I never knew that the deep issue I needed to tackle most in my life had to do with self-worth. To be honest with myself and have clarity about this massive area for growth has transformed my life recently. How sad is it to think that just being me isn’t enough?! That in order to feel more worthy, I actively (and unconsciously), strove to do more. I thought working tirelessly day after day to be the best mom, wife, friend, woman, daughter, and more would fulfill this void I never knew existed.
Sadly, the more women I speak to, the more I discover I’m not alone. It was not until after one of my, “I’m tired of giving, tired of the daily grind,” moments that my friend recommended that I read the book, Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist, that I finally decided to change. Up until that point, I was striving. I was doing things because I thought I “should,” because that’s what a perfect (insert a role from above) ought to do. My heart wasn’t fully invested or if it was, I was not at capacity to do it but still took it on. I had all these unrealistic ideas and expectations of what I should be doing and should be as a person. Sometimes it was self-imposed, while other times it was the messages I received from others. Man oh man, this way of thinking and living was tiring. But I knew no different. Since I was school-age, I was encouraged and pressured to be an overachiever and productivity made me feel accomplished. That’s how I received recognition, awards, and praise. My worth came from others and not myself or from God, the One who made me, loves me unconditionally, and thinks I’m beautiful just as I am, without any accolades.
The realization that I can just be me and not strive to prove my worth has consequently created more quiet in my mind and physical space, encourage me to be present, love others more generously, make less judgments, and connect with others and God more deeply. I’ve courageously asked for help where I need it and feel less guilt and actively seek out self-care. I’m teaching our kids that relaxing and doing nothing except enjoy eachothers’ company is enough. As a result, we stay home more and just enjoy our space and play. I’m finding this new way of living is bringing me much happiness and peace. Of course I have moments of regression, but I have to remind myself that I don’t need to prove anything and that God knows me and loves me. That is enough. With that said, this new way of thinking, acting, and loving will be the best start as I enter 2017!