Enough is Enough.

*Disclaimer: I’m not bashing anyone who has said that they are “ugly,” “worthless,” “stupid,” and any other derogatory terms on social media. There is freedom of speech; you can say what you want on your account. I’m only saying that I wish better for those who do say these things (myself included). We are so much more than we think we are.

So…I’m done.

I’m tired of hearing and seeing all of this self-hate, and I’m also tired of being a part of it. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of my friends or followers on social media say in various ways that they’re ugly, unloved, or not enough. And I feel like there are numerous reasons why they say such things…(and this is all just generally speaking. I’m not accusing any of my personal friends or followers of doing any of these things said below. These are just thoughts and observations of what I’ve been seeing and thinking about)

1. A Joke. Some people say they’re ugly as a joke. And while I’m not trying to be that person who’s always so serious, I honestly don’t think calling other people or yourself ugly is a joke. Ugly is a hurtful, heavy word. You shouldn’t use it for others or for yourself.

2. Attention / Assurance. Some say they’re ugly for the attention. They want people to prove them wrong, to give them some positive feedback and attention because they’ve called themselves ugly.

3. Humble. Unfortunately, many people can’t/don’t know how to take a compliment, maybe because they feel like they don’t deserve the compliment being paid to them, or they’re just bashful. So instead of, or even along with, a “thank you,” there’s sometimes a “but…I’m actually [insert demeaning adjective or noun here].” When did we think that humbly receiving a compliment meant that we had to tear ourselves down to deny the positive thing someone said to us? Now, I’m not saying that every single time someone does this in particular, they are 100% serious; but the fact that they think it is a good way of being humble just doesn’t sit right with me.

And I’m not just pointing fingers at my friends/followers/other people. I’m pointing the finger at myself too; I am just as guilty of saying that “I am merely a bean!” to people who say that I look gorgeous or flawless. It’s just something we’ve got ingrained in us; I feel like we can’t handle how amazing we all are, so we have to tell ourselves that we actually aren’t that great compared to the entire population.

But every time I see or hear someone I know say something negative about themselves, I always try to combat it. Because, whether it’s a joke or not, everyone feels ugly at some point, and if they’re talking about it or bringing it up, I want to take the opportunity to assure them that they are definitely not whatever negative noun/adjective they said they are, but they surely are “wonderful,” “amazing,” “worthy,” “loveable,” etc.

Am I angry at the people who keep saying they’re ugly on social media or otherwise? No, of course, not. I tweeted today that I’d fight those people…

…but I mean that out of love. We all go through moments when we don’t feel pretty or handsome or good enough. Some go through these moments more than others. And I am so adamant about assuring people that they are beautiful and worthy, not because I’m trying to flatter them, or because I just want them to like me. I say those things – “You’re gorgeous,” “You’re flawless,” “You’re worth it, luvvy,” – because I truly believe it and mean it. Because I’ve had those moments when I didn’t feel beautiful, and wished someone would look at me, and sincerely tell me I was worthy, beautiful, enough.

I’ve seen way too many physically beautiful people say they’re physically unattractive. I’ve heard way too many people with beautiful personalities wish they were more physically attractive because they feel like their personalities don’t matter unless they are what the world defines as beautiful. There is not more stock in physically attractive people, or in personality attractive people. Both are equal, yet the world wants us to think otherwise.

I’m sorry that the world has established these standards of beauty that are unattainable for most of us. I’m sorry that we may feel unworthy because the person we like thinks someone else – someone who looks nothing like us – is attractive. I’m sorry that we think that taking a compliment means saying we’re actually the opposite of that compliment. I’m sorry that you not getting the attention of someone you love made you feel less than.

But oh, dear luvvy, you are so worthy.

Enough is enough. I stand for beauty of all types, shapes, sizes. No person on this earth is exactly alike, and that is the most beautiful thing about us as humans; as God’s creation. We are each created in His Image, His likeness. We have no idea what He physically looks like, but there are so many adjectives in the Bible that describe His character – good, faithful, wonderful, mighty, powerful, the list goes on. Now, we are not all-powerful, or all-good; we’re still humans who make mistakes, and we won’t ever be perfect in this life. But if we depend on the Lord, we are capable of being as faithful, wonderful, good as we can where He has placed us.

