I was recently invited to a local gathering for business women. I admit I was a little intimated to go, unsure of what to expect, yet eager to meet other women passionate about what they do. We all need the encouraging friendships, am I right?!
I knew if I went I would be meeting new friends, something that has always been a little challenging for me, but I didn’t want to show up fearful or timid. I put my game face on, ready to shake hands and smile, a lot. What I didn’t expect was the surprise encounter waiting for me there.
I met a girl I thought I had always known…
One of the speakers, Layla, spent about 10 minutes inspiring the small group of women with her beautiful words…words that struck me to the core of who I am. The topic was on communication, but more specifically, the conversations we have with ourselves.
She began by asking what kinds of things we tell ourselves waking up in the morning, facing the day:
I don’t know how…
I didn’t hesitate to blurt out: “I don’t want to…” (I am still clearly working on my laziness!)
Layla kindly responded by pointing out that all of our comments, the things we are speaking to ourselves were all negative. With conversations like that we set ourselves up for feeling incapable and worthless. Then she went on to explain how we self-fulfill what we speak. She shared personal testimonies of her battle with depression and weight issues starting with the conversations she had with herself.
Amidst her unveiling, her eyes got watery as she insisted that we change what we say, that our words matter and are powerful. She spoke words of life for us to hear and receive. As she looked around the room she made eye contact with each of us and repeated three times:
You’re enough. You’re enough. You’re enough.
To show us the significance of the power of our words, but more so compelled and propelled by faith she insisted through choked up emotion, words she knew she needed to receive daily too:
It was an awe moment. My heart was gripped in a meaningful way. Words every women needs to hear and tell herself every single day.
We need to change the tone of our conversations with ourselves, we need to be saying positive things like:
I know who I am…
I choose to be present…
I can do this…
It was at this point I met her. Although I see her every day in reflections or witness her hands twist and turn while she works away, I never stop to encourage her, affirm her, recharge her. I justify my negligence in the name of making her stronger, yet she ends up all the more weaker and faint of heart. I leave her in despair to worry about others, to do as much as I can in a day. I avoid her feelings, I push them aside thinking I am doing her a favor. When she just needs a moment of my time, to consider this life and the purpose she has been given, to appreciate her talent and remind her of her value, to point her to Jesus in every circumstance. To reassure her, I mean me, that… I can do this. I need to communicate with me. This is important.
I have been neglecting myself. Maybe I have never been taught to tend to my needs and speak words of life to my heart. Maybe I confused that with selfishness. But it is definitely not selfish. We need to be able to love ourselves. How I treat myself is critical to how I operate and how I love others. I need to stop avoiding me.
Layla continued to talk as I had this small encounter with myself. As much as I had already been encouraged, she shared even more that inspired my heart. She told each of us, business and busy women, to be aware of our personal capacity to accomplish things. We should not be unrealistic in our expectations of how much we can actually do. Otherwise, we will never feel satisfied or accomplished.
Expectations are premeditative resentments – Layla
I am so glad she repeated this one for us. I wrote it down as quickly as I could. We need to understand that our high expectations, you know the ones that dictate whether our day is going great or horrible, can be very dangerous to cling to. It is one thing to be hopeful and aware of goals, and another to consistently set yourself up for failure by placing expectations on life. If left unmet, you will find a seed of resent growing where disappointment has set in.
Among the encouraging words from Layla reminding us to speak words of life to ourselves and being aware of expectations, she also shared a few tips that can improve your overall health each day, including:
– Post the positive, rewrite your life. Leave notes around your home, car, or office. Words of life that will lift you up! Words that eventually you will fulfill about yourself!
– Eat healthy food. Avoid processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies! Food is fuel for your mind and body, so if you want to feel energized be aware of what you eat!
– Set boundaries. Check e-mail only once or twice a day, don’t aimlessly scroll through social media or be appropriate about choosing a time to do so, schedule your time to work and stick to that schedule.
– Get adequate rest. Charge your phone and other electronics in another room to get a fitful rest.
– You don’t always have to be available to others. Set boundaries clearly and communicate them to others. You train people on how to treat you by how you respond to them.
– Be present, wherever you are. Whether you are with your husband, your children, co-workers, or near strangers, be aware of your surroundings and who is present. Let others know you care and are willing to invest into their lives. Also, embrace every moment, soak up the scenery and the love of those around you.
I really hope this small article impacts you in great ways! I am praying God uses what I have shared to inspire you to regain control in your life and to grasp the value of speaking positive words into your life.