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You Are Enough

“You’re going to be somebody someday!”

 

Do you know how many times I heard those exact words growing up?  All well-intended, of course.  Words meaning to encourage me and to show me how much someone believed in my talent.  But now as a mother and three months shy of my 40th birthday, I honestly wish I’d never been paid such compliments. 

 

You may be thinking…‘What are you talking about!?’  Let me explain. 

 

Like most people in the entertainment industry I started at a young age.  I was seven years old when I booked my first modeling job and became a working professional.  I was following the path that I seemed “destined” for.  In my eyes that path was stardom.  I had big dreams of being famous and someone of importance.  Of being in movies and being on stage, singing and dancing in front of millions of people.  So, when people responded positively to my efforts and said things like, ‘You’re going to be somebody someday,’ I ate it up.  

 

Throughout my career, by God’s grace, I have been blessed to do some pretty cool things, but there was always this tiny, little voice inside me whispering, ‘The things you’ve done are still not enough...You are still a “nobody."'

 

Growing up, I didn’t understand what a profound impact these words would have on my life, but now I see it.  Somehow, my innocent, naive heart internalized those words and they were etched deeply into my mind.  Only until I “made it” (whatever that meant) would I matter.  Only until I did something to knock the socks off of the world would I count and be somebody.  The qualities that I possessed as a person were not enough.  I had to do something to establish my importance.

 

Now I cherish the ability to be in the moment and enjoy opportunities as they come.  But throughout my career, because I was so focused on how each job was going to take me to the next level, I can honestly say, I very rarely enjoyed myself.  Sad.  You can’t take back once in a lifetime experiences and relive them. 

 

It’s taken me a looooooong time (better late than never!!) to understand that I am enough.  

With God’s help through scripture, prayer, books, counseling, and age, I’ve come to understand that my identity, my self-worth, my significance are not based on accomplishments and recognition.  I am not my past, present or future career.  I am more than my achievements.  

There is nothing wrong in wanting to succeed and do well in life.  We all want to be loved and approved and rewarded with recognition.  We’re human.  I get it.  But those things can’t be the foundation of our significance and self-worth.  

And just so you know, I’m not just talking about the entertainment industry.  Yes, it’s sometimes seen as the most obvious one when it comes to fame etc., but this issue pertains to all careers and all areas of life that we mistakenly base our identity on…what we do instead of who we are as individuals.   

Now, as a mother of a 2 1/2 year old little girl (I’m praying that she can’t carry a tune or act her way out of a bag), I see how valuable it is to nurture her character.  To focus on and help her understand that all the sweet, precious qualities (and sassy, stubborn ones too) that God has instilled in her, is enough…that she is already “somebody” now at 2 1/2 years old, regardless of her list of accomplishments to come…that she matters now and does not have to be what the world would consider a huge success in order to be important. 

 

Parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors: encourage character development. Yes, we need to give praise for accomplishments, but it needs to be done with discretion.  It’s important that we not instill in children that this is where their value lies…that they are only as good as their latest achievement.  

 

In an age of “American Idol” and “The Voice,” it’s critical that we don’t encourage children to dream about being famous.  Fame should not be the goal.  Our society tells us the more success and the more fame we have, the happier we will be.  Hmmm.  Many famous people take their own lives regardless of their fame and fortune.  

Nurture dreams of being famous and you will eventually run into unhappy, dissatisfied, and discontented adults.  First hand experience here.  

 

Encourage children to discover what gifts and characteristics they’ve been given and show them how to use those gifts to help others.  Teach them to cherish and love how God has created them so that they don't need validation from outside sources to make them feel like they matter.  

 

As of late, I've stepped away from the entertainment business.  I've spent the last four and half years digging up and throwing out the deep roots of my warped perspective.  It’s been life-giving.  As I do the mundane, day-to-day activities…I actually live and enjoy life more than I ever did before.  Pretty ironic being that I’d traveled the world and performed in places some may never get to experience. 

 

Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve worked.  I’ve been a full-time mom and let me tell you, I have worked harder than I ever have on any set or stage or recording studio I’ve set foot in.  And I humbly and painfully confess, when I used to believe my worth and identify were based on my accomplishments, I couldn’t imagine finding fulfillment in being a stay-at-home mom.  I didn’t believe it was a “big” enough or “significant” enough a job.  No kudos from kiddos spitting up on you.  I know, I know.  Moms out there…please forgive me.  Now I know better.  There is nothing more important and more significant than what I’m doing right now.  And I’m grateful for our little blessing.

