing more harm than good. I now realize I am whole. I have a perfect life. And I’m okay with the way it came out. The experience was enlightening and definitely worth it – and because of it, I now have another story to share…to uplift and shine light on situations like mine.

I realize the experience had its purpose. But a fantasy is just that…not real. Thanks for all you’ve done. I will now go on with my life. Whole and a pretty darn cool chick.

In the voice of Kirk Franklin, “I smile.”

This place. It’s familiar; maybe even popular. But more infamous than the acclaimed stage of desired fame. Well
known, but not always sought after. It’s called loneliness. It’s also called despair. I’m sure there are a few other words that can be used to describe this place, though, I’m not sure any would be positive.lonely

That’s where I found myself this weekend.

I found myself lonely and in a place of despair. I found myself desperately wanting to do something with someone. A friend. A man. Anyone in whom I enjoyed their presence…and I was at a loss.

Saturday, I had a grand old time with my bestie. We laughed in a desolate town that has to be a retiree’s gold mine. So barren that it reminded me of an old western film, and I was the one looking on, only waiting for a lone piece of tumbleweed to pass by.

And even that trip was a stretch after a fight with a headache and a fight to simply leave the house and then the city. I made it, though. So, that was a success of its own.

Sunday was not successful.

After making it to church, I realized I was in a funk. During prayer was when I really felt the tears ready to come on…though I’m not even sure if my eyes totally welled up, let alone produced an all out cry. As the say went on, I continued to feel blue. I was talking. I was spending time with family. I was even laughing.

Then, after some people left, I commented, “I’m pretty sure I’m depressed.” I followed the statement by noting though I may not look or sound depressed, I felt depressed.

I couldn’t put my finger on what it was at that moment. And, even worse, I couldn’t cry.

But once I made it to a quiet place on my own, it hit me. The tears fell, and soon thereafter, I identified the issue. I was lonely.

I realized how no one calls me very often to do things. And I realized how I hadn’t talked to a guy of my interest the entire weekend.

I felt rejected.

Now that I write, the feeling is clear. I’m feeling an overwhelming feeling of both loneliness and rejection. Whether perceived or real, I feel rejected.

I feel rejected by the guy who I’m interested in. Though I know he’s interested in me, I having issues adjusting to our relationship.

I feel rejected by my peers. No one hardly ever calls or even texts to say “how are you” or “do you want to go out” and even if they do, they have no clue how social anxieties makes it so hard to go out. It’s so much easier to stay home…yet, I crave interacting with my peers. It’s such a catch 22, and frankly, I’m tired of it.

I’m tired of this person I’ve become due to depression and anxiety.

I used to be the life of the party. Now I avoid many of them.

I used to talk to several men at one time. Now my biological clock that tells me I should be settled down has me all discombobulated.

Forget that. I want my life back.me

“2014 will be a year of peace. If you bring drama, you may as well leave. I cannot be scared of those who
may leave. 
I cannot be afraid of what I cannot see.” – written on the inside cover of my journal at the end of 2013.

Sometimes big changes require drastic changes.

2014 will be a year of peace.” That’s what continues to go through my head as I take a look at where I am in my life.

Making this statement was hard. I knew that with this statement there was a good change I would be giving up a long-term relationship. One where marriage was in talks. One where I had a beautiful promise ring. One where no one thought it would ever end.

photoOne where happiness no longer lived. There were tears. There were fights. And no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t good enough.

And I was tired.

I couldn’t do it anymore.

On Jan 5, 2014, I said goodbye to that relationship.

3 months later, I’m better for it.

The lesson: Big changes may require drastic changes.

Since the breakup, I’ve seen a drastic change in my life, my mood, and my energy. I’m happier, and I have a newfound understanding of living life, loving Gina, and not being so anxious to have the love that others profess to have found.

But the breakup was just the beginning of more life-changing changes.

With the loss of a young lady, my faith was rocked to the core. I questioned why God would let something like that happen – and so suddenly. I cried hard. I prayed hard. It took a lot of fight to keep my faith. I was mad at God. I was hurt by the situation. I was overwhelmed. I just didn’t know how to handle it. I still have pain. Yet, I’m stronger.

Then something else changed – my dream. RRP Marketing began its journey of cessation. The activation of a new Gina was in motion. Appreciating the finer, less tangible things in life became a priority.

And finally, in less than 14 days, my Facebook account will be deleted. Not just deactivated. Deleted.

These were all bold leaps. In the midst of personal weakness, I found personal strength. I’m no longer chasing what others have nor what makes others happy. This year, I’m being a bit selfish. And it feels good.

 

Depression is a sneaky little creature. It often creeps up out of no where and what you thought depression looked like is totally different than what you, a friend, or a loved one is experiencing. And that makes it even harder to determine.

Round 1: My aunt’s passing

My depression story started years ago. It was the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year, and I lost the first close person to me, my aunt. This was REALLY hard. Initially, I didn’t think I was affected at all. But then the symptoms began to arise. I began to cry all the time. I didn’t want to hang with my friends. And I was super afraid of dying. This had become my number one fear. I’m sure being the recipient of the call stating she died and suppressing my feelings didn’t help. Add to that hearing the details of her final moments at the age of 12 wasn’t easy either.

