Activate Your Self Worth- Stop Putting Yourself Last (Part 1)
This is one of those stories that has given me trouble on where to start, it is not that I do not know what I want to put across, I do but as Laimani Bidali said Self Worth is not a topic for one evening, but for a full conference!
Tuesday 5th July was a whole new experience for me, somehow I had always associated self worth with self esteem and though I had loved my experience with #Udada on Fathers of Honor, I was not entirely certain why I had registered for Activate your Self Worth event. Well, my friend Tryzer did ask me to accompany her but apart from me being a good Dada, I did not see the need of getting stuck in traffic now that the Prime Minister of Israel was around. Wah! Did you guys experience that traffic?!
Have you ever looked into the mirror and thought of how you have a long neck, a small mouth, love handles, and big eyes or forehead and how you wished that if only you had eyes like Ciku’s? Or have you ever been called fat, short, ugly, bitch or slut? And did it define what you see when you looked at yourself?
Since I was little my brother Ian had made it his business to tease me daily on how I have the smallest nose which appears sculpted, perhaps God forgot to put my nose there and with the last minute rush fixed me a nose that was not equivalent to my face. At first I took it as a joke but eventually it got in my head and every time I looked myself in a mirror or in a picture frame, my mind will go to my ‘small’ nose. I started shying away from any close up photos, or any situations that would need concentrating on my nose. So you can imagine my reaction when a man I was dating said how he thought I had such a wonderful nose.
Self worth indeed is in the eyes of the beholder, and no matter how many times he told me that my nose was perfect, I could not bring myself to believe it. We live in a world where beauty has been standardized, that for you to be beautiful, you must have a small waistline, perky boobs and curvy hips, and we try, to run the extra mile, to bleach our skins and to apply creams. All these in a vain attempt to be beautiful and attractive.
If only every woman knew, that her worth is not measured by physical appearance? That she can let her light shine! But we continuously hide all in the name of being a ‘good girl’ or a ‘wife material’.
As Laimani spoke that evening about self worth in regards to our spirit, soul, body and work, I could relate with almost everything she said. Yaani how many times have I called myself lazy, stupid, and worthless? Or stopped talking because someone thought I am being full of myself? And the many times I ‘stress eat’ because someone made me upset.
It does not mean that we stop taking care of our body or our health, but we can weigh the consequences of our decisions. Does what you eat or do nurture your well being or sabotage it? It is a process but I am learning to Ask, to stop saying No for people and to walk away from situations that devalue me.
Laimani gave a formula for this, that first I have to forgive my past decisions; they do not define the person I am today. Second, start doing better, in the words of Maya Angelou, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Third, appreciate and value myself.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” Eleanor Roosevelt. Someone calling me a Bitch does not make me a bitch, it has nothing to do with me, unless I have believed I am a bitch in which case I may start referring myself as one, dress like one or behave like one. It does not mean that I will not feel bad when someone calls me a bitch, but I have the power to choose how I react to it.
To transform our relationships we must first transform ourselves. A healthy relationship with self means I can only entertain healthy relationships in my life, be it with my girlfriends or any man I date. Makes sense right? But often we have a long list of what we want in a guy, stable, have a job, drives, has a house, disciplined, honest and so on and when someone asks what we bring to the table most of us go blank.
It goes without saying that you cannot give that which you do not have, you must learn how to love and be kind to yourself first so that you can be able to extend the same to others. Relationships stem out of who we are, if I am secure in myself then my relationship will be secure.
I used to feel so good when someone told me how I make them happy and how they will be sad without me, romantic eeh? Until they started using those words against me, when I was not available to spend time with them, they will be sad and I will end up feeling guilty and angry at myself but what I came to realize as Laimani spoke, is that If you derive your peace, joy and happiness from God, someone may disappoint you or be rude towards you but your inner peace will not be shaken.
We are a sum total of our beliefs, I got to experience this when I broke up with my boyfriend. During a heart to heart moment with my girlfriend at Memorial park where we go to “bury” our exes, she casually commented how I will end up inviting my now ex boyfriend to my place and how I might even go back to him. At this point I was a bit confused, like really? So she went ahead and told me how many times she invited her ex to her place despite relocating because of him. Aah excuse me!? What does it have that to do with me?
My point is, she was using HER personal experience to predict what will happen to ME, she is a person I look up to when it comes to relationship advice, I was inclined to believe her. Except now I am a renewed lady, thanks to Alabastron and I am able to distinguish between facts and belief systems.
In every relationship you can either lose or find yourself, by now we have agreed that the relationships you have are a reflection of who you are. It gave me such a different outlook, but first I had to Activate my Self Worth by:
Acknowledging every unhealthy belief, by calling it for what it is. Like mine is Laziness when it came to working out and engaging in premarital sex.
Confront the cause. The only way to stop bad mouthing myself is to honor the promises I have made to myself, to abstain from sex and work out at least three days a week.
Forgive myself. This is the foundation of everything, acknowledging that I have sinned against myself and God. Asking for god’s forgiveness and forgiving self was the start of my journey.
Use the displacement method by replacing the unhealthy habit. I now understand that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am a work of art created in His own Likeness and I am able to get nourishment from God’s teaching.
Accept my personality and this includes even the weaknesses.
Appreciate my beauty, gift and treasure. For instance writing is God’s gift to me and well according to Psalms 139:14, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and this my soul knows well.
Learning to say no and yes. Behind every No lies a Yes, No to Junk food, Yes to healthy foods.
Dada (I can now comfortably refer to you as my Sister) Ask yourself, what am I gaining by hiding my light? Even though I cannot be able to copy and paste every word said that Tuesday evening, I can only give you my understanding of it and invite you for the next #Udada event on Redefining Success on 2nd August which is open to both men and women, so bring a friend or a boyfriend along!