You probably saw this coming…those typical Bible verses that everyone brings out when talking about self-esteem, beauty, etc. Psalm 139:13-14. Maybe some of you didn’t see it coming / don’t know them, but even if you did, I’m still gonna drop them here:

“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” (ESV)

You, dear reader, are beautiful, unique, wonderful, enough because the God of all creation created you, a wonderful work, a masterpiece. And He longs for you to know this very well, and to praise Him for it.

I know it’s hard sometimes; listen, I have just as much a hard time as anyone convincing myself that I am good enough in this world, that I am beautiful enough to be considered worthy of loving, that I am unique enough to stand out from the crowd. We beat ourselves up, and we have no reason to.

Also, the problem is not in wanting to be assured of how amazing we are; the problem is us being unable to see how amazing we are. It’s okay to want that affirmation from people, and I pray that there are people in your life to assure you of your beauty and greatness. But sometimes outside affirmation isn’t enough; sometimes that one person you want to hear it from doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. And this is why we have to be okay with ourselves, no, more than okay with ourselves; we have to see ourselves as worthy masterpieces. Not to the point of being prideful, but to the point of being able to see the beauty in other people too.

And I pray and encourage us all to look in the mirror tonight, tomorrow morning, right now, and say, “I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am unique. I am loved. And so is everyone else I come in contact with, be it face-to-face, or over social media.”

Say this with me: “I am amazing. You are amazing. We are all amazing.”

Now say it, and believe it.

#MishyWrites

 

“The Cycle”

Yesterday, I was honestly in a funk. I had already had a mentally and emotionally rough week, and I think it all just peaked yesterday. As I've grown older, I've become more comfortable with who I am in all aspects, especially physically. But unfortunately, I still have those days – those days when I don't feel very beautiful, or when I don't feel like my personality is enough for people.

But I know that these thoughts are lies; I know that I am so much more than what I feel like sometimes. I am worth so much more than other people's opinions. Yet, I just hate that I still find myself in this cycle of being okay with myself, and then not being content with myself if something happens, or someone says something, or maybe just because I'm just not feeling who I am that day.

So, I just wrote a little something last night to reflect how I was feeling. I'm feeling better today, for sure. But I wish there was someway this mental, self-esteem cycle of mine could just stop, and I could be content with who I am all the time.

"The Cycle"

The cycle is treacherous.

I find myself confident, willing to see the beauty and value in myself for a good while. Able to understand that my worth and value don't lie in other people's opinions, other people's words. Who I am isn't based on the color of my skin, or the music I listen to.

It's based on the mere fact that I am part of the Lord's creation; a unique form to behold. And all that matters is He loves me unconditionally, no matter what happens or what I'm told.

But then as the cycle makes its course,
My esteem is emptied, wasted on caring too much about what others think of me,
Comparing myself to girls who look nothing like me, say things differently, listen to music or are a part of things that are more popular than what I am interested in.
The self I used to love becomes a self I now loathe,  and I can't bear to look myself in the mirror, and admit that I am beautiful.

It hurts too much.

The cycle must be broken – I'm over following this trend of constantly feeling great about myself, and then having something not go my way, or not hearing an affirmation I wanted someone to say, which causes my esteem to be at risk.
I'm tired of the negative, mental list I make about myself, all of it rooted in two words – "not enough."

Luvvy, that's a lie, and you know it.
The stuff you want to focus on is nothing but distractions wanting to chip away at the masterpiece you are. You're worth more than those empty declarations that want to crush you beneath those awful statements.
Break the chains of those harsh judgments that bind you to the cycle of loving then loathing then loving yourself. Be free to continue to love who you are, and who you're becoming. Why wait for someone to fall in love with you when one of the most beautiful things you can do is fall in love with yourself, and the Creator who made you?

Be free to believe these things – You are worthy. You are loved. You are enough. End of story. 💙

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 3 – Joy Beyond Circumstances

Today I Affirm…

"my circumstances can shape my joy – both good and bad. It's all about how I look at things. Through it all, I am blessed beyond measure." – Alex Elle

Words: "Beyond," "Circumstance," "Joy"

Ooo, this is a particularly good topic to write about, especially this week. Since Monday, this week has been sort of "bleh." I normally try to stay in a positive mood despite what's going on around me, and it's not that anything extremely negative has happened to cause me to be in a sort of funk, but I've just been feeling a little down this week. Work has been a little harder; we're in the last summer session before the school year starts, so we've added numbers to classes, and teachers are trying to prepare for the transition into the school year. Meanwhile, I need to prepare for the transition from a floater to a teacher, something I'm a little intimidated about.