Her final moments passed through my head constantly, and at night I was sure I was having shortness of breath and about to see my last day. I often stood at the brink of my parents’ bedroom door telling my mom how scared I was and how I thought I was having shortness of breath. It was a very traumatizing experience.

I remember my dad coming to offer me comfort, but nothing really worked. He offered to take me to her grave site. I didn’t want to go. And yet, I just couldn’t snap out of it.

Then one day my mom suggested I go visit my best friend. She was my next door neighbor. She had no clue what was going on, but it was the best medicine ever. Simply being with someone – and in this case faking like there was nothing wrong was the beginning of a cure. In fact, it was almost an instant cure.

The pain and depression didn’t go away instantly. The beginning of my eight grade year still saw sorrow, but somehow, I snapped out of it. It was like the time heals all things thing. But did it?

Round 2: College days

My days at Michigan State were great. Fake the funk. Showtime at the Aud. Gospel choir. Great roommates and floormates. And yes, even the partied. And on top of this, I was at the top of the class. I pulled a 3.89 my first semester, and didn’t drop below a 3.5 GPA per semester. Well, that was until depression reared it’s ugly head again.

It all started with a thought that freaked me out. I mean seriously freaked me out.

It was during Winter break. I think I was in the shower when I had the thought. And even though I knew it wasn’t true, I couldn’t shake it.

That was the beginning of my anxiety. It scared me. I would be an outcast if anyone ever knew that I had this thought. I told one person – my mom, my one and only confidante to that degree. She was there for me. Patient with me. That was the moment that I knew that if I didn’t trust anyone else in life, I could trust my mom – and that was for anything. We may not always agree, but she would ALWAYS have my best interest in mind (even if that’s slightly obscured with what she THINKs may be my best interest, but I digress.)

Though my mom was there and would be there consistently – and we knew my thoughts were a lie, it didn’t go away. Instead, the anxiety got worse, resulting in OCD, panic and anxiety attacks, and loss of focus. I couldn’t focus on my work. Getting out of bed was hard at days. In fact, making decisions was just downright painful. And with this dreadful sickness came a quick plummet to my grades to the point that simply by looking at my report cards, you can tell the EXACT semester the depression kicked in.

Mental Illness aren’t the Same as Physical, Right?

I didn’t want to go to the doctor. I didn’t want to see what was wrong with me. I thought it was against God’s will. Mental issues aren’t the same as physical, right? You know if you don’t feel good physically to go to the doctor. But if you are potentially suffering from a mental illness, many often discourage going to the doctor. This can be one of biggest mistakes and can truly mean the different between life and death.

Mental illnesses can kill you just as much as high blood pressure can. In fact, stress can lead to high blood pressure, cancer, and suicide – all things that can lead to death. People don’t cut just for the sake of it. People don’t jump off buildings because they thought they could fly. And they don’t slit wrists because they want to sport a war wound.

No. They want the pain and agony to go away. If they thought they had another option, maybe they would think again, but they feel hopeless. Anxiety day after day, month after month, and year after year is not the life I envisioned. If you’ve never had a panic attack before, you’d never know how debilitating something like that can be. In fact, I got so good at them, I had the ability have silent attacks right in front of people and they had no clue it was happening.

…But I Survived

The diagnosis & Prescriptions

Though I didn’t want to go to the doctor, there was a point it became a bit too much. The school therapist was a flop. My trip to a different doctor was almost a joke, mainly because on that day I didn’t “look” like I was depressed. Then she gave me the test. To her surprise only, the results stated I was in fact depressed.

Now what?

Pills. The ones that zoned me out. Not like Xanax or anything. I can’t really describe how I felt. All I know is that one day I didn’t take them, and I felt better. I felt happy. So I said to heck with these pills. But just like other times, the happiness was only temporary.

The depression read it’s head again, and I really needed hep.

It took a while for me to see a doc again, but during the summer after my senior year, I walked back into the doctor’s office ready to get better. And he diagnosed me with what I thought was the cure all to everything, Paxil.

You Have to Work with Your Doctor

Paxil worked great for years. However, due to side effects, I chose to try different meds. Many didn’t work. I became sick from some. One gave me the hiccups and zoned me out. One even had a side effect of anxiousness. Ummm….isn’t that what I was being treated for. Duh?!I’ve had a diagnosis that I didn’t agree with and more. (Please know yourself before you just tell the doctor, “no I don’t agree with this).
While I know I’m not perfect today I’ve found a treatment that sustains. Add that to the will to not let the disease overcome me, and I do pretty good. Not as good as on Paxil, but since I don’t want that Paxil weight (a 60 lb. gain)…I’ll make the sacrifice.

Having the Will to Live & Taking Control

Living with and surviving depression is not an easy thing. In fact, I live with it AND survive it every day. Anxiety is present often. I get tired A LOT. And there are days where the alternative seems like it may be better. However, I have the will to live.

