To-Don’t List

Hey Friends! It’s me! No really! I’m alive. I promise. I’ve been in a war lately within myself. Everyday I want to get up and write a life-changing blogpost, and then by the time I get home from work at 7:00 most days,  I realize I’m exhausted, just want some ramen noodles and to crawl into bed with Stranger Things Season Two. Then comes the cycle of feeling like the world’s biggest failure. Thoughts of insecurity and disappointment seep in and soak my heart with what I can only call an elixir of shame and annoyance with my own self. Day after day, willing myself to do more, be more, accomplish more. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little motivation, but I do have a problem with self-inflicted emotional abuse. Trust me…been there, done that, have the scars and scary journal entries to prove it. Do you ever fall into this trap also? One moment you’re just wishing you had accomplished one more thing on your (pretty impossible) to-do list, the next you feel like the world’s biggest, ugliest failure who can’t do anything right and the world would be better off without you? WOAH! Mariah, the drama! Actually, as dramatic as it seems I know I can’t be the only one who’s made the jump within the matter of hours. Well, maybe I am. Maybe I’m the only one, but just incase there’s someone out there like me… hi!

People used to call me an “over-acheiver”, I would swat that label away like a nagging fly. I would laugh but on the inside I was thinking…”If you only knew how much of a failure I am. I don’t achieve anything, ever.” I wished I was an overachiever because in my mind that meant I would actually be achieving things that I wanted to excel at. As I’ve gotten older I look back at 16 year old Mariah and I’m mortified for her. The pressure, THE PRESSURE. The exhausting, heavy pressure I used as a tool to manipulate my sense of worth. I thought: If you do, then you are. And imagine my daily surprise as I didn’t live up to the standard I set. Looking back I see that most times I was setting myself up for failure on purpose. Was I addicted to the feeling of disappointment because I had gotten used to it and was comfortable there? Probably. Sound familiar?

There are great days, there are terrible days. There are days when you’re feeling confident, then there are days when you get corrected for one little thing and it sends you off the deep end. You want to quit, you want to run, you want to scream “I TOLD YOU SO” at the world because you are so convinced you suck anyway, why even try? People who don’t have this weird “try til you die” complex may not understand this post. But I believe so deeply that there is a fraction of you guys who can identify with this. “I have no purpose or talent!”, “I’m not good at anything!”, “All I do is mess up and make mistakes…”. All of these thoughts are… #1: Lies and just a matter of a very strict opinion of someone who can be found in your mirror. #2: Connected to your tasks and your activities and accomplishments. Can I please tell you something? And if not you then at least 16 year old Mariah?

Your worth is not connected to your work.

Who you are is not a direct stream from the river of your tasks.

You are valuable because of the beauty of who you simply are. 

I am begging you to just let yourself be for a whole week. Take the pressure off for a couple days, I guarantee you’ll “accomplish” a whole lot more in the freedom of who you are. It’s way better than living under the tyranny of your insecurities ruling your every move, thought and belief. Live from the truth you are valuable instead of living for approval. If y0u’re constantly trying to gain approval through your works and what you can do – you will be depleted, lonely, exhausted and going nowhere on a treadmill of self doubt. God wants you to be free to run on the trail of freedom. There’s beauty there.

On the treadmill, when you make mistake you’re met with punishment. Your mind starts beating up your heart. Your heart is black and blue and broken at the end of the day.

On the trail of freedom, when you make a mistake you’re met with God’s Grace and the ability to learn and grow. Your heart is valued there, your mind is balanced there.

Which one do you want to spend your life running on? Because trust me, self punishment doesn’t really get you anywhere but  alone with scars on your wrist, binding thoughts in your mind, and looking for the next thing that will numb you. I lived in that space for years of my life. Waiting to be rescued from myself, but I would only listen to myself. I was alone in a crowded room, I was blind to beautiful moments, I was brimming with sorrow in joyful encounters. All because when you beat yourself up for every, little mistake you become your master. You become a slave you your standards. You become locked up. But remember, you have the key. It takes you  to say, “no, more”. No more are you dictated by your to-do list, your grades, your position, your job, your works, your status. No longer are you only worthy of love if you are the best. Because you’ll NEVER be the best! (You should probably know that now…) But you can always be the best you. You can always get better, learn more, love more. It’s hard to get to know yourself if you hate yourself. And the beauty of life starts when you can be just you. When you can BE, not just DO. There’s harmony that happens in your life when you can do your best not only in what you do, but be your best you no matter where you’re at in life. Being your best looks like being kind to yourself. It looks like having the same grace Jesus has for you on you. If Jesus is nice to you, why shouldn’t you be nice to you? Isn’t that the point anyway? To be more like Him? Do you think your Creator would punish you the same way you punish yourself? Uhhhh. I don’t think so. It’s not His character, and it doesn’t have to be yours either. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of joy. You are worthy of enjoying your life and not feeling badly for it. You are allowed to be proud of yourself even if you did one thing on your to-do list. You have permission to rest in God’s assessment of who you are. Approved, beautiful, powerful, lovely, kind, funny. You are all of that and more because you were simply made that way. Who God created you to be is who you are. You can’t earn it, you can’t work for it, you simply just are. And there’s nothing you can do to change His mind. You are simply lovely just because you were created that way. Live from that, not for that. Get off the treadmill and run to freedom.  And lastly, no matter if you believe it or not…. Someone is proud of you. Obsessed with you, even. Even if you never did another thing, you are cherished. You are extraordinary.

