Oh man..   Loved?   Have I ever felt loved?   Goodness, what an arbitrary question. Many times have I felt loved.   Many times has someone released themselves energetically to myself. Many times are they that someone handed me the trust of themselves to share and be accepted. Many conversations have been handed to me where one might trust me with their truth and actions in intent. Many times has someone purchased a gift in my name and presented it to me with heartfelt intent. Many smiles and hugs. Ears listening… while I spew hate and emotion to get it OUT!   OUT!  Many times have I been blessed with an angel carrying a message that I alone needed to hear.  Many times has the universe sent me exactly what I needed to grow. Many questions answered. Many dangerous situations diffused. Many times has goddess sent me exactly what I’ve asked for. Many times I have felt all varieties of love. The amount of graces and acts of love are so many that I couldn’t possibly list or remember them all…….

However, those things never came complete with my acceptance and vulnerability.  I firmly believe that though, in small ways I’ve accepted these act of love, I have not ever fully emmersed myself into the truth of love itself.   Gifts come with opinions and rights. I have just begun to accept me and recognize that I live in fear where love is concerned.  To live in an abstract world where negative and positive are only words used as secondary labels in my love.  The question remains to me.  How can one feel loved? If they have not experienced it themselves, how does one accept love in a mundane sense? and comply with its limits?   I’ve always felt love from others  I’ve always been handed that opposite of fear. But not until recently have I been able to accept love as the concentrated whole that it is.   To accept love fully I would have to be able to look at loves perceived opposite and agree that it makes a whole.. My ego states that this would be ignorant.  Can you imagine all the things I would have to change about myself to accept that there is no negative in the foundation of my life story? That those things are love? AHHHH  makes me want to locate my gun just thinking about it.  I understand this in theory. HA   but in the physical world if you want to hand me something I’m scared of I will go insane on you. I am more willing to make chaos my game than I am for it to make me whole.. I have felt whole love but I have not yet danced with and experienced it… I have no faith….. in my ability to return whole (as love, with love, again ignoring the process)

 

I recently went on a journey to be the love that I believe in. I got cracked wide open. I stood bravely in the face of my own inner fears. What came looked something like The end of ” For Colored Girls”.

Being loved by others while ignoring love in its essence feels like fun. Ive spent many years accepting love from others in the form of gifts and intent…..  but they are different words for a reason.  Intent isn’t love and gifts have another definition of their own. I, in return, gifted and had wonderful intentions for others.

Khalil Gibran, a perceived father of mine, spelled out years ago what love is and what it will do to me.  I had made love my arch nemesis here in this life to avoid anymore pain. I had been unwilling to inflict anymore upon myself and was willing to accept my decision in this matter……   Khalil gave me a choice. I have recently chosen different..  I have chosen to take the ride and I do believe I came out a little more enlightend   but I’m not sure( I get to pay my shrink 300 dollars this afternoon to tell me wether I’m even on the right track.) I have felt loved and it is treacherous and amazing and beautiful.  The truth is, if love is what your experiencing you have no choice but to come back whole. The experience? HAHAHA  what does it feel like? FFFUUUUUUCKKK YOU!

 

“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.”

A few sentences later, he hits on the need for vulnerability.
“If in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the season less world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter and weep, but not all of your tears.
As for finding love, we cannot direct the course.
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”
As for your desires, turning into vulnerability, Gibran, who echoes Alfred Lord Tennyson’s sentiment when he said ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,’ writes:
“To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged hear and give thanks for another day of loving.
Love is process, not an outcome.”

Love is not the person loving you but the essence inside of them. When love shows up in another person who, in the end, still wants to hold you and grow with you and all of your ugly is hanging out and you’ve become real, like the velveteen rabbit…. ITs the scariest shit EVER..  I feels a little something like slow death.

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works/  http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php

First, here’s to meanruthie for Challenging me with self awareness as a topic. I am so self aware  HAHAHAH   well, until I take tests that show me myself to my face. Then I’m just Carmen living in a confused version of my own vertical prison. Much love to you. And to my lack of self awareness..

