Finding Your Worth And The Worth Of All Women
For too long I couldn’t recognize my own worth… 6 years ago I was on vacation in Charleston; it was a beautiful day, sitting out on a deck overlooking the water with dolphins swimming by, and yet I was miserable, I hated by body. What triggered it? I have no idea. When we got back to the room I cried, I felt worthless, unable to explain how I had let such a small seed grow so large, how I had allowed the way I thought I look ruin a whole day. That day became a catalyst for a single-minded quest to stop allowing my worth be self-defined by the way I look or be tied up in the constant judging of my body. It has not been easy but that day I made myself move forward; towards a better understanding of my own worth but also, surprisingly, towards a revelation about my ability to see the worthiness in all women.
In order to begin to move forward I had to ask myself this question, it is one I ask you now: what is being at peace with who you are worth?
What is finding a life that gives you the most amount of happiness worth? And not through your best body or your best career but through your best self, through your ability to know and accept who you are, to trust no one more than yourself. What is that kind contentment worth to you?
If your desire for your life is within any of these statements: I want to be happy. I want to have good relationships. I want to live my fullest life. I want to accept myself. I want to accept my body. I want peace and contentment within myself. I want to stop comparing myself to others.
Then here is what I know to be true for you: YOU must determine your worth. YOU must be single minded in the quest to find it. YOU must fight for it. YOU must trust it once you find it. YOU must demand that others adhere to it. YOU must understand that you cannot look to, or wait for society, to determine your worth. YOU cannot ask anyone else to find your worth.
Not understanding our worth comes from a fear that who we are at our core is not enough. This is a truth for almost all women, in one area of our life or another. It has left many of us with a different mask to wear for every crowd but has left too many of us unable to recognize our truest self and definitely unable to trust that self. When we understand our worth we no longer care what the world wants us to be and move in a way that exemplifies who we were made to be. Why? Because we stop allowing ourselves to believe that our worth is intrinsically tied with how we look or what we accomplish.
Your ability to find your worth is intertwined so tightly with you KNOWING and ACCEPTING who you are. The knowing and accepting allows us to let go of comparison and competition with others. If how you treat someone says more about you than them, then my ability to find my worth will reflect back, either negatively or positively, in how I see you.
I now know that I cannot see the full worth of you when I cannot find it in me. Will I compare, not meaning to or wanting to, and lead myself down a road of competing with you? Will I get stuck in a place lusting over what you have and then lose my worth and yours? Will I ever find my worth when I am constantly looking to others for what it should look like?
I wasn’t always a “girl’s girl”, sure I had plenty of female friends, but I could always feel an underlying comparison, and even, competition with them. I could feel my heart ache at times when they accomplished something that I did not. I would compare my body to theirs. I would fall in to a pattern of talking shit about someone (I have nightmares about the fact that I ever thought it was appropriate to talk shit about the way someone looked but I have). So much of what this was, for me, was feeling unworthy, so I lashed out. It is also this programmed belief that we are all in competition with one another. We have been raised to believe that our worth as women is in competition with every other woman, like a race to be at the top or be the best, and there is only room for one. Somehow convinced that tearing another woman down would make us feel better. From experience I can tell you that it has NEVER been helpful and it has never made me feel more worthy.
I am ashamed of how I acted but I won’t hide from it. Not one of us goes through this life perfect and for any of us to proclaim that shows that we have not found our true worth yet, still so afraid to admit to our faults and imperfections, or to share our real journey. A journey, for me, that took form after that day in Charleston, but continues now, and will likely always remain. I could never find my worth if I thought I was going to build mine up by taking from another woman’s. That is why I will not ask you to jump in to finding your worthiness without admitting how fucking hard the road is and how much it requires you to examine. We live in a world that profits off of us NOT finding our worth and making sure we don’t let other women find it either, it is a battle.
A battle that leads to a war on ourselves and on other women. Told from an early age to judge other females so harshly, to hold them to a higher standard, why? We start with how they look and then we move in to trying to discredit them, this vicious cycle then leads us to believe this is how our worth is found as well. I believe pitting ‘women against women’ is exactly how the world keeps us down, if we do it to each other, how can we ever rise?
If we cannot know our own worth how will we ever fully push for the value of every other female? How will we help the next generation innately know, without having to learn as they get older, that their worth is in who they are NOT what they look like? How will we ever teach them not to treat other women as competition?
Here is what I have learned from discovering my own worth and how it applies to all women: Finding worth in other women is about respect for each woman, her journey to find her unique worth, and our desire to elevate our gender as a whole. I don’t have to be friends with every woman, but I have to KNOW that every woman is worthy of equality, and should be provided opportunities to live her best life, without restraint from a system that has told us to tear each other down. I have to know that every woman deserves freedom from a system that has tried to breed competition by making us believe that there isn’t enough room for all of us through planting seeds of unworthiness in each of us.
When we remove our restraints that were created by feeling unworthy, we make room for other women to do that as well. The only way I know to avoid the trap of comparison or competition is to remind myself of this; I must see my own worth fully so I can see hers as well.
So, what is being at peace with who you are worth? Only you can determine that, but know that the rest of us are anticipating the day you step in to your worthiness. The happiness of a whole gender does not lie solely on our shoulders, as individuals, but each of us are a piece of the larger puzzle. Your ability to fully understand your worth, and fight for it, helps the larger picture come in to view. When you step in to your worth you become someone who cannot allow anyone else to not step in to theirs, and my friends, that is how we all begin to rise.