Unapologetically Proud, a slice of truth to squash doubt.

I’m so sick of trying to stay small. 


Small in my opinions, small in the sharing of emotions, small in hiding the tiny wins for fear of judgment.  I’m so sick of the world applauding us for remaining small. 


How many moments in a single day are you truly proud of yourself? And out of those occurrences how often do you actually publicly share those accomplishments? I’m not saying blast it on social media; I’m saying maybe bring it home to your significant other and share the good news.


After each win do you secretly think “Ok, now how can I do more?”


How about this: how often do you begin a sentence with, “I don’t mean to brag but..” 


When is the last time you unapologetically praised yourself for doing well?


I’m guilty, you’re guilty, we are ALL guilty of this. What is it about this society that leads us to believe we need to preemptively brace someone before delivering a self-compliment? We dish compliments all day long, to our children, our spouse, our friends, so where is the disconnect? I’m quick to compliment, and I mean genuinely compliment those I love, but I stagger to even think of one kind adjective to throw my way.


I have numerous insanely accomplished, spiritually rooted, strong women in my life. And to be truthful, very few of them express self-love or simple pride in their daily lives. A small voice in the back of our minds are forcing us to mute the “bragging,” or contain the “gloating.” The same goes for our guttural morality battles that we so desperately want to speak out about. I’m talking social issues, political conversations, and biblical missteps.


The funny thing is, the older we get, the less cheerleaders we have. Not to say this is a negative thing, it’s just part of aging. Self-assurance has to claim roots deep within us, because quite frankly our expectations of others must be lowered. 


Some of the strongest women I know have seen death, experienced infidelity, infertility, abandonment, depression, and self-doubt. I’ve seen these women claw their way out of the darkest of times. Once they’ve grasped the light, it’s like nothing happened at all. Where’s the self-love, where’s the pat on the back? I’d love the reflection in the mirror to speak back to them and simply proclaim pride. Because, damn I’m proud of them.


I pray we no longer shrink back into the routine of remaining small, but rather, let us broadcast the heartache, the struggle, and the mountains we climbed. Through those struggles praise Jesus, broadcast his goodness. We truly connect with others through our brokenness; our struggles bond us. So, can we put the bullshit aside and air out the bad decisions. Let us then layer it with the truly sweet accomplishments we are so pleased with. Following that, I want to see us sprinkle unapologetic personal praise all over ourselves. Drown out the things we did wrong, give those wrongdoings zero ammunition, and hang tight to the goodness. Leave the baggage at the alter for goodness sake.


A truly wise friend once expressed, “Ladies, it’s absolutely OK to take up space.” (ehhem.. Elizabeth Felps) This rings true on so many levels. Relish in taking up MORE space. Ladies, please speak louder, buy the bigger pants, tell the world how incredible your homemade sourdough bread turned out. Our opinions do NOT need to be aligned, in fact they can be down-right polar opposite. The beauty of our nation is our freedom to stand on polar opposing platforms while never extracting the nails out from under another’s podium. 


Stop apologizing before expressing the most beautiful God given gifts you possess. Stop apologizing for voicing your morals, your beliefs, and your goodness. It’s a knee jerk reaction to diminish our accomplishments, or silence our opinions for fear of offending a friend. I sit here truly praying for nothing but self-love and self-confidence for all of you. Please, please, vocalize the things that matter to you. After all, we are made in God’s image. God makes no mistakes and he knows exactly why he put you on this earth. Speak up.


So friends, this is my letter of adoration to you. You are allowed to love yourself, even if it is for one single moment of your day. You are permitted to share with the world how incredible you are. Jesus sees it, and it is so, so good. This is your signed permission slip to speak up when you think something is wrong, or good, or horrific, or incredible.  No matter how small or how big, I say share it. Let’s reframe the word pride, shall we? Pride is defined as the opposite of humility. Humility is a character trait that is notoriously admired. 


I say challenge. Can’t these two traits co-exist? Pride is considered the deadliest sin of all, however I have to believe this refers to the detriment of others. When personal pride trumps your love, empathy, and support for others, then squash that sin. Otherwise praise yourself, praise others, and praise God for making you exactly the way you stand.


I’ll be in your corner cheering you on, I promise.

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