I heard something tonight that knocked the wind out of me…in a good way:
I have worth simply because I breathe the breath of humanity.
To some people, this may seem like an obvious statement. To me, it was a brand new revelation; something that had never occurred to me before. I’m worthy simply because I’m here and I’m human.
I’ve spent pretty much my whole life trying to prove to everyone else that I’m worthy, thereby trying to prove to myself that I’m worthy. I’ve focused on being what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I’ve done what I thought I needed to to be liked because I thought if I wasn’t liked, it meant something was wrong with me. I’ve poured myself into every job I’ve had, afraid that if I made a mistake or did something wrong, it would mean I wasn’t worthy…that I wasn’t good at anything.
Much of this comes from living with a disability. I’ve tried to “distract” everyone from the fact that I’m disabled, not wanting them to judge me for it or think that I’m less than because of it. Because I myself believed that I was less than because of it. I still remember picking out clothes for my 1st day of high school. My mom was so patient with me and let me buy whatever I wanted that I thought would help me “fit in” with my new classmates so maybe they wouldn’t see past the fact that I was different and had a limp.
I tried to wear all the right makeup. My parents spent tons of money trying to help me get clear skin. I laughed at everyone’s jokes. I never spoke in any class all the way through college because I didn’t want people to think I was stupid for what I said (except for one college course where we literally got yelled at if we didn’t talk). I usually sat in the back so I could hide.
Even in my adult years, I’m hesitant to share an opinion. I’m hesitant to defend myself. I’m hesitant to point out anything that might need fixing because I’m afraid it will make me unlikable and therefore, unworthy.
For years, I longed to be in a relationship because I thought it would mean that I was finally like everyone else. That I was loveable and worthy. Instead, I just ended up in bad relationships and on dates with bad people.
I’ve spent so much of my life just trying to be what I think I’m supposed to be or what I think society wants me to be, that I’ve totally lost myself. I’ve put all of myself into so many external things instead of looking inward where it really matters.
My worth doesn’t come from how many people like me, how many friends I have, whether or not I’m in a relationship, whether I’m good at my job, whether I’m disabled or not…it comes simply from being me. Simply from me existing. I’ve been trying to find my worth like it was some sort of lost treasure when really it’s been here with me all along. I just had to dig a little to find it.