On Realising Our Worth

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I’ve not been getting on with my word for the year…

I’ve been avoiding it, skirting around the edges and spending much of my days cross with it. I spoke about it on Instagram the other day, as I was close to being done with the word and metaphorically throwing it away. I spoke of how I wasn’t connecting with it, how it felt too heavy, too big to do much good. And then someone replied, in fact a few women replied, that maybe this was why I needed the word most of all.

I pondered on this, as the word and I have history. And maybe, hidden within the neat writing of the word scribbled in my notebook, was the fact that I still didn’t feel quite worthy, of the word worth. (which in case you didn’t know, is indeed my word for the year.) And they were right, these wonderful women who saw straight through my thoughts, saw what I couldn’t. That my word was making me uncomfortable and that I was feeling things, I didn’t want to feel.

Because although simplifying my life and minimalism had given me the time, space and tools to lean into my worth - more than I ever have before, it hadn’t quite taken away the unworthiness, that stays by my side.

You see, I have never felt worthy of my worth. At an age where I should have been joyfully playing barbies and wondering what was for tea, I sat feeling worthless and uncomfortable in my skin. It’s a feeling that has never left and often, it shouts louder than the rest. Add to this the people I’ve known and the experiences I’ve had, have all led me to believe, this core belief to be true. That somehow everyone else is more and I am less, that I shoudln’t take up too much space and that my feelings should be ignored.

I have the hours of counselling and the faintest scars upon my skin, to prove over the years, how low my worth. And although I know the reasons why I feel the things I do, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel them. That they bubble up inside of me until I blame myself, blame my very being, instead of focusing on what is true. And so knowing all of this and still picking a word that would bring all of this to the front of my mind, makes me wonder why I picked it the in the first place? Or maybe, instead, it chose me.

Maybe this word needed to be the focus of my year, so that I could deal with it once and for all. Maybe our words are meant to test us, to try us, to make us feel. To realise that we have to deal with the bad to get to the good, to sit with the feelings, rather than run away.

Because I’ve been running for most of my life and when I couldn’t outrun these thoughts of worth, I started burying it under stuff. Under clothes that would make me look thinner, make up that would make me appear prettier, books that would make me seem smarter. I thought that the only way to gain worth, was to change who I was. To blend in with others and do what everyone else does.

But that’s the thing about running and buying and burying, our beliefs always catch up. Because we can’t hide from ourselves and who we think we are and we definitely can’t hide from the stories we are told, especially by ourselves. I realised this more than ever, when I started decluttering my things. The more time and space I made, the more time and space I had to think. And when you have the time and space to think - without distraction, you come face to face with your worth.

And it’s hard, really hard. it takes strength to run and commitment to buy but to sit and face things head on - that takes guts, guts that I didn’t know I had until I started to use them. Because if I didn’t see and value my worth, how could I expect anyone else to? If I didn’t start taking up space and demanding to seen, the more I would continue to shrink and apologise for being me.

I know that I have made strides, huge strides in learning my worth. I know that I have started to take up space, both in my own world and online. I know by letting go of all that wasn’t meant for me, I can feel enough for what and who I am. But to feel worthy of more? To grab the good things that come my way, without wondering if they got the wrong person? Or to ask for what I want, rather than what’s leftover? To feel worthy, even if others mock and knock me down? That’s what I need to work on and that is where my focus needs to be.

Also, this word was for others, as much as for me. I want to make others realise the importance of their worth, their space and their time. I want to connect with those that want another way, that want to be themselves but are afraid of who they really are.

And so after thinking for a while, I have decided that I must keep my word, as there is still much work to be done. So I will hold it close, even when it hurts and pieces of me break because aren’t we all broken anyway? That’s the beauty of being alive and after all, the cracks are how the light gets in.