I can’t remember if I talked about being enough here on the blog or over at Bedlam Magazine in one of my articles, but I’m sure I’ve touched on it several times in both places. Since I’ve become a wife and a mom, which didn’t replace the other roles I play but just added to them, I’ve struggled deep and hard over believing that I am enough. I’ve struggled for so long to equate how much I get done with how worthy I am of love. My pastor said something in his sermon on Sunday that reminded me of old Megan; he mentioned how he noticed a correlation between abuse counseling and needing to volunteer/serve for every event or opportunity. I don’t doubt that correlation at all (not that it’s true 100% of the time), but it sure was for me. As I thought back on how much I used to try to accomplish so that people would just accept me, I cringed with sadness. You know how you have to sometimes mourn your old self sometimes? It’s not like we change, and all of those things just disappear from our bones and memories. I think that’s a good thing though, because they can serve as caution signs to what we are capable of falling back into and remind us of the grace we’ve been afforded.
I know my capacity for slowly setting my wrists back into those shackles, because I still do it from time to time. Thankfully, it makes me stress out so quickly that I am able to recognize it faster; nonetheless, it still happens. I think the thing that finally struck me hard enough to start practically implementing the truth that I am enough because I was created and am loved by God, was an image I woke up to on Facebook last September from Jon Acuff. The image said, “It will be a great day when you accomplish nothing and still believe you’re worth something.” I don’t know why, but it was that image that started the idea that I need this truth to be in front of my eyes, every day. I need to be reminded EVERY SINGLE DAY that I AM ENOUGH.
I started with my lists. You know, the lists you make all day and all week, reminding you of what you need to get done? The ones that tend to overwhelm you more than help you? I mean, maybe they work for you. And I know they are important for people with brains like mine that just aren’t capable of remembering stuff unless it’s written down. But just writing it down in list form wasn’t working for me. They were sufficient when I was able to cross stuff out. But, on the days where I found myself exhausted or overwhelmed for whatever reason, I’d glance over at my list with the daunting tasks that hadn’t been slashed with ink and feel like a completely failure. Which would then cause me to stop making lists, which led to forgetting to do things, and… you get the point. Hardy helpings of self sabotage.
I knew I didn’t want to eliminate making lists completely, but I wanted to change the way I did them. I wanted them to show me what I’d already accomplished, how I felt and what I had left to do. I wanted them to reflect this newfound belief that I’m enough, regardless of what I did or didn’t do while still practically helping me get through the day on task. So on a Tuesday (which is basically my Monday) I sat down at noon with a notepad from TJMAXX that had three sections on it, and first wrote down everything I had done so far. I then would write a sentence or two underneath about how I felt, and then usually wrote with it, “But I’m still enough.” The example below doesn’t have that part on there (which is dumb of me), but you get the point. I then would write down the rest of the stuff I wanted to accomplish that day, and then in the long section of the notepad, I’d write out what I wanted to do over the next week.
I did this for a while, and started noticing change. Like, A BIG change. I started to believe that I was enough in the everyday, ordinary life ways. It felt good to acknowledge what I’d already finished by lunch, and how I felt about the day so far. Some days, I felt really good, and somedays (like the day above), I didn’t feel so great. BUT, allowing myself to write it down and accept it actually helped me get over it easier and finish the rest of my list. From what I’ve discovered, it seems as though the practice of getting whatever is in your head and heart OUT of your head and heart and in front of you, frees you up enough from staying there. You can then choose to move forward, even if the yuck feeling doesn’t go away, because you’re no longer bound to it inside. And even, if by the end of the day, all you’ve done is get out of bed… you’re still enough, and you’re still alive.
A few months ago, I decided to design my own official list templates that were made specific for this new practice of mine. I wanted it to be simple, nice to look at and have lots of space. I also didn’t want to leave possibility for me to stop writing “I Am Enough”, so I implemented it into the design. I only make lists on weekdays, so I print out 5 of the “What I’ve Accomplished So Far/ What I’d Like to Finish Today” sheets, and 1 of the “This Week’s Stuff” sheets every week. You guys- this really works for me. I never thought I’d see this day, but I have and it is splendid.
I’d love to share these templates with you, completely free of charge! Below are the pdf files that you are more than welcome to download and use.
If you’re into a more formal template for lists and planning but also want an outlet for the rest of your brain activity, I would STRONGLY recommend my friend Corie’s Purposeful Planner™. It’s a gorgeous planner with so much more than just spots to write your tasks. It’s got quotes, a section to dump your thoughts, what you want to make for dinner, a place to tally how much water you’ve had to drink, etc. It’s beautifully designed and made from the heart of an incredible person who has a desire to help other’s lives become more simple and meaningful. Definitely check it out! This is what it looks like below.
She’s got a few designs to pick from, along with the option of a daily planner or a monthly weekly planner.
So, what practical ways do you remind yourself of the truth on a daily basis?