I know depression, anxiety, fear and panic are all lies from Satan. And though I may be on meds, I know where my REAL strength comes from. I know who will never leave me nor forsake me. I know who blesses me with wisdom telling me it’s time to sit/slow down, ensuring I don’t become too overwhlemed.

God has blessed me to have this story. To tell it to others. And to inspire those who may feel downtrodden. I’m confident this journey wasn’t just for me. I know there are others who have been and will continue to be blessed by my words…but not my words, but by the words of the One who lives in me.

While I’m not thankful for the sickness (being real), I am thankful for the opportunity to help, to inspire and to use my story to draw others closer to Christ. While some may say it’s brutal He allows me to go through it, I’ll say His grace is sufficient. He DIED for me. DIED…stabbed, ridiculed, whipped, crowned with thorns. I only have a little mental distress in comparison. So even in the midst, I thank and appreciate God for this challenge, growth, and the ability to use it for HIS good. I am and will continue to be HIS child. And for that I praise him. (Praise break…lol)

Conclusion

Depression sucks. It really does. However, having a relationship with Christ and taking appropriate steps to manage/alleviate it are both essential for survival. The Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against power and principalities in high places. While medicine is a physical step for me, I NEVER forget the spiritual medicine and strength either.

Until next time, I wish you much spiritual prosperity.

Life. It’s a funny thing. Kinda like the mind. There’s ups, downs, twists, and turns. And some days we are just super discombobulated. If you follow my blog, you get to share my life adventure with me. You’d know life is not all cherries and peaches. But you know what I have learned? I’ve learned that it’s a learning experience.

Part of my learning experience is learning how to be okay with myself. Being okay with my hair, my skin color, my sense of being, etc. This can be an extremely difficult thing. As you can see, my self esteem issues are mostly superficial/external. I am more than confident about my abilities, intellect level, etc. and believe me, I have a pretty high sense of self-worth. I am a God-send, because He sent me (notice where the acknowledgement went. To God. He sent me and while sending me, I have a purpose and a destiny. So yeah, I’m a God-send.) However, I digressed.

I would like to proudly report that my self-esteem has gone up, and while this may seem superficial and may even be, I find that when I look good, I feel good. But it’s when I THINK I look good – when I feel confident. (Notice this id all in the mind.) And frankly I feel confident in a hoody and in heels. I feel confident in a hat and or a messy up ‘do. I’ve found that confidence comes from within. While others can help build your confidence, confidence also comes when you feel comfortable, and I mean comfortable with yourself. Trying to follow trends and people will make you unhappy. That doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration from people who are like you or like the you in which you desire to be. But if u try to be them, you will fail.

I remember something my pastor once said that at one time Kobe Bryant was asked if he would be the next Michael Jordan. His answer, “no, I will be the next Kobe Bryant.”

I say this to say, you will never be the person you’re comparing yourself to. That’s okay. You weren’t meant to be. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. You were meant to be the only [fill in your name here]. I mean think about it. How many people do you think are pretty? You can probably name a few. Now think, how many of them actually look like each other? Not many. But they are all what you consider pretty.

I started this article by saying invest in yourself. Invest your time, energy, and money on yourself. From makeup to adjusting my wardrobe to simply changing my stinking thinking, I invest in myself. And the makeup isn’t because you aren’t pretty. If this is what you need to increase your confidence do it. Don’t let thoughts of I shouldn’t have to wear makeup to feel pretty hinder you. If u like how you feel in it and don’t have any personal convictions, wear it. I actually find it to be fun… A hobby in fact.

Style your hair the way you like. Wear the clothes that make you feel good. Do you. As people say, confidence is an attractive quality. Do embrace confidence. Embrace the new you.

(forgive any typos. Typed on my iPhone.)

Transition – a word that brings fear, eagerness, anticipation, and even excitement. Truth be told, the first – fear – is what I’ve been walking in. But today, fear has to subside. It WILL subside!

Purpose, Sound Mind, Love: Those are the words that I will begin to walk in. I have a purpose here on this earth. A purpose to live. I have a right to breathe and enjoy everything that we call life.

Today I declare:

  • I AM A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER
  • I AM A CHILD OF GOD
  • I AM ENTITLED TO EVER PROMISE THAT GOD HAS PROIMISED ME
  • I AM ENTITLED TO JOY AND PEACE
  • I AM REGINA R. PATTERSON – MORE THAN A CONQUEROR (HOLY BIBLE)
  • I AM EVERYTHING GOD HAS CALLED ME TO BE
  • MOST OF ALL – I BELIEVE I AM A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER. I WILL NO LONGER OPERATE IN FEAR. INSTEAD, I WILL REPLACE FEAR WITH CONFIDENCE. I WILL DEFEAT FEAR. FEAR WILL NOT DEFEAT ME. I WILL SMILE. I WILL EXPERIENCE JOY. I WILL HAVE LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY.

That is all. Will you take this journey with me, and hold me accountable to everything just mentioned.

thanks a million.