Eryn Eddy’s “So Worth Loving” Promotes Hope and Healing Sharita Hanley // June 1, 2020
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“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 one hundred college campuses.  Her company’s first brick and mortar store opened in East Atlanta in 2016. “It is evident to me that God is using apparel to…start conversations about our self-worth, our testimonies, and our stories” Eryn asserts.

“We also have partnerships with organizations if you want to learn a little bit more about living your life through the lens that you’re worthy of love. If you’re wrestling with lies, unhealthy boundaries, codependency, and addictions, we know organizations to help you learn more about living a life of freedom.”

While the brand, So Worth Loving, features t-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories, So Worth Living, is a faith-based extension of the brand that points people to resources that extend the conversation about life struggles and how to overcome them.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Eryn’s lifestyle brand is the way it models Proverbs 18:21, the Bible verse that says life and death are in the power of the tongue. In wearing the words “So Worth Loving” and having conversations about self-worth and identity, Eryn and her supporters are creatively confessing truth over their lives.

Fighting for Hope and Healing for All

Admitting she still has days where she feels hopeless, Eryn is on a mission to help people find the hope and healing they need. “If our life is thriving and we’re killing it, I think we have a responsibility to help somebody else that doesn’t feel that way,” she contends.

With today’s world plagued with depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, and mental health struggles, Eryn reminds us of a simple truth that’s capable of changing the trajectory of our lives: we are worth loving. Even with our flaws, our past, our guilt, our shame, and our closet skeletons, we are still worth loving. And the God of the universe does just that; He loves us with an unconditional love.

It’s that love that draws Eryn to Matthew 11:28-30. She particularly loves the Message version which reads, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”From the merchandise she creates to the captions she shares on social media to the So Worth Loving: Free to Be tour, Eryn continues to fight for hope and healing for all.

So, when life is hard and you’re questioning yourself, remember Eryn and the So Worth Loving manifesto:

No matter my history, past mistakes, relationship status, or career choice, I am worthy of love. I am not defined by my past. I am prepared because of it. While my own voice and others may tell me different, I will lean into the safe people that affirm this way of thinking. When I encourage others to love themselves, I am encouraging them to treat themselves with kindness, patience, respect, and all that embodies love. We live our life knowing we have worth.  So Worth Loving. It’s a lifestyle.

Say it to yourself. Declare it over your life. And know that the truth of those words have the power to set you, your friends, your family, and anyone else struggling with hopelessness and self-doubt free.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharita Hanley

Sharita Hanley

Sharita is an introverted free spirit who prefers reading over talking. Seriously addicted to Earl Grey Tea, she can be found at Teavana when her budget allows for it, or a small independent bookstores when it doesn't. A lover of culture, she's more than willing to set her books aside for conversation about Middle East, Guatemala, and Nepal. She lives in Mableton, Georgia with her husband.