“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.

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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]

“Depression hurts.” ~ commercial on TV

You may have laughed when you saw this commercial, but this is an uderstatement for those living with depression. And not only does it hurt those living with it, but it also hurts those affected by it – the loved ones who don’t know exactly how to deal with it, and even those who have accepted it and found some way to cope with it.

Simply because you have found a way to cope with it doesn’t mean that it’s still not a daily battle.

I know because I’m a survivor and deal with it on an ongoing basis.

Yes, I make light of it at times, but that’s because I choose to. I choose to not let it hold me in a imprisoned within my own mind. I have made conscious decisions to walk while I’m wounded. Heck, I run marathons while I’m wounded.

See, the Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against power an principalities in high places, and that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Ephesians 6 and Hebrews 11:1).

When you see me on the exterior, you may see a beacon of strength – a strong, ambitious young lady, but what you don’t see are the breakowns, the prayer going up for peace and deliverance, and all the lives affected by it. You don’t see loved ones embracing me and telling me it’s going to be okay…and even telling me that I don’t have to always be strong..that it’s okay for me to show my emotions. You don’t see Regina in her weak state. But in my weakness, He (God) is made strong.

I am a living witness of what it means to walk and run while wounded. My heart may hurt, but my fight will not go away. I will maintain faith that I will make it to the next level, because He has brought me this far, and there’s only many more milestones to achieve. So I won’t give up; I don’t give up. I will just look up for the support and grateful for those he has put around me.

*If you suffer from depression, anxiety, panic or any other mental illness, don’t give up. Let someone you trust know what you’re going through. You can even email me at regina.r.patterson@gmail.com. Maybe I can point you in the direction of a resource that would be just right for you. Whatever you do, please, please, please keep the faith.