Lately the subject on “self-worth” has popped up in a few things I’ve read. It’s a subject close to my heart because I grew up believing that I was a mistake or reject from heaven, and that God forgot to give me what everyone else seemed to have…love. How do you have self-worth without a sense of self-love. I was lucky to meet someone who saw something special in me, my husband. He loved me enough for the both of us. While I couldn’t understand what he saw in me that was so lovable, eventually I was able to see it through his eyes. Something inside me began to change as my faith grew. I awakened to a whole new understanding that God made each of us unique, and there was no one else in the world like me. That made me feel pretty special. Still I had to unlearn so much of what I’d grown up believing about myself. Mark Nepo, one of my favorite authors says, “I’ve learned that loving yourself requires a courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world—our own self-worth.” *1
Anita Moorjani reiterates this same idea when she experienced her dramatic near-death experience. She shares what she heard clearly before coming back: “Your only work is to love yourself, value yourself and embody this truth of self-worth and self-love so that you can be love in action. That is true service, to yourself and to those who surround you.” The message continues with her, and she explains that by not loving ourselves, we are denying the part of God that expresses itself through us. *2
As Nepo says, that learning to love ourselves requires courage like none other because it seems to go against just about everything we’ve learned. But think about it, how can we be the expression of God’s love to others, if we don’t see that it is God himself who desires to shine that love through us? Hum! Now that’s something worth to ponder on.
*1 “The Book Of Awakening” by Mark Nepo page29
*2 “What If This Is Heaven?” by Anita Moorjani
One of my grandsons recently said he wasn’t looking forward to going back to school because he hates homework. I chuckled and said, “ I don’t think anyone likes to do homework.” But he went on to say that he hated it because he was stupid. “Don’t say that,” I said. “You’re not stupid, and if you keep saying and believing it, you will never see how smart you really are.”
It broke my heart same as it did when my own kids thought it at one point or another. It even opened wounds of my own, as I remembered how hard school was for me because I believed the same thing.
I later tried to sit him down and get him to think about how wonderful made he is. That God doesn’t make mistakes, and that there’s this wonderful power he gives that allows us to see ourselves in whatever way we want to. Of course as you’ve probable guessed by now, it went in one ear and out the other. He’s a child and he’s not able to comprehend that. Even as adults we find it hard to tap into that power. We have to be willing and open to see something beyond our limited mind. It’s there, always has been, and always will be. It sits in waiting for us to discover it when we’re ready.
How did I see my own worth? One day as a young adult, someone told me that God doesn’t make mistakes. When I was told that there was no one else in the world like me, and that no one could do what I alone was created to do. When I understood that everyone was unique in their own way, it was then that something opened up in me, and I began to see that my life had meaning, and it was all my own. It doesn’t even matter how smart a person is, it won’t help them understand any better. You have to be willing and open to see something different, and then you have to work at changing all those old thought patterns. Oh…how freeing it is when this understanding awakens in us.
As for our kids and grandchildren, there is still the work we can do to show them the same worth God has shown us. We love, encourage, build them up, and most of all listen. In this way we become an expression for them what God has become for us. You don’t need some big revelation in your life to do this, just start from your deepest sense of goodness and watch the miracles it creates for you and them.
“To receive or not to receive,” that is the question?
It’s not easy to receive when you feel a sense of unworthiness. Does anyone have the right to feel good about the things they do without giving God all the credit? I hate when people say, oh it’s not me that does the work, but the God within me. Right there and then, when you say that you’re separating yourself from God. It is you who did the work, and it is in, through and with Him that it becomes the master piece it was meant to be. If we separate ourselves from God, then the unique person He created us to be means nothing. God is as much a part of me as my own brain is. He gave me the freedom to choose how to think with it. I can go through life thinking in the limited state of a human if I choose. Maybe never even acknowledging God at all, but it doesn’t change the fact that He’s still within me. When we’re ready to accept and receive this truth, a whole new world opens up to us. As One we make great things happen.
When we understand the true meaning of receiving, the question goes away. Because it is in receiving that we give, and in giving that we receive as St Francis puts so eloquently. You can’t have one without other, that is unless you are using it for the wrong reasons.
So I offer you the gift of thanks for reading the things that God puts in my heart. We make a great team, and it only happened when I started believing in the person God created me to be in the first place.
“You is good. You is Kind, and you is important!” It is yours to receive or not.