 

I consciously avoided this topic from the moment it was posted. As I read the assignment my eyes got big and my head spinned.  ( is spinned a word?)   DOUBT..  that’s all I’m aware of.

” What kind of bullshit can I come up with that makes me sound like I know what I am all about today?   None.. So, ill just put it off till I can oppose someone else…”

That never happened….

I finally crouched in and made myself not just take this test, but to research it and its intricacies.   TO my complete surprise this test gave me quite the overview.  Myself in a nutshell. My unhealthy self. My healthy self. My unhealthy reactions. How they hinder my progress, and  how I can intercept those actions to integrate into the loop of my higher self. Yes it brought me down even into my spirituality.   AHHHH the road to self actualization

As it sits I am  a frim 8..  8 with nothing following closely. The Leader. This… 100%… I can agree with. This we knew. What I didn’t know was how I lead and how this always causes me to strive for independence and knowledge as well as fearing co dependence and ignorance.

The 8 has wonderful qualities for healing humanity and inspiring change through their action in the world. I’ve always known that this was my job.  Giving people permission to be whoever the fuck they want at their own will. With ” lead by example” as a motto.

However, I will say that, it also explains my line of work and the fight.  HAHAH not to mention many of the issues I run into in relationships.   It also explains how to work within them to make them work.

I think I need to be more aware of my judgment and my narcissism. This is not a fault of all 8s but it’s not hard to see, finally, how I , in lower levels of my type,( when I’m not fulfilled) go to work on others or mistakenly use them to fill my ego, and even perhaps, with partners take their own beautiful characteristics as weakness. When the ” weaknesses ” often , in fact, compliment me perfectly.

Basically when I’m at the top of my vertical lines I’m powerful , unstoppable and a great advocate for empowerment and truth in my peers and partners world. At the bottom I am a controlling obsessive, insecure, violating overachiever looking for kudos.   That is very hard for my ego to swallow!  But its true.  I was stoked to read that these qualities coincide directly with my astrological charting and make perfect sense.  I am, as of right now,  on an immediate path to higher self.  Ive looked for this specific map of me and can clearly see what I need to work on to become what I view as an appropriate 8.

Thankfully, the enneagram shows exactly were to go from there and how to break my fearful circles.  I am appreciative of this opportunity and will write more later when I’m not questioning the fuck out of why I have been such a pompous dick. I really hope every crow takes the hour or so to look into their test and find the charts on the web page.  It was very eye opening to be handed such a clear picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny
Little Sweet Johnny

Johnny died today, eleven years ago. Well, it was probably today. He was found sitting peacefully against a tree by some hikers. They thought he was sleeping until they came back hours later and noticed he had not moved and had a needle in his arm. He had overdosed on an eightball- crack cocaine and methamphetamines.

I like to think he was smiling, that he had his most euphoric, happiest memories at the last moment and all the beauty flashed before his eyes, none of the ugly. I like to think he thought about how much I loved him, how he was my best friend and that he remembered before the drugs when he loved me too.

I don’t want to think that he remembered our last words: a fight on the phone a week prior. When he called he asked if he could go to our family cabin in Alaska and I said no. I told myself it was because I was worried he’d get in trouble there again. He had already been in prison for armed robbery that occurred when he was there last. It was another user and Johnny’s desperate attempt for meth money. I was scared of him traveling from Arizona to Alaska.

The last time I saw him, he drove up in a beat up old car with candles on the dash for defrost because it didn’t have a working heater. He had a girlfriend with a two year old son in tow and they spent a week sleeping on our living room floor, only getting up to eat chips and hot dogs, while I cared for the baby who had burned both hands on our propane stove right away while under their supervision. The poor little guy was miserable with gauze wrapped hands and diaper rash. He melted onto me in need of affection and love. He wanted me to hold him constantly, even when his mom was awake. I knew they had been on drugs and were crashing. My husband and I frantically thought of a way to keep the baby. We had already blown our grocery budget and were struggling. Then they were asking for gas money to leave and I was honestly relieved, although terrified for their safety. I regret that I didn’t save that baby. Or my little brother. I didn’t know what to do. I was in denial then. I stuffed the guilt away.

