GOODlife Magazine November/December 2019 - Annie F. Downs

Page 7

“So Worth Loving”

Promotes Hope & Healing BY: Sharita Hanley “It’s very common to feel unworthy of love but uncommon to talk about it,” Eryn Eddy notes, admitting she’s no stranger to feeling rejected, purposeless, unworthy, hopeless, and unloved. Having lived through divorce, a difficult relationship with her older sister, loss of friendships, being mad at God, and hitting rock bottom, the social entrepreneur has found hope and healing. Her lifestyle and apparel brand, So Worth Loving, is a byproduct of her journey and her personal mission to bridge the gap between silence and talking about how self-worth impacts how we love ourselves and others.

Grappling with Self-Worth and Self-Doubt “I’ve been overcoming the shame and guilt from my past, forgiving myself and other people,” Eryn admits, sharing some of her personal struggles. “You know, wrestling with living my life through the lens of other people and what they’ve said to me.” For instance, her relationship with her older sister led her to be a people pleaser and walk on eggshells early in life. Additionally, at twenty-one years old, believing she’d found her soulmate, she married her husband, whom she met when she as a teenager. Nine years later, at the onset of her thirties, the marriage fell apart, leaving Eryn grasping for identity, validation, purpose, and self-worth. “I tried to fill every void with work, guys, alcohol, socializing, financial wealth. I tried everything, but I still kept feeling hopelessness, so I thought, ‘Well, Lord, I haven’t talked to You in a long time,’” she divulges, acknowledging that God was her last resort. So, right there in the midst of her despair, she cried out for help. “And what was so beautiful about coming to Him as my last resort was that He welcomed me like I was His first choice.”

Crying Out for Help “If you’re already in a place of hopelessness, where you’re like, ‘I’m too far gone,’ and God’s your last resort, you might as well try and let Him be that,” Eryn urges, suggesting that you pray something like, “Lord, I don’t even know how to talk to You. I’m angry about my life. I’m angry about my circumstances. I feel like I’m too far gone. If You’re real and if You love me, will you show Yourself to me? Will You make it so clear and give me peace that it is You?” She clarifies, “And God is not a genie, so it’s not like we ask, and He’s just like, ‘Oh, sure.’ But when you have hit rock bottom, asking Him to just show up because you don’t know if you believe in Him—why would you not pray that kind of prayer?” For Eryn, day by day, the Lord started unveiling her gifts and talents, her value and worth. “I was bad at school. I repeated fifth grade, didn’t go to college, and didn’t know what I wanted to do...but I think God always knew I’d be placed in positions helping people.” One way Eryn likes to encourage others is with music. “I was pursuing music pretty heavily, like pitching it to television shows and getting contracts with networked shows on MTV, VH1,

Lifetime, and Oxygen. My music was even on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It was so fun because I didn’t have cable, so I could never watch the shows that my music was on, so I’d ask my friends to record it,” she says, laughing. “But while that was going on, I had a music video go viral.” However, her success didn’t come without haters and naysayers looking to tear her and her music down. Fighting feelings of unworthiness once again, Eryn decided to do something different this time around. “I wanted to create products for people that identified with my music,” Eryn shares, saying she didn’t want the merchandise’s message to be her name or the song lyrics. “I wanted it to be something they could believe about them[selves].” That’s when God spoke to her. His message was clear: Tell people they are worthy of love. Using Tumblr, she reached out to people who needed to know they too were so worth loving.

Finding Community “I put my home address on the blog and said, ‘Mail me your personal t-shirt, and I’ll spray paint “You’re worth loving” on it and send it back to you for free.’” Since she didn’t have a huge following at the time, she thought she would only receive a handful of responses and shirts. But instead, hundreds of stories of people moved by the simple message flooded Eryn’s Tumblr. This too had gone viral. The overwhelming response assured Eryn she was on the right path. “I thought if all of the hundreds of [individuals with heartbreaking] stories knew they weren’t alone, they’d all be able to know that they can seek healing and help. They can see themselves through a story of healing and redemption and know that they can get to that side of life,” she shares. So, she quit her job as an art director, started printing shirts, and So Worth Loving was born.

Creatively Confessing What’s True Today, the brand, which has become a movement, is sold online in all fifty states and in thirty countries and has been represented at