“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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“I just don’t get along with females.”

The first time I heard this statement was when I was in high school…and it’s continued into adulthood. It’s a statement that baffled me for years. I thought, “why would someone have a hard time getting along with other young ladies?” Then it hit me…boys; “boys” was the only rational explanation I could come up with.

The idea of not being able to get along with females was one I didn’t get because I didn’t live, eat and breathe boys as a teenager or even college student. With (what I know now as lifelong) friendships, sports, dance, work and studies – and a pretty healthy fear of my mother – consuming my time, my brain didn’t work like other young girls. Did I like boys? Of course. Did I have boyfriends? Yes. But I just didn’t obsess over them. They were just part of the everyday routine.

But after teaching youth Bible Study to a class of high schoolers, I realized just how atypical I was…or maybe they were the atypical ones. Nah, it was me.

Our discussions often surrounded supposed haters and boys. I was constantly inundated with who was beefing with who and who was dating who and so on. And the girls…I had to keep my eyes on the girls.

They were lovely young ladies, but if an ounce of testosterone entered the building (no matter how good looking or not so much they were), these ladies about lost their minds. And it was while I had that class that I understood why women didn’t get along.

And get this, I wasn’t exempt.

As I grew older and transitioned into independence, I too felt the pains of female-to-female tension. When I no longer saw dating as a game,  but as a means to an end (i.e. dating for marriage), I allowed low self-esteem, pride, jealousy and even some controlling behavior set up shop. I looked at women as my competition. And I, ultimately, became catty, untrusting and bitter.

But that’s not who God has intended us to be.

Unhealthy competition is the antithesis to love and compassion. How can you show mercy if you’re busy trying to identify the fault? You can’t.

Instead, you find yourself in the position of adversary and foe. You waste energy envying what “they” have. You spend time tearing down the powerhouse that you were promised. You get in your own way, point blank period. And you block your own blessing.

Today, I’d like you to be affirmed in yourself. Your uniqueness. Your strength. Your personal blessings. Know that when you are affirmed as one, you can become affirmed as many.

Moreover, be affirmed in your sisterhood. Know that she is not the enemy. She is your sister…one who brings a unique set of strengths to the table. And while feeble apart, together you can change the world.

#BeAffirmed

Assignment:

  1. Share this article and include #beaffirmed
  2. Over the course of the week, reach out to a woman…young or old and let them know how they have made (or are currently making) a difference in your.

See you next Wednesday.

To stay in touch in the meantime, follow me on Facebook and Instagram


 

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Today, I went on a date. And it was great. We played basketball and then we went for a ride on his moped…wind flying in my hair. To make a long story short, I really like this guy, but there is one HUGE flaw. No, he’s not an ex-con – been there – he has a decent job. Frankly, if it were Jerry McGuire, I’d say “You had me at 401K and good credit.” And he’s genuinely a good person.

But there’s a very moral dilemma I have. His religious beliefs don’t line up with mine…and that’s HUGE. I mean REALLY big. My friends know one of the first questions I ask about the guys they’re dating is “are they saved.” To put it kindly, I can’t say this guy is saved. I can’t even say he has a relationship with Jesus at all. But I like him and at this point, it’s not that easy to let him go. I mean, while in my religious mind, I think that I should, my heart is really with him. He is literally everything that I want with that one exception. Okay, maybe there is more than one exception, but this is the biggest. Outside of this, I really like him.

So now, I don’t know what to do. Should I go or should I stay?

At this point, I’ve decided to stay…at least for a bit longer. One thing I will trust is that through prayer, it’ll work itself out. Either he’ll come to know Christ or the relationship will fizzle out one way or another.

The good thing is that this is just the beginning, and we’re not yet a thing.

If not anything, I can say the day was good. I literally went from “do I really like him” to “oh my gosh, I really like him in one in-person encounter.”

I can’t say I recommend this course of action for anyone, but I know myself. I’m stubborn and I don’t quit that easily. I’m not very strong when it comes to guys. They are kinda my kryptonite…especially when I like them. So, though the saying is insanely funny to me, I’m gonna have to say, “Jesus take the wheel.”

That’s hard enough for me, but I do still come with a heart of submission, wanting to do the right thing, knowing that I need His help, guidance, and will.

Amen.

“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.