As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of my current reads is The Resolution for Women, written by Priscilla Shirer. One of the topics that I recently read revolved around self-esteem and how we perceive ourselves as women. Many of us–let’s say the majority of us–struggle so much with understanding our self-worth and viewing ourselves the way He views us–as prized possessions that are invaluable. I reflected on this topic and realized that even with the utmost level of confidence, I too am guilty of failing to love myself how He loves me and believing that just by simply being me, I am enough.
There’s so much pressure placed on us these days to be “it”–whatever “it” is. We’re supposed to be strong and assertive, yet passive and dainty. We’re supposed to have careers and be independent, yet be able to raise 3 kids, a dog, and let’s be honest…a husband too! As a single black woman living with a disability, I feel the utmost pressure to be able to handle all that life throws at me on my own. I should be able to work 50+ hours without a problem. I should be able to come home after a 12-hour work day and make dinner. I should be able to clean up dinner, straighten up the house, and walk the dog. Really? I mean really? Even though there isn’t a single person setting this expectation for me, I feel like it’s self-spoken. There’s this simple idea that if you’re unable to handle it all, you’re weak.
As strong as we women are, I think we all suffer the risk of burning out when we work our hardest to be “it”–especially women with Lupus. To the world, you are 100% capable of meeting all expectations. You confidently walk into a room and shut things down! You lovingly provide guidance to those closest to you in your life. You willingly give of your time to serve others. You tirelessly make all efforts to present yourself as an image of what the world around you deems as beautiful. And through it all, your interior pains, writhes, and yearns for reprieve. When is enough…enough?
I’ve spent my entire life struggling with feeling like I was wasn’t enough. I always had to get the highest grades in school–I literally would break down in tears if I received an A on an assignment, as opposed to an A+. I had to be the best daughter–God forbid I do anything to upset her…the world would end. I had to be the best role model for my brothers–with the absence of a father, they needed me to help guide them to success. I had to be the best teacher–my students have to be the best that they can be and I have to get them there. I had to be an image of beauty–wigs, heels, and make-up will give me what I need to be taken seriously as a black girl trying to make it in America.
I am finally beginning to see that while all of these extras are nice, Joe, just Joe, in all of my glory, is enough! It’s enough that I tried my best and received the grade that I deserved. It’s enough that I make all efforts to make my mother proud, but have slip-ups every so often. We work through them together and ultimately strengthen our relationship! It’s enough that my brothers see my flaws–they will learn to appreciate similar ones in their wives to be. It’s enough that my student grew one reading level instead of two–let’s celebrate growth man! And yes, it’s enough for me to walk outside without make-up, my hair undone, dark spots and stretch marks visible–bare for all to see.
Just like me, you are enough! You are uniquely and wonderfully made–created in his image to do amazing things! You are a workmanship who is experiencing your own beautiful season–intentionally being molded into an even better you! Embrace yourself knowing that you don’t have to be “it”– you, just you, in all of your glory, are enough!
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If you know anyone suffering with Lupus and/or any other “Invisible Disease”, please feel free to share with them directly!