Because we ARE worth it

Because we ARE worth it |
For a very very long time, i did not think i was worth much. My self-esteem was non-existent resulting in life choices that weren’t the best. I didn’t particularly like myself, so loving myself wasn’t even on the radar, and because i couldn’t find the love inside i depended on it from outside, from others. And, as we all know, that is the way to almost guaranteed disappointment. I lived with that girl/woman for 32 years and at no point during those years was i her best friend – I was her enemy. i tripped her up at every turn, i berated her in front of others, i apologised for her when she had done nothing wrong, i fed her cigarettes and alcohol rather than listen to what her heart was saying.

And then something horrific happened, and my world fell apart. And here’s the thing – the life i lost, the one i had stitched around me in the shape i thought i should inhabit, fell away so easily because it was built on nothing. The love was real, my god yes it was, but all the layers of self i had constructed over the years weren’t coming from the real me… because i had never given the real me a chance to breathe. I hadn’t danced with her, i hadn’t asked her what she liked. The real me did not have a voice; the real me was so hidden i didn’t think she existed.

So my years of grieving were made all the more painful – and ultimately all the more healing – because, finally, i had nothing i could hide behind anymore. I had to face myself, for the first time ever. I had to learn who i was and make sense of where I was all at the same time, bone by bone, piece by piece. I wouldn’t wish that sort of heart-breaking solitude on anyone, and it is certainly not the only way to find your real self. But it’s what happened on my path, and now i am so grateful to have had the opportunity to dig inside my self and see if there was anything of any value. And as it turns out, i didn’t have to do anything more dramatic than sit with myself for a while and just be. Therapy helped the process, but so did walks on the beach and artist’s dates with my camera. So did writing in my journal and letting myself cry all night when the pain was more than i could bear. It was being present with myself, and not running away and hiding.

These days I am gentler with my self. I’m kinder to that girl with low self-esteem because I know that’s all she ever needed from me – kindness. I don’t walk around thinking I’m the cat’s whiskers – ha! Far from it! – but these days i try to be my own cheerleading squad of one (when premenstrosity allows, mind. Some days are easier than others.) Life is so bloody short and i can either beat myself up for whatever perceived screw up i have done, or i could make myself a mug of rooibos tea, pick up a book and do the things that comfort and support me. Because i’m trying really hard to do my best – some days it’s easier than others, and that’s okay. We are all doing our best. We are all worthy of love and support from ourselves, today and every day.

* This post is inspired by Brene Brown’s fabulous Week of Worthiness over on her blog, Ordinary Courage. Brene has given me a copy of her new DVD, The Hustle for Worthiness, to giveaway, so if you want a chance to get your mitts on it, please leave a comment telling us one really awesome thing about yourself, big or small (and i’ll draw the winner on Friday Saturday morning). I’ll start:

I know how to make people laugh :)

155 responses
  1. Emma

    Thank you, I struggle with all that stuff too.
    Because of my large bosoms and my long arms I am fantastic at hugging.

  2. Eva

    I just recently stumbled upon your blog and I would like to thank you for your inspirational writing. Your words are very touching to me.
    I am good at taking care of myself.

  3. Fabia

    Thank you… as always… I’m not so good in writing english… But I try to learn and improve myself every day. I went throught very bad moments in the past few years… but I know I’m strong enough to survive and to move on…
    I really would like to reach a place in your unravelling course.. I’ve tried for the spring session… but I’ve failed… maybe next time i’ll be faster than others (in the meanwile I study english.. )
    … by the way… on friday 12… It’s my birthday ;-)

  4. Christine

    Oh my, my eyes widened the minute I read this. Its my story.
    Thank you for putting into words what I couldn’t.
    P.S. I’m a great cook.

  5. Milena

    Susannah, I find your blog so very lovely and therefore would like to give you a beautiful blogger award. Stop by my blog to take a look xxx

  6. Emma

    What an affirming post. Keep on loving your beautiful self. When you go through such a healing and transformative process, it is astonishing sometimes to discover, as you tentatively reach out to others and to your own self, that you are not alone. Look at all these responses from women (I assume women) who have shared similar experiences. When I was young I believed I was being strong in my rebellion. But true strength comes when those times pass, for me it’swhen I am cherishing my friends and family, and loving myself. Your writing is great, keep on posting.

  7. Lisa

    Love your post. So much of it sounds familiar. I’m a caring mom.

  8. Michelle M

    Beautiful post, thankyou.
    I know how to make our home a haven for my family. I make a mean risotto. And I can make just about anything out of a few egg cartons, toilet rolls, tape and glue – just ask my 3 yr old.

  9. natalea

    beautiful post Susannah.
    I am FUN!

  10. Faith

    I have great powers of empathy, and am a good listener.
    I just loved this post so much, it brought tears to my eyes! You are amazing and a voice for so many. xo Faith

  11. Melanie

    I am a great listener…….

  12. Milena

    I am learning to speak my truth at long last:)

  13. Amy

    UGH!!!! Susannah, you are such a gentle, lovely soul…and I cannot implore enough how much this post touched me. Your words have hit me at the EXACT right time for me to hear them…and you need to know that!!! I am printing this post and putting it in my journal and possibly on my bulletin board with highlights on the key parts…Astounding honesty and beauty~
    …in awe~

  14. Qui

    One really big awesome thing about myself is I am dependably blunt and straightforward. I think ppl count on me to be that way now.

  15. Mary Koppes

    I find ways to support others that they try to keep hidden.