Love you!

Mariah.

PS: HOW CUTE IS THIS GALLERY WALL IN OUR BEDROOM? It’s a work in progress, just like me!

15 Comments

Gaby

Reply

Inspiring 🙌🏼✨ I def. needed this 😊 Keep excelling in life Mariah🖤

Rachèl

Reply

Hi Mariah,
Wow! This…this is what really moved me. This is beyond amazing, because the past weekend I was thinking about all of this. And literally all of this..
Thank you! Because as I am in this thing called “learning and growing” I am figuring things the right way.. My biggest motivation is my husband and he really wants the best from me cuz he believes that I can do better.. He believes that I have more in me than I have shown him for these past 2 years. I will say that I’m giving him some hard times but I can assure him that I can do better and be better and just be myself.. run in freedom as you mentioned..
It is so hard, but I know I will go through this.. I am strong! We are strong… And with having faith in God everything will be alright❤️

Again, thank you! This was really amazing Mariah..

Greetings,

Rachèl S.

Rose Marie

Reply

“then there are days when you get corrected for one little thing and it sends you off the deep end. You want to quit, you want to run, you want to scream.” haha yes! Exactly how i was feeling yesterday. I was annoyed for bring corrected about something so i just wanted to peace out. I had to look within and see that there were deeper wounds and reasons as to why i was feeling the way i did. I preach “press-on” so i had to reflect a little and reminded myself to press-on. Anyway, lovely blog post Mariah! Thank you <3

Destiny

Reply

Absolutely on time and exactly what I needed. thank you for this❤️ You are a gem

Precious

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Loved this Mariah!! Totally spoke to me as I’ve been obsessing over accomplishments or (lack thereof). Thanks for sharing your heart ❤️

Ketsia Lefranc

Reply

Sooooo. Thank you. I’m obsessed with you (Xx) and thank God for your heart. The whole post spoke to me and it’s refreshing to know I’m not alone. Love you!

Marie

Reply

A balm for my aching heart. Thank you! XOXO

Lucinda Maree

Reply

This was such a beautifully, encouraging read this Tuesday morning! Thank you for being vulnerable and honest once again, pouring yourself out to lift others up! Be blessed Mariah! <3

Traci

Reply

Love this!!! Please continue making more posts! They are such a blessing!

Melody

Reply

Loveeee this💕

Sylvia

Reply

Loved this 💞💞💞.Have you ever considered starting a youtube channel?

Chelsea

Reply

Wow! Thank you so much for writing this post. I love your blog! I have been a funk for awhile now about the direction my life is going and creating a blog of my own. I have come to realize that I am extremely hard on myself but it is nice to know that I am not the only one. I really like when you said this “On the trail of freedom, when you make a mistake you’re met with God’s Grace and the ability to learn and grow. Your heart is valued there, your mind is balanced there.”, it really resonated with me and what I am going through.

Thank you again and God Bless!

Nehemie Nola

Reply

Love loved loved this!! Super relevant. Sometimes I’d get so wrapped up in what I didn’t accomplish I wouldn’t even try to get to the next task. Be gracious with myself has been my life journey but luckily God is so graceful & loving to see us win this battle!

Janice Diaries

Reply

Was this for me ? Ahh thanks girl! 🤗🤗 I literally am that small percentage you were directing this post to. In fact I feel like this whole year I have been fighting myself and getting into a deeper and darker place. I’m starting to notice the self betrayal spirit in action. Thank you for this ! I intend to be intentional and loving myself just as God loves me. I have a blog and YouTube channel too but this past year I’ve struggled to post and guilt levels on 💯 but it’s nice to know that does not define me either so no pressure. Thanks sis!

Sherree Patrice

Reply

OMG !!!! Riah!! #intears I “ACCIDENTALLY “ ended up here and just had the biggest kiss from God from the heart of your hand! Thank you for being exactly who you are! KEEP GOING
REST BUT DON’T QUIT!
Love
Sherree #theloveGodlovepeopleone #finallylovingherself@47❤️

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