He said that thing, didn't he? He said the thing, and you felt smaller, yeah?
Or was it your mom, looking down at the choice you made that made you feel as though you aren't worth your own love and kindness?
It's moments, some smaller than others, that create the world between who we are, and who we think we should be.
Smaller, tanner, sexier, sluttier, more quiet, less of this, more of that.
Until you are so far from who you are, so deeply disconnected from self, that your self worth feels like it's a physically attainable item that lives 12,678 miles away and you have to walk barefoot in the dead of summer to find it. Impossible. Exhausting.
Let's call your self worth, Allen, for the sake of this story. So Allen is living in bum fuck nowhere, and you know he exists and lives there, but the only way to get him is to go through the hot, sticky, dead of summer, with no shoes. Which just feels so hard. So you choose the hard that you know the most.
Continuing to cary on as you always have.
You seek fast ways to reach Allen because you think you can beat the system. Sometimes, you're right. You can beat the system and fast track your way there. Only to be shot back even further.
Fuck, you think.
'I'll do it again, and this time it will work."
But your fast track approaches to Allen never work.
So how do you withstand the sticky, hot, barefoot venture to Allen?
- Researcher Kristen Neff says that self compassion is being able to be touched by one's own suffering. I want you to be able to see your suffering, and the pain you experience in the ways you try and seek validation—through likes, sex, men, women, friends, co-workers etc and be touched by it . It's okay to look at the moments that hurt you and feel the hurt. It's not a pity party, it's creating space for your very real, and very human emotions.
- Remind yourself that even though reclaiming your self worth and connecting to yourself may appear hard, life in general is hard. It feels hard because it's unfamiliar. You're told your whole life to be a certain way. That ____ is beautiful and you should be that. So to decide for yourself that you can be/look/feel/sound different is scary and vulnerable. It's hard to sit in the darkness you know, and it's just as hard to go into the unknown. Chose your hard.
- Tune in. You are so brilliant and your body is smarter than you think it is. Instead of seeking your worth in comments, likes, his words, your moms approval etc, begin to challenge your thoughts and ask yourself what YOU like. Part of the issue with having a low self esteem and sense of self worth is that you believe that you, as you are, aren't enough. This is based on something someone has said to you at one point in your life. So, you twist, tweak, move, change to be more like how you think they want you to be. But how do YOU want to be?
- Change your story. My first boyfriend once told me that he hated blonde and braided hair. Oh, he also hated headbands. It just so happened that I loved my blonde hair to be braided down the back, and wearing headbands. But because I had no sense of self, I colored my hair, and stopped braiding it . I allowed myself to believe that this new me, was a better me and that something was wrong with braids and blondes. This is story I lived in for years. Until one day I questioned where this belief came from and I realized I was living so much of my life for someone else. Just because something has been true in the past, doesn't mean that you can't change it now.
- When your negative self worth thoughts arise, don't push them away. Honor what's happening for you, then talk back to them using these questions:
- Is it true?
- Do I know for a fact it's true?
- How do I react when I believe this thought?
- Who am I without this thought?
Your journey back to self won't ever be found in MyFitnessPal or a workout program. It will be found when you tune in, challenge the beliefs you have about your life, and begin to rewrite your story.
Barefooted, sticky, and hot roads—you can do hard things.