There are other smaller things in my life I'm unhappy with, but seeing those things in comparison to the big picture of where my life is right now, I question why there isn't more joy in my heart right now. Because despite the hard week, God has been opening doors I didn't think would ever open. He's proven Himself faithful in little things time and time again, and I have to remind myself that, even though my circumstances aren't where I want them to be right now, I don't have to sulk about it, or just accept that things are crappy. My hope and joy are found in the Lord, and He knows and sympathizes with where I am.

Some questions Alex Elle asked about this subject are…

How are you preparing for joy?

When I think of "preparing for joy," I think of the moments in which I am sitting alone in my room or in my car, about to face something or someone, or even about to work on the things I love, and I have to tell myself that, no matter what happens – good or bad – I have to remember to be joyful in the moment. Easier said than done, but that's what I have to do.

I don't think there are other steps I take in order to prepare for joy, but I feel like there needs to be more. Simply telling myself that doesn't mean I'll actually have joy when things don't go as I planned for them to. When I used to live on Tybee, I had all of these Bible verses and encouraging quotes on my wall, and I think picking one of those and physically having it with me as I go throughout my day to look at could help me to choose joy more often than not. That's also why memorizing Scripture is important too.

What is stopping you from going above and beyond?

Fear and worry are two things that come to mind. They always go hand-in-hand; I'm afraid something won't happen the way I want it to, so I end up worrying myself over it instead of taking action if it needs to be done.

Dwelling on my circumstances is another thing that stops me from embracing joy. I want to be able to use my negative situations to confirm that I can be a certain way, or get out of doing things I should be doing.

In what ways can you learn from your circumstance(s)?

Instead of seeing the negative aspects of a negative situation, I can focus on the positive things that are coming out of where I am. Sure, I may be tired from my job, but hey, I have a job, and some people struggle every day to find one. And my job is truly one of the best I've had because of who I work with and what we do.

In other ways, if I'm able to trace back a lesson through a past circumstance, I can take that and remind myself that there are always new things to be learned from all situations, and I can try to see how I can learn and grow within the current circumstance I'm in.

Wanting to have joy beyond circumstances is an easy idea to say and to want to execute, but actually having to do it takes a lot of effort. And I thank God that He is with me every step of the way to help me slow down or pause, and look at my situations with a positive and big-picture perspective. And I'm also thankful that, when I cannot find any way to have hope or joy, He is there willing to strengthen me, wanting me to rest in His joy.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 2 – Hurt to Heal to Grow

Today I Affirm:

"being hurt will not stop me from healing and moving forward." – Alex Elle

Words: "Hurt," "Healing," "Forward"

The other day, I thought about some recent hurts that occurred in my life, and how, if I hadn't gone through those things, I'd be a completely different person in a completely different place right now.

Truly, I am only the writer I am today because of a deep hurt that happened to me a little over a year ago; it pained me so much that it caused me to have to look for other things to focus on instead of aching day after day over the situation. I chose my writing as that outlet. And since then, God has been faithful in showing me that, as long as I continue to focus on Him despite the hurts that happen in my life, so much good can come out of it.

Now, do I wish more hurting situations upon myself? Well, my initial answer would be "no." It's never fun to be hurt. I remember the days when I was still wallowing in my pain, unable to think about anything or anyone else. I knew it wasn't healthy for me; I asked God to take away the pain, but also told Him that if He needed to teach me something through this, that I longed to learn from Him. Looking back a year later at how I was feeling then, and where I am now, it all makes sense.

In Alex Elle's email, she states that "The hard part was choosing to heal. The tricky part was facing my hurt and intentionally deciding that it would not win." And I completely agree with that. It's too easy to feel sorry for yourself, especially if a wrong was done to you. You feel like you have permission to then be sad and mad as much as for as long as you want. Now, it's okay to feel sad and mad at a situation; however, it isn't okay to stay there.

There has to be a conscious decision of hurt to heal to grow. Acknowledge that, yes, I was hurt. But I am going to allow myself to heal from this hurt, and through the healing, I will grow and learn about myself more than I could have had the hurt not occurred.

Some questions Elle asked in the email were…

How will you grow?

I think for right now, I'm growing when it comes to my time and my writing. Although there are consistent factors to my schedule, there's always something new being added during the day – a hangout with a friend, a recording session, a phone call, a grocery run. So, I'm still trying to learn how to manage the time I do have within my day.