When he was found, I was on a fabulous, all expenses paid, 3 day wine tour with my coworkers and friends, our bosses, and our wine rep. We wined and dined, visited wineries and grape fields, had lessons from expert growers and were drinking expensive, beautiful wines from 8am until the bars closed. I was having a great time. On the long trip home in the rental van, I recounted the story of how Johnny and I had recently talked on the phone and it ended with him angrily shouting “Forget you ever had a brother, you fucking cunt!” then slamming the phone down. I told them that I felt so guilty because he had been living on park benches or in shelters in Phoenix and he hated it there, and called it the armpit of America. They all agreed that I’d done the right thing, forbidding him from the cabin. Little did I know what I was about to walk into.

As soon as I got home, I was so excited to see my family and give my little girls their presents. As we were hugging, I sat their dad’s gift of a few nice bottles on the table, noticed an alarming look on his face, then turned around with instant foreboding. Right in front of me on the counter was a scratch pad with the words Maricopa County homicide detective, a name and phone number. The last thing I remember was an inhuman howl coming out of me and falling to the kitchen floor. Later, I recall few moments of lucidity as I was in a sedated state in bed for some time. I saw my babies’ scared faces as they cuddled me in bed and gave me so much love. They took such good care of me.

Eventually I came back to life for my family’s sake. But inside, in the darkest place, I was hating myself. Our last words were vile and I realized that the reason I said no to Johnny about the cabin was because I was afraid he would steal everything and sell it. He had done that already when my grandma and dad were alive and had not been in their wills as a result, which is why he was asking my permission to go up there. I became aware of my ugliness, my selfishness. And I started to hate myself in earnest. This awareness started a downward spiral for me. I did anything I could to numb my feelings. I started to think my life would be better if I got a divorce and my husband was willing to support whatever I needed. So I looked at apartments and got really scared. Then cheated on my husband. I hated him then, unfairly. I turned everything that was miserable about my life into his fault. But I stayed and after awhile of hating myself and my husband, we reconciled..without ever discussing what had happened, although he clearly knew. I think he pitied me so much that he allowed all of my bad behavior. He took care of me and the kids when I was hungover in the mornings. I slowly returned to a stable place, but it was short lived.

It took a long time and a lot of struggles to get to where I am now. He’s been gone for eleven years. I can say that I’m happy that he’s not hurting anymore and I believe he is somewhere that’s better than here. I think he has that infectious smile on his face and giggles all the time.

When he died he was thirty-five and only 2 years younger than me. Emotionally and mentally, he was like a teenager, which is when he first started using anything he could to numb his feelings. There was no substance he would not eagerly and repeatedly use. From cough syrup to meth. I picked him up once at a crack house in Portland’s notorious Columbia Villa, a 1942 housing barracks for shipbuilders in WWII turned gang ridden ghetto to some 400 households, where drive by shootings were common, and I was terrified. When I parked my car and went into the dilapidated apartment, several people including Johnny were smoking crack on a sofa.They passed the pipe to me and I refused. The air was thick with smoke and I got him out of there as fast as possible, took him to inpatient treatment, and he soon ran away. There were so many of these incidents with Johnny, and they broke my heart over and over again. He abused my boundaries time after time, stole from me, and conned me in every way. But I still loved my brother fiercely. As much as when I hid him in a drawer to save him as a baby. As much as I do today.

I have forgiven myself because I could not save him. It was never in my power. I still feel ashamed that I didn’t do something for the toddler he brought to my home because I was ignorant and afraid to make Johnny hate me. I have forgiven myself for how I reacted to his death, for how I wronged my family. I accepted that my feelings of selfishness for preserving what was left from our ancestors were real, but forgivable, and that it was my great responsibility to protect the land they left. I have forgiven Johnny for leaving me alone. I know he was not meant for this earth. He was too sweet, loving, and hurt. He could never seem to hold onto a wallet or identification, but he always carried a picture of me. He would show it to his friends and say “You want to see the most beautiful girl in the world? My sister”. I know he loved me as much as I loved him. And I know he’ll be waiting for me one day. And we’ll build forts and climb trees, and it will be worth our time apart.

