Imagine you’re a teenage girl hopelessly in love with a boy for a long time who only sees you as part of the furniture and asks you to fix him up with your friend. Imagine your live in boyfriend has a party but doesn’t invite you because he sees you too much. Imagine this boy is flirtatious and has lots of female friends he likes to socialise with without you even going away on holiday with them without you. Imagine he then cheats on you and you take him back because you still love him but you never trust him again and the relationship is doomed. Imagine your absent Father only says he loves you when he’s drunk and tells others who say you are pretty ” She’d be better if she lost weight”. Imagine how your heart sinks when you hear those words because you are a size 12-14 then, you’ve lost weight but you know it will never be enough for him. Imagine years later when you have a long overdue reunion together and you are self-conscious because you have really ballooned in weight that he tells his new wife “He wouldn’t have known you at all” and she then thinks it’s perfectly ok to tell you this with a laugh in her voice.
As I am sure you’ve guessed by now I don’t have to imagine any of the above scenarios because they all happened to me at some course in my life. I don’t tell you this to ask for your pity. We have all been through similar and tragically in some women’s cases, even more.
I can honestly say that those things and those words do not hurt me any more. There are many things I wish I could change about myself and I am working on those but what really saddens me and makes me cross is that I let people treat me like that. That I did not believe I was worth more than that. I was so desperate for love and affection and approval that I stayed in unsatisfactory relationships. Looking back there were times I tried to assert myself and love myself but it never came through. I was damaged and I had spent a lifetime believing bad things about myself.
People have often told me I am opinionated. I think this stems initially from wanting to be liked so taking someone else’s point of view in a conversation. The problem with that was I disagreed with what they were saying but would back down because I automatically assumed they knew better than me.
I so love being older and having a bit more tenacity and realising that sometimes others don’t always know better. Sometimes they are floundering too.
The tragic thing about not believing you are worth anything is you have the tendency to attract like-minded people who will agree with you and put you down and treat you like a doormat. We all have so far to go to get to where we want to be but whether we hurtle to our destination at full speed with no diversions or take the scenic route and take in Pitfall station and the Mountains of anxiety we will eventually get there.
If you don’t believe you are worth anything you will never be truly happy because others will always seem better than you. I’m afraid the thing you fear is partly true. It is a fact of life. Others in the orchestra of your life will be better than you at some things and you will be better than them at others. They may be prettier and smarter and kinder and better at the darn housework but so what? Does that mean you shouldn’t sing your song or play your gifts?
Believe it or not though others may not say it they admire you. They think you have it together. They think you’re terrific. Shouldn’t you?
You must make self-love a priority. Not an egotistical narcissistic love but a healthy sense of self-worth. I am still preaching to myself here. Those tapes that play in your background telling you you’re no good must be destroyed and not listened to any more. They must be replaced with ones that tell you good things about yourself. Even if you can only think of one thing to begin with.
I know. I understand. I haven’t got it all figured out yet. I still have so far to go in this respect but I am going to try.
And you know what? This sense of self-worth won’t make you immune to life. There will still be people who rub you up the wrong way or even dislike you but that is their issue. You concentrate on you.