For writing, I think I'm always trying new things. I did like a month or month-and-a-half of fiction writing after not touching that genre in years just so I could step away from my spoken word for a bit. And as I continue to write more-so in spoken word, I'm learning my own groove and pace in the written and spoken aspects of my writing.

Of course, there are other things I'm growing in, such as cooking actual meals from scratch instead of using a box or can (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just felt like now was the time to break out of my shell) and taking care of my body physically by going to the gym and watching what I eat and how much water I drink. And spiritually, I'm constantly learning; I'm in need of so much grace, and God has been so gracious to me as I fumble through this life. I'm humbled that He's still willing to teach me.

What are your steps to healing?

I don't think I've ever thought about the steps of healing, even though I know it's a process.

My initial reaction to healing is seeing what the Word says about it, even if there is no direct answer to the situation I'm healing from, there is always some sort of comfort or encouragement in the Bible somewhere. From there, I think on what exactly I need to do to make the appropriate steps in my healing process – it could mean reaching out to people I trust and asking them for help, or it could mean spending more time alone to process things. It could be taking a break from things I'm used to doing, and delving into new activities.

So, in that way, I know there are steps that need to be taken, but I feel like those steps change depending on the circumstances.

As Elle said, healing is hard; I know I would rather complain about my situation than choose to grow from it. And even after choosing to heal and grow from a hurt, the process isn't easy, and it isn't short. But I definitely believe it is worth it.

Turning to God, and asking Him to heal me, I didn't know what I was getting myself into – weeks that turned into months of constantly questioning the place I was in, only to come back to the conclusion that I didn't have to know the answer but simply trust that He knew what He was doing. I didn't think my pain would turn me into this – a writer, a spoken-word artist, a creator/leader of a writing community.

It's humbling, and I'm extremely grateful

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Remembering the Roots (write on, pt. 3)

Recently, someone I follow on Instagram posted on their story that they were getting back to blogging, and I asked them what their blog link was. After telling me, they expressed how healing blogging could be, and that statement made me pause and think about whether blogging was actually healing for me, or whether I saw it more as a duty I had to accomplish.

Honestly, I can tell you I’ve felt both. But the healing aspects of blogging have totally outweighed the “have-to” feelings.

I tweeted / Snapchatted / InstaStoried this last night, but I’ve been missing daily blogging. So much so that I’m trying to get back to blogging every day – to get back to the roots of how this whole process began. To those who don’t know how the whole #JustStartWriting and daily blogging began, I won’t go into full detail about it until everything is updated on June 21st.

But just know that this has been a cornerstone, a foundation of this whole process. And even though I’ve been busy with other creative endeavors and have felt the need to leave this behind, I know in my heart I just can’t. It doesn’t feel right to me to not write on here every day (except for Sundays, that is).

And even though I’ve gone weeks and sometimes almost months without typing a word here, know that each time I was absent on the blog, there was a little bit of guilt that settled within my soul. I always felt like a piece of me was missing. And even though I may have stopped blogging in obedience to where God was leading me, it didn’t make the absence of daily blogging hurt any less. Even though I knew what I was doing was right, I longed to have my fingers back on my laptop keyboard. I ached to pour my thoughts out to you all here in this little space of mine.

All this to say – it’s important to not forget where you came from, where you started.

When I was in college, sure, I was changing into someone new, becoming more of who I am today, changing some habits I had had in high school. But a major part of me was still the same; I didn’t forget what my parents taught me, what they instilled within me for the first seventeen years of my life. And those same things are still with me as I’ve completed a full year of adulthood, and am entering year number two.

The roots of your journey – be it the journey of a project, your talent, a career, or your life – are vital to the current work you’re doing now. Don’t forget them. Hold them close.

I thank God for providing this platform for me, for giving me the wisdom and patience to be able to write to you all on here every day. Without Him it would be impossible, and I am reminded of how dependent I am upon Him, and how much He has inspired this process every day.

And until the Lord has told me otherwise, I will continue to be here. I will continue to write on.

#MishyWrites #JustStartWriting

💙 Mishy 🦋

She is Home.

She walked along the shore, searching for shark teeth among the remnants of shells that had made their home in the wet sand. Occasionally, she would bend down to get a better look, to pick up what she thought would be a shark tooth, to dig her fingers through the sand.

She was home. 

She would stand at the edge of the shore, and squint at the sun reflecting off of the ocean. How she could have taken this place for granted, she didn’t know.

But now – now she was fully present. Fully aware of how much this place provided a sowing ground for her to truly grow into who she was right then. What was it that someone once said? A seed must grow through dirt in order to become a beautiful flower? 