I was busy being self aware the other day by telling my husband what to do.

“What you SHOULD do is…” and “What you’re not doing is…”

Look at me having all the answers.

As life often time will hand you your own behavior, life spoke up and I realized in a moment of husband awareness that every word I spoke to him was meant for myself. I apologized and began noticing my pattern of self-awareness through projection.  This is not a quality value nor an endearing trait. I was being a real asshole.

I listened to my advice I gave out so freely to friends, my family, the world. Every word had my own beliefs wrapped inside safely and delicately and was delivered to the wrong recipient. I have to stop talking to become self aware, and with that glaring obvious detail, I wrapped up cozy in a blanket of self and observed.  I did not even know what the problem was arising, but I felt my third eye opening, and it felt like salt water on a wound. Somewhat painful, somewhat delightful. What I want to be reality is a persona of Peggy, walking around and letting the world’s problems roll off the shoulders like a Buddhist practice in understanding and empathy. Instead, my anger would build and build and my response was in the form of an explosion.

I began to observe my habits like a psychological experiment. I monitored (through my FitBit) the variables that contributed to the anger feeling. How much sleep was I getting? How much exercise? What is my BPM when I get the warning signal that my patience is about depleted? What did I do in those times of emotional distress? The answers were pointed.

I need more sleep, I cannot talk to anyone after 113 BPM with a logical brain (therefore, I take a 5 min time out to breathe and return to resting BPM), I need 1.5 hours a day for workouts and hygiene. I need to eat clean (no unnatural sugars).  The questions and the answers were simple enough, but bringing self awareness to these habits helped me to make decisions concerning my own “treatment” plan.

I also learned that Full Moon and my emotions are directly linked. I have been studying this data for 1 year now, and I believe a nice cave is needed when a full moon is in play. This is the time when I need to be especially nice to myself. I listed comforts on little sticky notes and placed them around my work place as a reminder.

My moods are directly linked to frustration out of lack of planning. A simple meal plan quells my soul. The food nourishes, the exercises builds strength and self esteem and is a natural anti-depressant. I need to take better care of  myself.

This exercise in self-awareness was beautiful and I truly thank MeanRuthie for the blog prompt.

In order to be, we must practice.

I am perpetually immature. I don’t seem to engage with people my own age very often. I have dear friends who are older than me and I tend to feel daughterly with them. This speaks to my mommy issues, I suppose. I feel the need to please them and bask in their praise. They may not be much older than me, but I count on their wisdom and seek their approval. I often feel childlike in their presence.

It seems that most of my friends are actually much younger than me. With them, I find myself being Mama Bear. Again, mommy issues. As my value lies in how well I care for my kids, I feel buoyed by them seeking my advice. I enjoy feeding, nurturing and caring for my young friends. I also feel less concerned with my behavior in their presence, and at times act like a child.

Now, I have only just realized this about myself, and find it curious. Does this mean that I only allow myself to be vulnerable with people when I’m acting in another role? Perhaps. It makes absolute sense that I would employ a defensive shell and revert to infantile behavior to protect my emotions.

Are these behaviors healthy? I don’t know, but I am certain growth only occurs with some measure of discomfort. So, I am going to reach out to my friends that are my own age because it’s more difficult. They really know me best and have known me the longest. With them I feel more exposed and can’t help but compare our lives, which always makes me feel inadequate. I know this is only in my mind, not theirs. It is an old, familiar, nagging beast that puts me down and makes me feel like a child. It is decidedly not healthy if I choose to listen.

In light of all of the wonderful recent blogs about self-worth, I thought, why not explore this a little bit further. For me, increasing the awareness of myself, my responses, actions, and emotions has been instrumental to me having a more rounded idea of my self-worth.

Now we can talk about self-awareness, self-help, and all of the other ideas, readings, and resources out there, but for me, none of it really started to make sense until I explored my personality. I was always under the impression that personality was based mostly on learned/conditioned traits. However, over the last 4 years, I have spent some time discovering me through a path first brought to me as part of a staff building exercise while working in Hospice. The goal of the meeting was merely to scratch the surface of the subject to raise awareness that we all think, act, respond differently based on more than just our environment, education, religious (or other beliefs).

