Hello beautiful readers!
It’s been quite some time since I’ve written and posted anything on here, I’ve been taking some time to myself, trying to get inspired and working through some personal issues, which I kind of want to delve into today a little bit. If you’ve been following us for some time, you may recall the post I made about mental health, more specifically my struggle with it. Unfortunately, it’s something that doesn’t just disappear with time and no matter how well you feel you are doing, no matter how much progress you make with it, it is always still there lurking in the shadows waiting for a weak moment to rear it’s ugly head. Recently, there have been a lot of “weak” moments, which have been the perfect opportunity for the anxiety and depression-like feelings to surface bringing up issues that I had been trying to forget or simply avoid dealing with. As we know, avoidance and refusing to deal with things never bodes well for anything or in any situation.
One of the recurring issues I was dealing with was this idea of self-worth, actually the lack of it. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who struggle with mental health deal with the same thing, we all have difficulties realizing or acknowledging our self-worth. This has been something I’ve struggled with as far back as I can remember. It’s curious how we feel it as children even though we can’t identify it with a word until we get older and those feelings come rushing back like a tidal wave and you think, oh yeah that is what that was. I’ve been having one of those tidal wave moments of realization that my self worth is basically non-existent and that I rely heavily on outside sources in order to feel validated and seen. None of which are the proper sources to seek validation and worth from because they are fleeting and only last as long as the situation you find yourself in, so basically it lasts seconds maybe even a few minutes before you fall back into your crater sized hole of despair and self-loathing.
As this was happening (and kept happening), I asked myself; Where is this coming from? Why do I feel this way? I have no reason to be feeling this way so why am I? Do other people feel this way? Is this normal? Am I normal? Is there something so wrong with me that I can’t be normal? What is it about myself that I dislike so much that I can’t find any worth within myself?
These questions I was asking myself were scary because I had avoided dealing with anything emotion-related that I never realized how far down I had fallen to the point where I couldn’t even see my worth as a human being anymore. It doesn’t matter what age you are, when you realize that you personally feel like you don’t matter and aren’t important to the Universal ecosystem it’s a scary wakeup call. I acknowledged that I had two choices, either I keep going down this path of self-hatred that could lead to even darker and scarier places or I do something productive (and difficult) about it. I chose the latter.
My ideas of self-worth stem from outside sources like I said earlier, I base my worth on my level of intelligence, how social I am (which is ironic considering my anxiety is social based), my appearance meaning my hair, my skin, my clothes, my body, how people perceive me, I care deeply (maybe a little too deeply) what other people think of me and I base my opinions of myself on their opinions of me. If someone judges me, I take it to heart and use it as personal ammunition against myself. Another crack on the already cracking surface of my self worth. It took some time, but I realized that all of these things or ideas I was basing my self worth on were meaningless and did not define me as an individual. That if I do these things to please other people (I am a MAJOR people pleaser) I will never find happiness and worth as a human being. It wasn’t an easy train of thought to go down because I realized that I rely heavily on my so-called victim story, of people judging me, of me judging myself based on meaningless things. I had such a tight grip on my victim story that I allowed it to define me and without it, who was I? Who was M outside of her negative story? It seemed more daunting to go forth and find my self worth in other areas than to release these self deprecating stories I was telling myself. Where do I start? How do I let go of something that has become a security blanket? A shield of sorts against negative opinions because if I already thought it about myself then someone saying it to me wouldn’t hurt as bad. How do I let that go and move on? Who will I find behind that wall of shame?
There was a movie a few years ago with a quote that stuck with me, “All you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty second of embarrassing bravery”. There was something about that quote that just stuck in my brain, and I used it in that moment. I decided with my twenty seconds of insane courage to let go of my victim story and to put in the work building a new story. It wasn’t easy to admit it and it was even more difficult to let it go but I did it (and am still letting it go, day by day). I chose in that moment to firstly, not allow other people to define me and my self worth, that any outside opinion no longer matter. The only opinion that did matter was the one I made up for myself, which I know is a lot easier said than done but we all have a choice of what we allow as our truth. You have the choice to take what people are saying as truth or reject it as an opinion. In my mind now, an opinion is simply words people string together without any sort of knowledge on the person or situation, it’s insecurity pretending to be fact. Secondly, I stopped basing my worth on my level of intelligence because we are all as intelligent as we want to be. If it was something I was insecure about then I had the choice to expand my knowledge or let it be as is. I chose the former. I chose to keep expanding my knowledge by re-educating myself on things I didn’t and still don’t understand until I do understand them. Like math, I SUCKED at math in school and it’s always been a BIG insecurity of mine so I made it my mission to relearn math and fill in the holes I was missing all the way from grade school. There is no shame is going back and relearning things you didn’t understand even if you have to start at the very beginning and to be honest, I quite enjoyed counting horses and elephants and adding 1 +1, it made me feel intelligent. Step two complete.
Thirdly, I had a big Oprah ah-ha moment when I realized that my appearance in terms of hair/skin/makeup/clothing etc. doesn’t matter. We as a society put SO much stock in how we look that we forget about the people underneath, the things that truly matter under the surface. I placed all my self worth marbles in one basket and when those marbles were slowly being dumped out because I could no longer reach the standards of beauty being presented to me it was devastating to my self worth and to my self. I was born the way I was born (unless you start getting into plastic surgery but that’s a whole other basket of marbles), I can’t change the way I look no matter how I do my hair or makeup. I am who I am and that is enough. It’s actually more than enough, it’s perfect. I was put here on this Earth as myself for a reason and it wasn’t because of the way I looked. None of us are put here because of our appearance, we are here for a deeper purpose and it’s our job and responsibility to figure that out. Beauty is all perspective anyway just look at the fashion industry or social media, the standards of beauty are constantly changing which basically means that there are no standards at all we just perceive these ideals to be standards. Moreover, no matter how fit you are, no matter how perfect your hair or skin or makeup is, no matter how trendy your clothes are, it will never be enough because like I said, it is ALWAYS CHANGING. You will constantly be chasing an impossible standard like a hamster on wheel. What is in one minute is gone the next replaced by something else unattainable and fleeting. So why waste our precious time on something so meaningless and instead focus on just appreciating and loving who we are right now, it’s all we got.
Finally, I understand that all of this is easier said than done, believe me I get that. It will never be easy and you will always have obstacles and challenges, you will fall down and take steps back but the point is that you keep getting back up and you keep trying to build that self worth for yourself and nobody else. It sucks to live in a bubble of isolation, self loathing and self hatred, I’ve been living in one for such a long time and it is majorly scary to leave it. But like I said you have two choices, to keep staying in that bubble because it’s safe and “comfortable” or you find those twenty seconds of insane courage to burst the bubble and start defining yourself on your own terms. Understanding that you will have to put in the work and that you will have to confront some terrifying feelings but the rewards you get from doing that are infinite, it’s freedom.
Once again, thank you all for allowing us to tell our stories and to share some of our wisdom with you guys. I would love to hear your stories, struggles and triumphs with self-worth and mental health. This blog is a safe space for us to share and to support one another, and who knows your story might help someone else who is struggling with something similar.
All the love in the Universe,
PS: Choose to spread love and kindness to the world. If you take anything away from this post, take those two words with you wherever you go, LOVE and KINDNESS.