 

Psalm 139:14-16 from the Bible says, “I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made….all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.…”

You don’t have to impress anyone because you're already “wonderfully made” in God’s eyes.  You don’t have to be famous to be important.  You don’t have to do big things to be relevant.  You just need to be you.  You are enough…and I am enough.

Comments Section

I LOVE this and have always enjoyed you beyond your "talents" This is an important message and I'm so glad to see your "voice" out there! Praying for you rockin mama!!! We love you the Bradfords
Beautifully written! Touch something in me. As I turn 40 ,too. I am questioning a lot! Thank you!
Simply beautiful, m'dear. So happy for where you are, and grateful for you sharing this. Thank you
Mylin, I am so happy to read this. I am so proud of you and the women you have become. It's easier for us who have not been exposed to the type of success you have to find the Lord. It's so important to have these values when raising children. It just shows how strong you are to overcome that exposure and not be completely corrupted or have a warped view like so many from the entertainment industry. It shows how strong our Lords mercy is. I'm so pleased and happy for u. Loved reading this. Love you girl. An old friend from Oklahoma. Olivia
Mylin, no matter how successful I become, or how much I accomplish my most rewarding accomplishment was raising two boys to become successful, product citizens who believe in God walk the right path. God made each of us and in his eyes we are all perfect, we are the product of his success, Your were somebody the day you were born, you were also your Mom and Dad's little girl who they love, no matter what you do.. Love always, Cheryl
Great insights, Mylin! I hope people read and soak in what you are saying here. You have an important message to share. May you always share it with the freedom of someone who knows who she is.
I loved reading this. I feel you made some real and honest points, and i don't usually post on other peoples blogs, but I could not help but say something that struck me. Everything you said really impacted my heart and where I am, except for one thing. You mentioned you hoped your child would not sing or act and that you were putting all that away, and I feel that those are some of the greatest talents or gifts that God gives out. We are stewards of those gifts and called to use them, for Gods glory and light in this world. I believe you did do this somewhat as a kid, but as we can be selfish in our youths, it may have clouded the good that the gift gives and has to offer. It is our duties as Gods chosen to share and bring his glory through every gift we have weather in a secular world or Christian world, it is our responsibility. The gift of music and art bring a real ability to impact hearts and lives in such powerful ways, weather with modern day story telling or parables in film or passionate songs from the heart. We bring Gods light to a fallen world and we are touching lives... I say this to challenge you to not hide it all away or bury it like the man given many talents (a different kind I know, but same principal) and realize you are the light to this world... Bring that out. While your calling may be to be a mom forever, Please nurture the natural gifts your children and you are given, Dont let go. Ask the Lord how he wants to use those things for his glory and light. You are blessed and therefore should be a blessing... It is an act of love. I hope that makes sense.... Thank you for listening.
Long time no see you. This is your old music friend form back in the Myspace days :) Awesome words and wisdom you have. we all need to hear that. I always new you were a great lady. Blessings to you and you family. I still love that old song of yours called, " Grateful "
Thank you for this, lately I have felt insignificant and "not enough", for my self, my boys, and my husband. I need to remember that I am enough, and that the continued sacrifice of being at home for our kids is the best that I can give them. I want them to value their lives in moments spent together, in loving themselves and others, and loving God.
I am so proud of you!!! Wow! Well done, an enjoyable read with lots of wisdom, especially for a mom of a musician! And with all things God always a good reminder because we often forget He loves us just the way we are! Thank you, way to go Mylin!! xo
Mylin, I so agree! I too have wasted many years longing to "be somebody" when I already WAS somebody fearfully and wonderfully made. It's really tragic - almost an epidemic these days. Even now after so much healing, I can see that sometimes my writer's block is a leftover symptom of the "gotta do something big" syndrome that deep down I know I've outgrown. Yet old habits die hard! Thanks for writing this down for others to read. Hopefully others can be spared the pain we've experienced...and simply revel in the joy of being "fearfully and wonderfully made" by the God who loves them!
So awesome girl!!!! This speaks so deeply to me. I am not my accomplishments and I agree, we need to nurture our little ones character! Our precious babes are more than enough in Christ! We are so blessed to have the OPPORTUNITY to stay home with them! Thank you for sharing
 

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