So it was with her. 

The memories of this place weren’t all difficult or stressful; there were definitely days in which she smiled her brightest smile, days in which she would ride around the island, and realize the beauty that the Lord had created. Days in which she acknowledged the blessing it was to be living a long-time dream of her childhood.

 Yet there were the hard times, and she couldn’t deny it; times when she would find herself questioning why she had to go through things, why some things that were given had to be taken away, why there wasn’t an easier solution that could ease the pain she constantly carried with her.

There were so many times she thought she’d moved on, when really, the pride of this thought only caused her to turn a blind eye to the worries that choked her into silence. Or so it thought.

Now. She is back. She is home. And she understands.

She looks back at those times, and sees the Lord’s hand in it, and she is on her knees thanking God for it all – even for the pain – and praying that He continues to lead her.

Because even though He has given her this sweet time – this time to return to a place so pivotal in her journey – she knows that it isn’t over. This hilltop experience will not last long, and she is asking for the patience, the strength, and the courage to continue on. 

But for now…she is home. She is well, and at peace. All the things she’d been holding onto have now been released. 

Thank You, Jesus.

#JustStartWriting

💙 Mishy 🦋

a writer’s fears / thoughts / prayers.

Lately, I’ve been having this fear in the back of my mind that I’ll run out of stuff to write about.

You may be thinking, “That’s impossible! If you’re living life, there’s no way you can run out of stuff to write.”

True, but I guess along with this fear of mine is another fear that I’ll lose inspiration and insight to the world around me. That I won’t be able to write as eloquently about the things going on, the people I meet, the emotions I feel, or anything that the Lord has placed on my heart to say.

I can’t see what’s in front of me.
Still I will trust You.
Still I will trust You.

Currently, I’m praying for guidance and peace. For God to just steady me as I work on the details of the plans I want to go through with. Lately, when I sit down to write sometimes, or even during the day when I think about having to write later, I grow sick because I’m scared that I’ve lost it. I’m afraid that the words I’m typing or writing just don’t make sense, don’t mean anything, don’t matter to anyone.

I’m trying to go back to the days when I wrote simply for myself. I guess I always knew I had an audience, but that never really mattered to me until now. Now that I’m more concerned about who’s reading, it’s hard for me to write.

No, I can’t see what’s in front of me.
Still I will trust You.
Still I will trust You.

Even as I write this now, I’m not sure if there’s anyone who can connect with me on this. Have you ever been afraid to do what you love because you weren’t sure how it would be received? All I want to do is write what I feel, write the Truth in comparison to it all, and have someone connect with it, some way, somehow.

Steady heart that keeps on going , steady Love that keeps on hoping,
Lead me on.
Steady Grace that keeps forgiving, steady faith that keeps believing,
Lead me on.

Despite all the thinking and planning I’ve been doing, I find it hard to pray. I do anyway because I know that without prayer, without consulting my Heavenly Father about my plans and thoughts, they are meaningless. They aren’t even worth pursuing if I haven’t considered the most important factor in all of this. And as I pray, I am so fearful; I feel like my faith is wavering. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but because I’m still human, I had hoped that maybe God would just make this a little easier for me.

But following Him isn’t easy. He never promised it would be.

Though the sky is dark, and the wind is wild,
You’ll never leave me.
You’ll never leave me.

And even though initially I felt that as I wrote this, it didn’t even make sense to me, God is gracious enough to allow it now to make a little sense. I need to write this; I needed to feel this. I needed to feel needy; I needed to need Him.

Though the night is long, there is a coming dawn,
The Light is breaking.
The Light is breaking.

Even in the moments when I feel like I’m out of control, like I can’t do this writing thing anymore, like I’m all out of emotions, words, inspiration, God somehow always comes through for me. It may not be in the way I expect it, or even want it.

Steady heart that keeps on going, steady Love that keeps on hoping,
Lead me on.
Steady Grace that keeps forgiving, steady faith that keeps believing,
Lead me on.

But I know that I just need to trust Him.

I need follow Him.

Allow Him to lead my heart, mind, soul;

Allow Him to guide my hand, pen, fingers, words.

And as the dawn breaks,
And the clouds clear,
In an open space,
Together we will run.

*text in bold and italics are from the song “Steady Heart (feat. Amanda Cook)” by Steffany Gretzinger

#JustStartWriting

💙 Mishy 🦋