I am valuable.
Why is it so hard to believe that? I don’t want the nod your head, sure sure, everyone is, whatever, kind of self worth. I want to believe it’s true and to foster that value. In myself, in everyone.
I remember hearing someone wax sentimental in college about how everyone is uniquely special. How everyone has a special something that is all their own. And I clearly remember thinking, “not everyone.”
Because I didn’t really believe that about myself.
And then I read Anne. And her knack for looking over a crowd and giving people makeovers in her mind. I started doing it in class and finding myself wanting to find the special beauty each person in front of me held. They were cups containing an elixir with its own unique flavor inside.
But for some reason I couldn’t do it for myself.
Does this look ok? These shoes or these shoes? Is this necklace weird? And that’s just the physical! Was I annoying? Did I talk too much? Was I too nervous? I was a wreck.
My sister Jamie (The one traveling the world) said to me a couple years ago, “Bridge, I think you should work on self affirmations.” We were talking about love languages and one of my sisters said under her breath, “Bridget needs encouragement.” And the other sister made a face like, “Yeah she does…”
I, of course, immediately felt that age old…Oh no. Am I annoying? Do I ask for approval too much? So I was in a conundrum because I didn’t want to prove them right by saying, “Oh…do I need too much encouragement?” But I did. I needed them to say, “Oh but that’s ok! Everyone does!”
It was a very clear realization point for me. (And humorous now that I look back on it.)
I think part of my approval needs stemmed from my strange desire to make life public on my blog. And in general. I remember in high school telling myself before school, “You don’t have to talk. You don’t have to say everything that pops into your head!” But I always would. And still do! I got voted class clown in high school. But my friend was in charge of the votes asked me if I wanted that title. NO! I don’t want anyone to think I think I’m so funny! She gave it to someone else.
This constant desire to put myself out there, my art, my thoughts, a joke…it makes me vulnerable. And while this vulnerability ought to be harnessed into depth of character and a chance to reach out to others…it so often becomes self loathing.
So I have been working on my self affirmations. I talked about it a little bit in the summer. I don’t do them everyday, but I’ve been reminded recently just how essential they are. To start the day with, “Oh…I bet Beau’s upset with me that I haven’t done the dishes yet. I want to do a painting but what’s the point, I probably won’t sell it. I shouldn’t have eaten so many chocolates yesterday. I wish my hair would just magically do itself… ” is BONKERS!
This was my inner dialogue today! Why do we find it so cheesy to look in the mirror and say, “You are valuable. Beau is just tired, he’s not mad at you. You paint because you love it and you can’t put a price on that. You ate all the chocolate…I admire your passion!” We think that’s so stupid, but we’re so ready to put ourselves down and think nothing of it.
My friend said the other day, “We would never say mean things to a friend…why do we say them to ourselves??”
It takes time, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. These pure thoughts, fruits of the spirit aimed at yourself, have to become a mantra. And you have to get rid of the influence of anyone who lets you believe the lies or reinforces them.
It’s the devil. It’s the Sensor. It’s the you who won’t see you as a cup full of a uniquely beautiful elixir. Today I want my elixir to be infused with the Spirit of TRUTH and believe that 1. My time is valuable. 2. My skill is inspired. 3. I am worth loving myself.
Yesterday I felt really cute. I realized my hair is the longest it’s ever been, (which is something I’ve strived for my whole life.) I had accomplished much in the day: finished a commission, given my boys’ hair cuts, made a yummy antipasto lunch, and I was getting ready to go out with friends that encourage the real me. I took a picture of myself and thought, “When I feel ugly, uninspired, worthless, and friendless, I’m going to look at this picture. And believe…it’s not true. I am valuable.”
And now I’ve just put myself out here! But that’s who I am, and I’m not going to think about it from this point on.
Have a beautiful day. Because you’re spending it with YOU.