For most of my life, I allowed people to determine my value. How much someone loved me, complimented me, and acknowledged me determined how much I valued and loved myself. I know, it sounds ridiculous. How can someone else tell you how much you’re worth? I’m not sure exactly how or when I got to the point where I allowed someone else’s opinion to shape how I felt about myself. It may have been in my childhood or in my first relationship. The fact that I can’t narrow down the moment confirms that I looked externally for my self value longer than I can remember.
I’ve always been an extremely hard worker. I excelled in school. I was a straight A student from the time I was in 6th grade until I graduated college. I participated in every club, volunteered for everything, and worked a part time job. You name it, and I did it. Looking back now, I realize that I did all of that just so my mother would be proud of me. If my mother was proud of me, then I could be proud of myself. The funny thing is that I never felt proud of myself. The harder I worked and sought her approval, the less she gave it to me.
My lack of self value carried over into my first real relationship, and the hole that I had in my self esteem just continued getting deeper. I poured everything into pleasing my partner. I thought that if I worked hard enough, did enough, was skinny enough, and became enough for him that he would love me and value me. I was wrong. Because I didn’t value myself, he damn sure didn’t. Eventually, I ended up in a highly dysfunctional pattern of seeking other’s approval just to feel ok about myself. I was over-worked, exhausted, and in a downward spiral.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I’m here to tell you that nothing external matters. You have everything you need inside of you. You were born with all the love you will ever need. You are connected to an unlimited source of power. You were made from the same stuff as the stars. You are a miracle. The best gift in life is awakening to all that you already are. You know what you’ve been through and where you’ve come from. No one could live in your shoes if they tried. Acknowledge that. Honor yourself. You are enough, and you always will be!