(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Patterson)
There are a lot of things I aspire to be in this life–a writer, a world traveler, a coffee shop owner–the list goes on and on. Though a lot of my dreams are pretty far fetched and will most likely never happen, the one thing I aspire to be above all else is a woman who empowers other women.
I started to notice this calling when I started to notice how often women around me would say one simple but tremendously detrimental phrase. For women of all ages and backgrounds, there is one phrase that we always seem to repeat. We tend to say it without hesitation and with no reservations. We say it for a number of reasons and that is the phrase “I am not _______.”
I’m not good enough. I’m not strong enough. I’m not pretty enough, smart enough, outgoing enough, quiet enough, ambitious enough, talented enough. You fill in the blank.
Women are very good at self-deprecation. We are the masters at pointing out what we are not all while being blind to what we are. And usually the things we tell ourselves we are not, we actually are.
So hear this: The only thing we are not is perfect. No, we don’t have it all together, but we are strong, we are beautiful, we are smart, we each have our own unique and amazing personality, we are ambitious, and we are talented. We are more than capable of conquering our fears and achieving our goals.
We are enough.
One year ago, a great friend and the photographer extraordinaire who provides most of the pictures for this blog told me about a ministry aimed at teaching young women just that. Out of Nashville, Tennessee is RAVE Ministry, a community of young women striving to live a more purposeful life. Kathryn encouraged the girls in my church group to participate in a thing that they do every year called No-Makeup November, which is a campaign aimed at promoting women’s identity in Christ. Sure I had heard of No-Shave November, but No-Makeup November???
Despite my lack of awareness, when Kathryn suggested to the girls in my church group to participate, I couldn’t have been more excited! A whole month without makeup? Bring it!
Because let’s be honest, any girl who says she likes wearing makeup every day is probably lying. Personally, I hate wearing makeup most days. It’s expensive. Putting it on is time consuming. And when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how expensive or how “high-quality” the makeup you buy is, you will always feel like you have something on your face when you’re wearing it.
But more than that, we am more than the makeup we wear. We are enough without the mascara, the foundation, the blush. We are still just as talented, just as smart, just beautiful, just as capable without it. So regardless of your religion, I hope you are empowered and that you will join me and so many other women for No-Makeup November because you are more than the makeup you wear.
You are enough.
(Just as an added bonus, here are some brands that believe in empowering women as well. Tissues recommended.)