  16. Marissa

    My smile is contagious. And I smile a lot….

  17. Lis

    I encourage others to listen to their inner teacher and to trust THAT voice above all others …
    and thankfully, i’ve had some amazing teachers inspire me to do the same … ahem … yes, you Ms Susannah!
    xo – lis

  18. donna

    I am super organized and clutter-free – and here’s the best part – without being anal about it all.

  19. Carrie Harney

    WOW!!! Your post took my breath away. I wish I had your courage, the courage to forgive myself.
    As for one thing I do amazingly well… I make the worlds best chocolate chip cookies, and I love my children with all my heart!!!

  20. linni

    ooeee…it’s difficult…teehee…
    i good at providing tea and wings when someone is sad xx

  21. Annie

    super post. i am pouring a cup of rooibos on this rainy afternoon in your honor.
    when the music is right i can pull off some super funky dance moves.

  22. Debra

    I have a kind helpful heart.

  23. Trish

    Susannah, I sat next to you in Jen Lee’s class last fall a Squam. What a pleasure to meet and speak with you.
    Here’s my contribution: I give great hugs and I share my inner compliments for people to the outer world :)
    PS: I am great Mother :)

  24. melissa

    a soulful thank you for your beautiful and bare storytelling.
    i adore the dance.

  25. Fiona

    I can make things. And it makes me feel empowered.

  26. ToLiveInspired

    I have strength in a crisis , I am a good sister and aunt

  27. Sarah

    Oh wow hon..what a poserful post!! Hmmm… I guess I am good at encouraging others to be brave and Let Fly!

  28. Claudie C-G

    You post is so personal; I would be scared to write that and post it, truth or not.
    I take photos of mundane house exteriors (I expect they’ve been lived in for 30+ years by older folks) because I LIKE THEM. They aren’t fancy, there’s nothing to hide behind, they’re simple and easy to care for. Duh.

  29. Amisha

    I’ve always been told that I talk too much but thanks to that I think I can strike up a conversation with most people easily!

  30. Cassie

    I can only say so much what this post meant to me. There is so much struggle to be self confident in the world. Especially the art world.. where you constantly compare yourself to other’s talent. We should be our own biggest fans!
    i can capture a moment that nobody saw and then have them saying “i can’t believe I missed that!”

  31. Steffi

    Love this post! I copied some of your words into my journal.
    The awesome thing about me is that I can feel pain.

  32. Addie

    Lovely post.
    I am a loyal and patient friend… and I always have wine in my fridge for those who need it. :)

  33. Sarah

    I can and do love wholly in the face of, around, through and after loss.
    And I fold laundry like a pro.

  34. somepinkflowers

    when the eye doctor
    told me i needed eye surgery
    i could go blind
    i said,
    “” wowowowow!
    i did not see THAT coming! “”
    i cannot pass up an opportunity
    for a good laugh.

  35. Angela Vular

    I am good at taking care of others.
    I love your blog and have been reading it for about a year. You are a fantastic author…can’t wait to read your book!! Thanks for being you.

  36. Liz

    Love this!
    I love to smile at strangers.

  37. Heather

    thanks so much, as always, for sharing the good stuff here. it’s odd to leave the occasional, basically anonymous comment, so please know that it’s sent with great appreciation.

  38. Sylvia

    I agree, yes we are worth it!
    Big {{{hug}}} and :*
    I am a compassionate, creative woman and I can be very funny (sh… my secret super power ha, ha :)

  39. Susan Tuttle

    i have a big heart

  40. Von

    I am an Olympic level encourager. I think you might be too :)

  41. CD Beatrice Clay

    I am fiercely loyal and honest. Thanks for sharing yourself your wonderful self Susannah!

  42. Holly

    I know it’s Friday already but can I have a go at the little competition?
    I know how to make and tell stories :)

  43. julia

    Such a beautiful post.
    I put people at ease.

  44. Marissa Boone

    i freely share love

  45. megg

    I make a fabulous gluten free lasagne.
    I am capable of magic.
    Someone tells me I do a mean Fozzie Bear impression ;)

  46. Stephanie

    I’m kind to animals

  47. Nancy

    Great post!
    Let’s see…I also make others laugh and have a god sense of humor. And I am a very thoughtful and creative friend! And I am in a photo in a Beach Boys concert catalog from 1975!!! Fun times!

  48. amy

    such a powerful post I just had to say so. I have been told that I am a great listener and helper to anyone in need. thank you for this post!

  49. lisa cox

    I am a great mom.

  50. J

    I’ve learned to be patient, with others and with myself….I wasn’t always that way.

  51. Colette

    I know how to make children smile.

  52. Sandra

    I care, I love, I believe in kindness and beauty.
    I really enjoyed discovering your blog!

  53. CrowNology

    I am strong. And getting stronger everyday.
    You are so inspirational to me. Thank you.

  54. Jan

    You’re very fortunate to be learning these meaningful life lessons at such a relatively young age. I think I give new meaning to the term “late bloomer.” A major regret in my life was not taking advantage of furthering my education when I was younger. In 2006, I started taking university credit classes at our local community college. Now in my mid-50s, I will graduate next month with an Associates of Arts degree (something new since I was in school). When that’s finished, I intend to take advantage of some of the wonderfully creative courses I see online.
    “It’s never too late,” is the message I’d like to convey today.

  55. Samantha

    I am here, I am persistent of the things i know i need to do to make me feel like i belong. I understand the words “wishy woshie” I also understand believing in me is worth it even when its hard as hell.

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