What makes you worthy? Is it the color of your skin, how much money you have, who you love, where you were born or live, how much you weigh, or who you do or don’t call your “God?” Let’s raise the stakes…How about if you’re in prison or on parole, or a drug addict, or you have mental illness, or you’re gay or transgender, homeless, orphaned, an immigrant…who did I miss?
Seriously friend, in a world where there is comparison and discrimination at every turn, what makes someone more “worthy” than someone else? Is it a number, a feeling, a birthright, a rite of passage?
Drum roll…Nothing does…No Thing…Nopie…Zero…Nada…Zilch.
Your true “worth” is your “self-worth,” which is all about you and not what you’ve done, who you love, your circumstances, gender, culture, or any other external factor. You have a beating heart and expanding lungs, which means you qualify for the same “worth” as anyone else with those same physiological traits, which mean all humans (#crystalclear).
One of the problems that contributes to this “self-worth dilemma” is that we mostly measure our self-worth by comparing ourselves to others. How many of us emphasize something external or someone else’s successes or failures to validate self-worth? How about, “A lot” (scientific answer).
But true self-worth has nothing to do with any external factor.
It’s not about living in the suburbs or on the streets, having a million dollars or going bankrupt, losing or gaining 20 pounds, being single or in a relationship, not having a car or driving a Range Rover, being fired or getting a promotion. True self-worth is a “who-I-am-right-now…as-is” thingamabob (yes, I was happily surprised that’s a word).
The dictionary defines self-worth as “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.”
As a person (not a beautiful, skinny, millionaire…doesn’t say that (and I looked)). Self-worth comes from an intrinsic (within you) force. It’s “how you sense your value.” It’s “how you sense your worth.” It’s all about how you sense and embrace your limitations or perfections.
So, how do we find this “take-me-as-I-am” self-worth?
A great first step would be to determine how you feel about your own worth (money, job, relationship, health, etc.). If you tell yourself, “I am not…as good as, rich as, happy as, etc.” then you have a good indication for where you have low self-worth by comparing yourself to others and thereby rejecting yourself.
If you find some self-worth based on comparing yourself to the struggles of others (i.e. “I’m not rich, but at least I’m not a homeless bum.”), I might offer that this is not self-worth…this is judgment, lack of empathy and maybe just a “tad bit of self-righteousness” (she said with air quotes and a squeaky voice).
Having empathy and compassion for that person in struggle might help you have less self-judgment and find some self-compassion for your own challenges.
That long journey from self-rejection to self-acceptance requires a deep look at where you lost or rejected “You” and a huge dose of self-kindness and self-compassion in the rediscovery-of-self process.
Okay, we’re getting near the end of our time together and I can’t leave without this last bit. If it scares the crap out of you to believe you’re worthy…as worthy as the skinny, rich, confident, or successful person you compare yourself to, try this on for size…tell yourself, “I am not my job, my bank account, my weight, my education, what I did, where I came from, how many “Likes” I got, who I love, or who or what I believe in.”
Then add this, “I am me…awesome and amazing…a beating heart and expanding lungs…a miracle. I am worthy and I am lovable. I am a kind, compassionate, breathing, feeling human being. That’s who I am and that worth is priceless.” Do it again…and again…eventually, you will believe it and your heart will be beyond grateful.
Lastly, the next time you’re with your partner, parent, child, friend, pet or other make-you-feel-good person or animal, give them a big hug and allow yourself to truly “feel how you feel about you.” Worthy? Content? Loved? Lovable? Yes. That “worth” is coming from your heart and maybe, just maybe, by connecting you with someone or something you love, that worth is connecting you to you. There is no price on that worth…I promise.