Sometimes, hearing your own voice screaming, “You’re worth more than this,” can be the hardest thing you will ever hear.
A few nights ago, a friend of mine called, desperately reaching out of the dark vortex of pain that was enveloping him for a hand or comforting voice to anchor him back to reality.
He was in the middle of a break up, pacing his apartment and drowning in that horrible anxiety that reaches up from your gut and feels like it’s crushing every organ as it insidiously winds its way through your body.
Almost a year ago to the day, I experienced that same horrific, smothering anxiety; the same indescribable pain that leaves you sobbing on the floor, unable to stand. I knew there was little I could do for him in that moment except listen; nothing would ease that terrible pain except time. Nothing.
How ironic to be here at this moment, I thought to myself. The memory of my pain resurfaced and I ached for my friend, knowing what the next hours, days and weeks would bring. There was something haunting, yet strangely gripping about watching the same situation replay from the outside this time. I was reminded of the Sandra Bullock movie Lake House, and how the hero was five years ahead, aware of everything that was about to happen to her life.
Why had life brought me back here? Was it to help my friend through the next dark days and share what I had learned or were there lessons that I still needed to learn?
I listened as he talked about how he suspected that she was cheating because she had no desire for any kind of intimacy with him, made every excuse possible to not spend time with him and treated him with general indifference. In the same breath he would say that he loved her so much, he couldn’t stand the thought of living without her.
There must certainly be some truth to the saying “love is blind,” because anyone reading this would wonder why he would want to stay in a relationship like that?
Finally, I gently asked, “Chris, do you know your worth?”
“What do you mean?” came the hesitant reply.
“I mean, you have value as a person and she does not see it. You deserve to be treated better than this; you matter Chris! You deserve a woman who can’t wait to come home to you. One who uses any reason possible to touch your arm in the kitchen, kiss your cheek when you are watching TV or snuggle close to you while she reads a book.”
Typical to someone who is in relationships with a partner who does not see his value, my friend went on to describe her good qualities like how nurturing and kind she is to his young son.
“That is a very important quality in a partner, but you are side-stepping that fact that she doesn’t cherish you. You are a good person, a great father and good provider. If you knew your own worth, you wouldn’t allow someone like her into your life because she is not good enough for you.”
When we don’t value ourselves, we place our own needs and desires last in the relationship.
I don’t know if Chris understood what I was talking about that night. Recognizing your value as a person and expecting people to treat you accordingly is a process that some of us struggle with for most of our lives.
We seem to have to get knocked in the head with the same lessons over and over again until we finally learn.
If we are willing to examine and embrace situations as they come to us, we will find that life has a strange way of blowing away the fog of our illusions and leaving us naked and vulnerable in the reality of our truths. Sometimes it is just as terrifying as it sounds, but this is the place where learning and growing can flourish.
I will have to ask Chris sometime if he grew up as the caretaker of his family as I did. I was so busy protecting and caring for my family and friends that I often put my own needs and desires last; a trait not uncommon with givers.
Sadly, this trait has been repeated in my adult relationships over and over again.
I am not suggesting that being nurturing, giving or protective are bad traits. However, the line between being a giver and being self depreciating is a fine one; it can be very self destructive if you cross it.
Givers have to have limits because takers don’t.
Understanding your limits or recognizing when you are simply being used, are all wrapped up in knowing your value. You will never fully acknowledge your value if you don’t allow yourself to fall in love with you.
Self love isn’t arrogant, narcissistic or egotistical; it is healthy and necessary.
I personally struggle to accept compliments gracefully. I feel uncomfortable and I want to brush them aside for fear of being conceited or arrogant. However, turning away from praise isn’t humility; it only serves to diminish your presence.
I believe that I am strong, intelligent, creative, kind and resilient, so what does it say to someone when I downplay their compliments? It says that I don’t really believe those things about myself. I am a firm believer in the idea that what we think and say becomes our reality. Therefore, if we put out conflicting messages, we are going to bring things into our lives that we do not want.
I’ve said before that I believe we are like mirrors; whatever we project outward is reflected back to us. If we don’t have the love we want, it’s because we don’t love ourselves; it has to come from within if it’s going to come back. If we don’t have the respect we want, it’s because we don’t give ourselves the respect we deserve.
By this token, it is easy to understand that if someone doesn’t see your value, if they don’t treat you like you are the most precious thing on earth, it’s because you cannot attract what you do not nurture from within and radiate outward.
If we think of self love as the foundation for our mirror, we can see how it can be the root of everything we have or don’t have in our lives.
Have you connected the dots yet? I know it was only through writing this article that I was finally able to get it. I guess that means life brought me back because I still had something to learn.
Recognizing your value and loving yourself are intrinsically tied to manifestation.
If you don’t love yourself, you won’t see your value. If you don’t see your value, you won’t believe that you truly deserve what you want to bring into your life.
Wow, that’s huge.
If someone pays you a compliment, feel grateful that they recognize how amazing you are. It’s better than not being appreciated!
Write down all the things you love about yourself and really embrace them. Remember, no conflicting messages.
Set the alarm on your phone for three times a day and say this affirmation:
I am good
I am kind
I deserve to be loved
I can trust myself and others
I can forgive myself and others
I am grateful to be me
As you begin to really love and respect yourself, the people who don’t see your value will be replaced by people who feel blessed to have you in their lives.
Warm wishes for a wonderful week!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own