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. Camila F.

    You have a lovely blog! Loved the post!

  2. Stacy

    I can create art in a quilt.

  3. Sara

    I encourage women to tell their stories, and I listen.

  4. The Shutter

    You are such a good write. Seriously good. Wish I could take you out for coffee in NYC.

  5. m thompson

    even when i am so weary i can hardly stand up… even when i am so angry i can’t see straight… even when i am overcome by a sorrow i do not understand… i am a thoughtful, caring & present mother to the child i brought into this world…

  6. andria

    One really great thing about me: I am a good listener.

  7. Mel

    I am really, really good at giving gifts.

  8. Carmen Torbus

    I’m inspiring!

  9. Jet Harrington

    I know when people need a hug – and I give a good hug.

  10. Brené

    I care.
    Beautiful post. Your writing is so powerful!

  11. Brooke

    What a fantastic post, Susannah. So true. Sitting with oneself: sometimes so hard!! (And what, then, do I do, if I find things I can’t face, or even *gasp* find myself happy? :)
    I can do splits and a backbend.

  12. Jade Sheldon

    I understand exactly how you feel: I used to constantly apologize for who I was… I used to cry endlessly and treat my body horribly. But I got it all together and realized how everything is truly wonderful.
    I applaud your courage and strength…

  13. Tammy

    I am a fabulous critic! ;-)

  14. Swirly

    This is beautiful. Today I was looking at pictures from my visit to London two years ago – so much fun. I miss you.

  15. maria

    other’s feel safe sharing their deep scary secrets with me.
    thanks for the post, beautifully written.

  16. Julie

    I make sure everyone I love has a cake with a candle to blow out on their birthdays.

  17. furiousball

    beautiful :)

  18. Rae

    Your post was very needed today. Thank you. I love the picture. That is me. Wishy Washy. lol!
    I nurture others.

  19. Kristy

    Love this post – thanks! It echoes & affirms thoughts I’ve been thinking myself lately.
    One awesome thing: I know the lyrics to thousands and thousands of songs.

  20. Kat

    thanks for sharing that deeply personal part of you…you’re very brave as well as funny!
    my first response was the same as yours…i make people laugh…especially my daughters, even tho they tell me i’m no longer funny…they’re teenagers tho,what do they know!!

  21. JoLynn

    I also know how to make people laugh! Great post!!!

  22. amanda

    i am a good listener.

  23. Suvarna

    Well put, a little self love goes a long long way.
    I am a good mother

  24. Brigindo

    Beautiful post.
    I am the calm in other people’s storms.


    Thank you for sharing! My five-year old daughter maintains that I am the best mom in the whole wide world and I find that to be a pretty awesome thing!

  26. Karen D

    I love this post and I can relate to the self esteem and lack of self love you felt, because that is where I am coming from now, but I am slowly emerging and what a beautiful butterly I will be, all I can say is “Watch out World!”
    What I love about myself is the way I can really listen to others, to HEAR what they are saying even beyond their words.
    Love to you

  27. Mandy Ford

    What a lovely story – thanks so much for sharing it! I guess one thing about me that someone else pointed out is that I have a “quiet strength”. I always go back to that when I think I can’t handle something difficult that comes my way.

  28. Jennifer

    I make awesome mashed potatoes, black-bottom cupcakes (chocolate, cream cheese, chocolate chips), and chocolate chip cookies.

  29. Kim

    i’m good at finding small ways to make people feel loved.
    . . . and it is also in my 30s where i am deciding to be a better friend to myself.

  30. amy rehnae

    i feel as though, reading this, and other posts of yours, that we have lived so much of the same life…your healing and transformation is several, several steps ahead of mine, though, and for that i am grateful because it gives me strength on those days you speak of to know that someone else has gone before me and lived to tell the tale! thank you for telling your tale!
    and…two things…i am stronger than i ever thought i was, and i am good at finding the funny in just about anything!

  31. Stefanie

    I rarely put my head in the hat, but I think that sounds love for this period of my life.
    Definitely going to head over and Brene’s blog

  32. Brandy

    Lovely post. I have been there before as well, so raw, so open and on the floor in my own pool of tears. Thank goodness the sun came out after lots of reflection.
    I have a great laugh.

  33. Verne

    I make people feel safe

  34. The Other Laura

    I am courageous.
    (and I taught myself how to knit!)

  35. Still Lily

    I listen to my heart.
    Great post by the way!

  36. floreta

    excellent post!!
    i relate with it SO well.
    i too had one of those not quite good enough relationships, because i needed to find my self first. and because i depended too much on others, and in particular, one person. which is unfair and far too much a burden!
    i like how you mention artist dates. :) have you read Julia Cameron’s the Artists Way? She talks about taking yourself out on artist dates. first time i had heard that term.

