when you don’t feel like you’re enough

I have this awesome opportunity as a teacher to mentor girls as they grow, change, and become women. One amazing opportunity this year has been hosting an intern, senior Caroline Chastain, who is inspired to become someone who changes the world (and she will, I promise you – she’s pretty amazing).

She’s worked with me at retreats, attended my discipleship group, mentored younger girls in her youth group and at school, and she is learning what it is she wants to do with her life after she graduates this year. Whew – a big decision to make for anyone.

One of her “tasks” as my intern was to create a video about the way girls see themselves in our society and write an accompanying blog post. Her insights are raw, real, and relevant – and they touch upon what girls are really dealing with right now.

Please read her thoughts, share this post, and watch the video. It is an eye opening, honest look into the world of girls, and it will inspire you to let go of your own ideas of what worth and value should be based upon.

I doubt any of us can sit here and claim that we haven’t scrolled through Instagram or Facebook in the past week. I also doubt that any of us can sit here and claim that as a result of our scrolling we didn’t think, “Wow, her hair is so pretty, why does mine have to be so curly/straight” or “Gosh, why isn’t my skin that smooth?”

Truth is, we are living in a time when as humans we are never satisfied—we always need the next best thing. The best phone. The best house. The best car. The best clothes. More, more, more. Nothing is ever enough!! By always wanting the next best thing we will never have what we need in the moment. Our lives will be a continuous cycle of anticipation. We will never live our lives in the present. If you are never satisfied with these external things, then you can never learn to be accepting of all that you are, internally. However, I am here, simply a 17 year old girl, to remind you that YOU are enough.

I am not sitting here telling you that it is time to start wearing sweats and no makeup each day. I am a lover of all things fashion. But I have chosen to wear what I love and what I feel comfortable in. I have decided that I can’t live my life in an effort to impress others. With that said, I don’t leave the house in skin tight clothing just because my Instagram feed tells me that that is what everyone is wearing. No, I wear long flowy shirts each day, because that is what I, Caroline Chastain, love to wear.

The challenge starts here. Delete your Instagram. If that is the source of your obsession, it must go. Delete Facebook. Get rid of your “stylish” clothes that you don’t feel great in. For me, it’s makeup. I never leave the house without it. I decided recently that it is my time to stop putting on a mask and accept myself in the skin I’ve been given. Again, I’ll be the first to admit that makeup is fun, so I’m not suggesting giving it up. But I encourage you to take the challenge with me of going one day a week without it. Trust me, it’s hard at first. You get scared every time you look in the mirror. But my hope for me and you is that eventually we can look in the mirror on our days off of makeup and love what we see. Because we are MORE than enough.

It takes practice to form a habit. You can’t, and you won’t, begin to love yourself in a day. I am still working on that confidence and self-acceptance I need when I go one day of the week without makeup. But eventually I will love who I am without coverage. I will forget that I left the house without it. I will be satisfied in my own skin. You are not obnoxious just because the person next to you is quiet. You are you. And that is enough. You are not ugly just because you have red bumps on your face. You are you. And that is enough.

The alcoholic didn’t develop an addiction from one drink. Their addiction came from feeding his obsession. So stop being obsessed with how you appear to others and appreciate what you have, right here, right now. If you are always comparing yourself to other people, then you will never be enough. If you were to be stripped of everything, all you would have left is yourself. So why not learn to love YOU, because that is really all that you have.

You are not enough because you tell yourself that you are, you are enough because that is just how it is. You are here. You are now. You are you, and that is enough. It is time to starve your addiction of wanting more and learn to be satisfied with the “you” you were created to be.

-Caroline Chastain

Please feel free to comment below – add your own thoughts to the conversation. Remember, your looks, your clothing, your grades, your accomplishments – they do not determine your worth. You are enough just the way you are. Let’s fight for our girls – read about it here.