The basis of the exploration was a quick personality test based on the enneagram theory. There are many websites that you can pay your monies to in order to take a test. I suggest the free website listed here…. http://www.9types.com/newtest/index.php you can hit the link if it works, copy and paste the text, or simply google 9 types new test. This is a short questionnaire that gives fairly accurate results. There is also an option for the “RHETI” at the top of the page, this is a sample of a longer test, but I have found the results of both to be the same for me. I have to honestly say I have taken the test more than once and when I am in different frames of mind, or feeling off kilter. Down in a depressed darkness or on top of the world, my results were the same. The numbers in the boxes varied a bit, but the trend was always the same.

After taking the test, you may feel confused, or like it certainly must be wrong. I know I did. It tells me my type and I was like heck no, I’m a 2. A nurse, caring and nurturing… hahaha *mischievous grin* well I do have those qualities, but with further exploration I realized the accuracy of this little test was slightly scary. Scary, but also awesomely intriguing. Before jumping to conclusions, spend some time in reflection. Although I do not know each one of you closely, I have had several friends, my kids, and even talked my boy toy into taking the test.

Deeper exploration brings you to understand additional concepts: The Centers, Wing, Levels of Development, Directions of Integration and Disintegration, and more. I have done some work with the wing, centers, and directions of integration and disintegration concepts, but have not really looked much further. The concept of the three instincts is what I have been reading on most recently. When you are ready, here is a link with some additional information that I have found handy:https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works/ Now, let’s not leave out the most trusted source on the internet…. Wikipedia, which boasts a nice chart with lots of information all laid out by searching Enneagram of Personality.

I’m interested in hearing about your discoveries about yourself and ways that you practice self-awareness. I look forward to hearing your voices about other ways that have lead you to personal awareness or what the term “self-awareness” means to you.

As your mind starts its pathways and another extension of the story of you begins to form, I will leave you with this statement. To me it reflects what I am attempting to achieve, not only to know myself better, but to be able to put that knowledge into action. ** Self awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. It allows understanding of other people, how you are perceived, and your attitude and responses to them in the moment**

Today is the day that my family and I have been waiting for and dreaming about. I expected to wake up with an excited outlook and a feeling of joy. Instead I awoke with the usual feeling of anxiety; worrying to excess about anything and everything all at once. Some days I’m able to push it aside, ignore the nagging thoughts, and function in denial. Some days I’m able to rise above the constant chatter in my brain. I thought today would easily be a “best day ever” kind of day, however it hasn’t started that way.

Last night my daughter called me upset, asking if she could be self-sabotaging herself. We both suffer from chronic migraines and she had convinced herself that somehow she was causing her headaches. I asked if she had stayed away from triggers like sugars and carbs and she recalled that was all she’d eaten the last couple of days. This realization only intensified her feelings of guilt. I told her of course it’s not her fault. It took forty five minutes to dissuade her from these ideas. I even had to pull out the tough-love card and told her she was feeling sorry for herself, which was very difficult for me. As I was telling her to rise above these persuasive voices that fuel her anxiety, I realized that I should be telling myself the same things, “You are not self-sabotaging and it’s not your fault.”

My intention now is to rise above the voices in my head that say “You don’t deserve to feel hopeful or happy.” I’m going to tough-love the hell out of myself. If things don’t go the way I expect or desire, I won’t worry about it. I’ll just roll with it and not feel sorry for myself. I won’t allow myself to think I have the power to self-sabotage. I will thank my daughters for the lessons I learn from them every day and while I can’t promise that today will be a “best day ever”, I will certainly give it my best shot.

