There is one thing that if we all addressed and relearned correctly could save so much hurt, heart ache and destruction (on so many levels and areas):
I recently shot a wedding and the bride had the most phenomenal accent ring (worn on her right hand.) It was a gigantic gemstone -larger than a robin’s egg- and it was cut all over to maximize the sparkle. Delicately set in a thin band, this marvelous gem was shocking to the sight. Simply breathtaking.
The next day as I was reading Daring Greatly by the beloved Brené Brown, I thought about the stone. It struck me what a representation of our souls a gem like that is. I envisioned a large, dirty, uncut, unpolished gem hidden away in the dead center of my chest -where my spirit resides. Because, come on, I mean, I am not so wonderful to be a polished, gorgeous cut precious gem -a ruby in the rough, more like it. But the more I pondered the analogy, the more I began to allow myself to be a stunning stone, one that glows with brilliance.
Our self worth is like a priceless diamond, sapphire, emerald, amethyst -whatever speaks to you- that is bigger than your fist. It’s massive. And you were born with it.
Its value cannot be diminished.
No one can take it away from you, no one can steal it, no one can devalue it.
It is priceless and it is unchanging.
We make choices everyday. Sometimes those choices are hurtful to ourselves or to others. Even when we continue to make hurtful choices, even when others continue to hurt us, despite all we do and what is done to us, our self worth never diminishes.
When we recognize what we are —precious, valuable, worthy— we are able to like ourselves. We are able to love ourselves. We are able to treat ourselves with respect.
Once we can accept and be kind to ourselves, then –and only then– can we truly love, be kind to and respect others.
When Jesus said, “love your neighbor as yourself,” he didn’t mean love your neighbor INSTEAD of yourself. Did you grow up with that message? I did. Unintentionally, I’m sure, but that was the message I got. It’s the message many of the women in my family still cling to. Not being worthy unless you are productive, doing good, helping others, giving, giving, giving and being completely unselfish. And self care is selfish in that skewed mentality. I still have to fight it. I’m just learning this lesson of worthiness -I’ve got a long road to travel before I can wake up everyday and maintain a mindset that I am worthy of love, but I’m on the path and I want to keep going.
What does your gem look like? Where does it reside in your being? What shape and cut is it? Does it glow brighter at certain times or is it constant?
Once you can see your brilliant gemstone, notice how you can see others’.
Because you are worthy of love, Darling Being. And let yourself be the first one to acknowledge that fact and provide that love before looking to others for validation. If you don’t believe it, even if others do, it won’t make any difference.
Start with your heart.