Thursday, June 25, 2015

Note to Self:

The clock's neon-blue numbers flashed in the dark: 10:39...11:20 (Good grief, wasn't it at least 1:20?)...12:41...and so on, and so on, ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Sometime during my restless night, I reached for my phone, and lit up the room with its backlight, looking for something to read. The first thing I saw was this from my little brother Eric on Facebook:

Credit given to Dion Vincent's Facebook page

It not only gave me something to read, but something to think about all night. I hadn't noticed Eric's two words, and was so curious as to what he would write. Each time I woke up, I tried to distill my words to my younger self to just two words. 

In the past, I've written LETTERS to myself. That's a lot easier for this blogger to do, as you can see. Words? I've got hundreds. Limit me to two, and I want to explore all of the possibilities. 

When the night was finally over, I picked up my phone to write a response to Eric, and that is when I noticed his two words: BE YOURSELF. That is pure Eric. By my estimation, that has been his battle cry all of his life. 

Eric did things HIS WAY, all the time. He didn't do things to please our parents, unless it pleased him first. He didn't dress like everyone else, but he did pay homage to his hero, Robin Williams by wearing Mork from Ork-styled rainbow suspenders in high school. Not everyone can pull off that look. Eric could. Eric has been my hero in the "Be Yourself" department. 

Those words are perfect for most teens and young adults who nearly kill themselves trying to fit in, and find a place to belong. I wish Eric had written his note to MY younger self. It has taken me years to know who I am and what I like. Great advice. I wish I'd thought of it sooner.

So, this topic was what we discussed before Chuck left for work during his breakfast. I'd had all night to think about my choices, but given his limited amount of think time, I was impressed with Chuck's thoughts. Pretty quickly, he came up with, "Apple Stock." That's Chuck. Mr. Wit.

His other two thoughts were: "Push on," and "Wait patiently." He is an encourager, even for himself.

What did I come up with? It was so hard for me to keep it to two words. As you can see, this struggle is real. Verbosity is one of my questionable strengths.

"Slow down" would have been good advice. I've always been in a hurry, and it hasn't helped anything. 

"Don't judge" is something I remind myself constantly. I keep myself in check with this motto because I realize what other people say and do is absolutely none of my business. We're just here to love and support others along their journey.

"Speak up" is the theme of my most recent letter to myself. I've always been afraid of hard conversations, and have rarely exposed my deepest thoughts to anyone. I am learning that these talks are always worth having, but it has taken me all of my life to understand that what I think does matter, and as long as I present my point of view from a place of peace, and try to say what I have to say to create better understanding, my words are worth saying.

"Don't settle" would have saved me a lot of heartache. I have a whole blog post on that topic! (Note to self: write about that later!)

I think the two words that would have helped me the most, though, are these:


Those words soothe me like no others. I never believed in myself. Not understanding that I was good enough just the way I was made me make poor choices. I rushed things. I settled. I caved. I gave in on important issues. I judged others because I judged myself so harshly. I didn't believe my thoughts mattered. 

It took two failed marriages, losing my dad, and giving up my beloved dog to make me see that even when I'm stripped down to my barest self, and feel that I'm hanging on by a thread, I am enough. 

I faced my biggest fears these last couple of years, and I have come to realize that I am enough. I make mistakes, and I own them. I fall short, and I keep trying. I am going to be okay.

Until recently, I struggled with self-confidence. It has taken most of my life to finally believe that I am enough. Those words are so powerful, and I try to share them with those closest to me, often.

When our pastor shared those words in a recent sermon, I wept. When my husband takes me in my arms, and tells me I am perfect, just as I am; I am more than enough, I feel such a sense of relief.

I am a woman on a mission. I don't want anyone else to ever doubt that they are enough. 

I want my husband to know: You're enough. 

I want my children to know: You're enough. 

I want my parents to know: You're enough. 

I want my siblings to know: You're enough. 

I want my friends to know: You're enough. 

And I want you to know: You're enough.

We are enough, y'all. 

Let's help each other remember. 


What about you? What two words would you write to your younger self? I hope you'll take a moment to leave your advice here, or on Facebook, for us to see. There's a lot of wisdom in your older self that your younger self only wishes you'd known back then. 

For more words of encouragement on this topic, see:



  1. I really needed to read these two words and all of those surrounding it. I'll be pondering my two word letter for awhile. Beautifully said, D.

    1. I am not sure I replied to your blogment in the right place. You have been with me through most of my blogging journey. Thank you so much for your support. Thank you, Melinda.

  2. You are enough, Melinda. And I can't wait to hear what words you choose.

  3. Denise, this is one of your very best posts. Thank you.

    1. Crystal, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I appreciate the time you take to leave comments. I sure hope we get to meet one day.

  4. Love this post. What a challenge! I'll need to think about this. Especially in this season of redefining myself. Great post.

    1. Rebecca, thank you. I look forward to hearing what you chose. Are we always redefining ourselves? It seems like I have been doing that for so very long; I don't remember ever thinking "I have arrived."

  5. I think I needed to hear "Good Job." And even now it's been pointed out to me that I will zero in on how the meal could have been better, the meat less dry, or I could have somehow done something to move it higher on the scale of 1-10. So because I lived in a house where my mom thought praising us would give us a big head. I actually had a conversation with her about it, I hungered for those words. Those words became a driving force in me. I would give things all I had, but deep inside it was so I could finally feel like I had done a good job. And you know what? I believe it.

    1. Your choice of words is one many children can relate to. We all want to feel accepted and appreciated. I hope you hear Good Job now, especially from yourself to yourself!

  6. Somehow I missed this in July, so I am glad Crystal referred to this on her blog today. Great reminder, and one I needed at this moment. I think my two words would be "Say Yes!"


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