I am five years old and hiding in the closet, the baby safely hidden in a bottom drawer; waiting for the shouting and screaming to get quieter, to know how long to stay hidden. And finally, loud knocking on the front door and a man yelling my name, promising it’s safe to come out. I peek around corners cautiously as I make my way through the broken glass and wood. Then I see the man in the small window of the door up high. A kind smile and “Open the door, Honey. It’s ok now. We’re going to take you to your mommy, ok? Just unlock the door, Honey.” I open the door and men in uniforms rush past me. “Where is the boy?” Strong arms are lifting me. Shock and terror are preventing me from being able to speak, unable to tell them where I hid my brother. Now I am being rushed out of the broken house into the night and Daddy is there with the men with guns. I hear him saying, “Where’s my Camels?” He sees me and is crying and shouting at me “Baby, don’t let them take me. Daddy’s so sorry.” I’m being carried to the neighbors where I can hear Mommy screaming. I’m put in bed with her and she’s still crying and screaming for Johnny.

“My baby, where’s my baby?” The wailing is as scary as the yelling and hitting only moments ago. I just want everyone to be quiet. It’s so loud. Her clinging to me is oppressive, and I want to be back in the soldier’s arms. My inherent need to survive is what led me then and from that, a seed of self-worth was planted. Are survival and self-worth the same thing or is one born from the other? I was able to protect myself and my brother. That time. Not because I felt worthy, but because I had the primal instinct to survive. I think that the deliberate act of survival is self-worth in its truest form. If I am worthy of saving myself, then I have value.

I thought I had very little self-worth. I thought my low self-esteem and general dislike of my face in the mirror were the truth. I thought I was an ugly coward. I was simply breathing and waiting..to not. Only forty-eight and already so tired, the best experiences in my rear view mirror. I am too young for health problems, no longer contributing to society in a meaningful career, and a wax figure of a mother, no longer necessary for my children’s survival. The distinction between worth and self-esteem is necessary because one is truth and the other is what I have created in my mind. I have to remind myself of that. I have worth, I have value. I am loved. So the real question is; why am I so determined to take away any value I might have? Because of my failures? Why am I so quick to erase my worthiness? Because I’ve been hurt? The lies I’ve told myself keep me quiet and subdued, unable to answer. The voice that says “you’re an ugly, no good, piece of shit” was born to protect me, to remind me to stay hidden until it’s safe to come out.

For a long time, I thought someone else needed to save me to prove my worth. I searched every face for a glimmer of kindness; I looked outside of myself for someone, anyone, to value me. I went to bars alone and went home with men I didn’t know. I did so many needy things that I am ashamed of. I let myself get hurt time and time again. I was vulnerable and broken. It was like the flower I grew from a seed. I stayed in that shameful place for a very long time, not knowing that the seed of survival was germinating and every time I was abused it grew stronger. Each stress to the plant, every time the dog stepped on it or I forgot to water it, made it impervious to the blights, and strengthened its roots.

Recently, I had to tap into that well of strength, revisiting my childhood. Buried emotions rose to the surface and overflowed. I found myself sobbing, wailing, and slobbering in the fetal position. I didn’t eat or sleep and I cried so hard I threw up and wet my pants. I would catch myself in the mirror and couldn’t recognize the swollen, lined face I saw. I expected to see a child’s wide eyed face looking back. The reflection I saw filled me with pity, sadness, and dread. What I thought was ultimate weakness and my sanity saying “I’m out” was, in reality, a brief, intensive, grieving period. I had terrorizing nightmares when I could sleep, with old monsters visiting, and real monsters occupying my waking thoughts. I was irrationally afraid all the time. The phone ringing, a text message, or dogs barking sent me through the roof. Then my old friend, Self-Worth showed up and it changed.

I told Kristy I was sorry for what happened to her and it wasn’t her fault. I told her she was loved and worthy and innocent and pure, and that I would protect her at all costs. I told her she was not alone and I honored her and her brother’s memory. I got angry at all the predators, abusers, victimizers and bad guys who prey on the hurt and weak. I took action and said NO. I talked to my children, I reached out to my family, I found a way to reconcile the past. I reached out for help and let myself be vulnerable. In doing so, I gained a confidante, another supporter, and found out I’m not alone. I became a survivor, when I used to be a victim.

Like a seedling stretching towards the sun, I have grown stronger. My roots are deep and I won’t be stomped on or crowded out. This flower will bloom! And it will be glorious.

