23 June 2011

Self-Worth: Welcome Back Old Friend

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I am working through some “self-worth” issues as of late. (You can read more about them here, here, and here.) Needless to say, the changes my body, mind, and spirit have been experiencing have been eye opening and sometimes scary. I wish I had a better sense of who I am to not be so effected by it all but the truth is, I am still figuring it all out.

Today, I am not going to talk about all the insecurities that seem to plague me, but tell you how I have been working through them. Yes, that is right. I have been working through them. And just the act of picking myself up, making a decision of the direction I want to head in, and working toward it, has restored a sense of self-worth that I once felt and have since lost. (Yes, lost, but lost things can be found again.)

Can I tell you what changed in me? I remembered that I have the ability to change. I do. Yes, I was born with certain tendencies and personality characteristics. Some of those I hold dear to my heart. I embrace those things that I feel make me unique. But some things are not so lovely. Before I realized that I don’t have to keep those things I don’t like, it was rather depressing to think “I am lazy. It is just who I am. I am scared. It is just the way it has to be. I hate my body. But that is life.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Those things that I hate seeing stare me down in the mirror don’t need to be that way forever. I can change. The ability is there; I just need to make the choice to do it.

A few weeks ago I took a step back and looked at the things that have been nibbling at my self-worth. And instead of just accepting my fate as something I didn’t like, I decided that I could stop it now. Can I get a little specific?

Physically, I was not happy or comfortable. So, I called a friend who said she liked to run and we made some plans. We would meet at 6am and run together. Some days it works and some days it doesn’t. But the fresh air, the exercise, the attention to my physical well-being has brought a sense of accomplishment to my life. No, I have not lost the baby weight but I feel a tiny piece of my self-worth becoming my friend again.

And making that one choice to change what I didn’t like had a domino effect; all the sudden I was paying attention again to what foods I was bringing into my body, how much water I was drinking, and how much sleep I was getting. Billy and I started to make changes, throwing out the foods that were simply empty calories and replacing them with veggies and hummas, fruits, and whole grain foods. And guess who was knocking at my door? Another part of that lost self-worth.

There are more changes that I have been bringing into my life: finally dressing to fit not only my personality but my body type, taking a photography class to relearn old, forgotten skills, organizing my house, putting my whole heart into church responsibilities, and flossing my teeth. The list goes on. With every change I make, whether it is starting to do something new or bringing back things I used to do but have since let slip from my mind, I feel stronger, prouder, and more able to continue to make changes and become the person I have the ability to be.

There are still so many times that I fall short of what I feel I should do. And some days, I struggle to get back up. But with the help of a husband who loves me for who I am and sees what I can become, and the support of friends and family who are patient and remind me of what I can do, I get back up and do those hard things that make me proud to be me.

(Thank you all for letting me share myself with you. It is not always easy but has meant so much to me!)

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