 

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The prompt is: what is your worth?

Personal worth in my mind: The search for the never ending answer or confirmation that our being on this planet is valued, our existence not merely a waste of emotions, validation that who we are matters at least to ourselves. Our worth. More specific to this blog “MY WORTH”. I put it in shouty caps to help myself remember the impact for my own state of mind. I think that the worth of a person is multifaceted. Like a diamond, we may have many sides, reflecting light from many aspects, while holding the same value. I certainly feel that my self-worth affects all parts of my life differently.
Interesting topic and right on time for recent events in my life. I have spent a lot of time lately identifying what I’m not. I’m not a housewife. I’m not a maid. I’m not a personal manager, laundry keeper, cook, financial adviser, etc…. I’M NOT! However in this frame of mind I think I have forgotten what I am. I am a mother. I am a girlfriend. I am a daughter, aunt, sister, friend, a nurse, etc. In those roles I find my worth and they all accompany in some aspect all of those things I was so focused on the “not”.
My most important role in my focus is that of a mother. My worth here is huge. MONUMENTAL! For I am helping to shape the lives of 2 humans that will ultimately have to survive without me at some point. Preparation for the world has 2 sides. How they interpret the way the world affects them and what their effect is on the world in return. My worth as a mother is to teach them how to act, how to respond, how to care for themselves, the list goes on and on. It’s not just the teaching of the how to’s but giving them sense of self as well. Allowing them to feel valued and learn to value themselves. (Being a parent is tough) I feel that this is not only my most important role, but where I find my biggest worth. From the time they were little and I seen they had used manners in an appropriate setting (even if they were fuckhouse crazy the second we got home) to them now as young adults managing their lives with jobs, doing their own laundry, cooking, and just being generally good people. It fills my sense of worth, elevates my self-esteem to watch my boys propel through life.
Instead of moving onto another role in life and how it is reflected in my worth, I think its noteworthy to discuss a little bit of how I came to value myself. Though still a constant work in progress, it started a long time ago when I was down on me for being chubby and hating my weight. I struggled with an eating disorder and swore to myself I was more than the number on my scale or on the tag of my clothes. I started by refusing to get on the scale. I went over 3 years with no clue as to what I weighed. In that time, I learned to better love my body and myself. I stopped wearing make up Mother’s day 2015, have only wore it once since which was later that fall. What was my real purpose for wearing it in the first place? I always felt different and not always good. So fuck it, I haven’t put a single little bit of make up on my face for well over 2 years. Has not worrying about my weight or wearing make up had negative effects? Maybe at first. But…. BUT!!!! I soon realized that the effects I was looking for weren’t what I needed. I didn’t need any man to think I’m sexy because of my weight or how my make up looked. I had more to offer. And to some men, I’m crazy sexy. To other, not so much. Really the factors of my physical appearance would have similar results… the difference, I believe it now. I still have more to offer. My boyfriend has only seen me with make-up in pictures. Never in real life. This thought also goes to my career. My looks and my weight bear no difference to my role as a nurse. Feeling confident in my skin and my knowledge however does on both accounts.
All of the other above roles friend, sister, daughter, etc… all are greatly treasured and while I find value in my roles, it is the value in myself that leads me there. My time is important to me. I am there for those who need me, but not unnecessarily. When I say I am going to do something, I do it (on most accounts). I hold my friends to the same worth and values that I hold myself to. Kindness, compassion, honesty, openness, respect, accountability….. those are some things that make up my worth to myself. Just a few of the things I strive to carry with me in all aspects of my life. In all my roles. My worth is not something I will work to convince someone else to see or feel or know. It will happen naturally if they are able to perceptive to it. What is ultimately important is how I perceive myself. Can I look at myself in the mirror, not just at my face, but look myself in the eyes? Am I proud of the person I am? Do I see my value in my family, in my community? Most days, yes I do, most days. There was a time in my life where I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, my sense of self worth shattered, my allowance of my value to depend on the opinion of someone else. Its on those days where I don’t see these things in myself, that I find value in others to help bring me back to myself.
I am the opinion of my worth that matters. I work to remember this!