  37. Christiane

    I am a good mom. (And it took me the better part of two and a half years to be able to say it just like that, without reservations.

  38. Heather

    I am a good friend to others and learning to be a good friend to myself

  39. linda

    Love how you wrote that you just had to sit with yourself and just be. Everybody needs that “me” time, I think. Thank you for sharing your story and although I was lucky to not go through so much pain… I did come to the same realization that punishing yourself does no good and gravitating towards comfort and good things is what life should be about – it is short and I always feel like I don’t have enough time…the dread of not being able to do it all – eeek! Oo, what a challenge to write something cool about myself, because I always feel like I don’t want to be tooting my own horn. I’ll go personal and say I’m awesome at making my husband laugh and smile at my sillyness :)

  40. amy

    i am a good storyteller and i do a pretty good kermit the frog imitation. :)

  41. Krysten

    Wonderful post.
    My hubby says I’m the best wife in the world =-)


    Thank you so much for this post. I was feeling particularly low today when this came up on my reader and thank goodness I took the time to read it! Thank you.
    I have a loving nature that embraces everyone.

  43. Horte Hernandez

    I’m a loving and caring woman. I try to each and every day inspire my kids to be kind, productive human beings. We recycle in our house!!!

  44. Meryl Mills

    I believe in the power of love, without hesitation!

  45. jane

    this is a lovely post – thankyou for your big heart and telling the story of your journey into dark places and out the other side!

  46. Julie B

    I can be positive for others when they’re having a hard time being positive themselves.

  47. jen downer

    i can see magic in the ordinary

  48. Jadyn

    Beautiful post! Thank you…
    I am good at seeing the best in others (although that does goes out the window sometimes when pms hits. Ha!)

  49. kristen

    i love this photo…san francisco, isn’t it?
    i’m a good friend.

  50. green ink

    Beautiful post. Absolutely beautiful. I went through something similar that peeled all the layers off me and allowed myself to discover who I truly was. And like you say, it fell apart so easily because none of it was real. Now I know what I have is real.
    I am brave.
    And I make an amazing sticky date pudding.

  51. Debi

    LOVE that picture – how perfect for this post of a journey not yet completed. I whined and moaned & slobbered with self pity on my blog today – this was just what I needed to set my tush straight. Muchas gracias!
    Oh! I am incredible at untying knots.

  52. Brenda

    I endure.

  53. Karen Brettle

    I belly laughed with my my son 1st thing this morning and again this evening before he went to bed. A perfect way to start and end a day! On the days that we dont laugh (and thats not often now) I remember the days that we do and it always makes me keeps that positive energy flowing..I promise myself that that is what my son will learn from me..that is my contribution to his foundation <3

  54. jennifer Compton

    I am encouraging and root for the underdog.

  55. Katherine

    Fabulous post & great give away.
    I trust inspite of betrayals…and I can touch my tongue to my nose!! :)

  56. Cheri Andrews

    I write good blog posts, sometimes even funny (or so I am told).

  57. Sherry

    I too like to make people laugh. =] I am teachable.
    Thank you for this honest post. I have to admit that I cried some hot tears as I read it. You seemed to be able to put into words what I’ve been feeling for quite some time. Thank you.

  58. Melissa

    you have no idea how much I needed to read this today…

  59. Esther

    Deeply touched by your beautiful post.
    One awesome thing: I’m sensitive.

  60. Sam

    Lovely, lovely post.

  61. Clare

    This is a wonderful post – I needed it today. Thank you!
    One awesome thing: I’m great with kids!

  62. Danielle N.

    I’m a great listener. And hugger.

  63. Shannon

    After reading this I’m going to go home tonight after work and just Be. Light some candles, make some tea, write in my journal, dream, and scheme about how to take those those thoughts in my head into the real world. Being present instead of distracting myself with TV or the web (sorry). And oh, I’m a really good photographer (though most of the time I have a hard time saying that).

  64. Emily Perry

    lovely post! something about me: i love to cook and bake from scratch.
    {as an aside, i am in awe of the way you have harnessed the difficult but lovely gift of transformation that grief brings. xo}

  65. Jules The Bling Princess

    I love your post – thank-you for sharing. (-: I don’t do things by halves – I put my full heart into everything – be it relationships, life, artwork, or my children.

  66. Clara

    Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to share yourself with us. The old adage is true: it truly IS the journey rather than destination, and being kind to ourselves during that journey makes all the difference.
    One small & awesome thing about me: I’m very loyal.

  67. Tor

    I can shake a tail feather on any dancefloor, anywhere, at anytime! :)

  68. Bea

    I always know exactly what to do in an emergency.

  69. Christine

    For one thing, you totally ARE the cat’s whiskers, and for another, that’s the cutest expression ever.
    Not sure if I’m eligible for the draw in Canada but either way:
    I am thoughtful, creative, compassionate and interesting. And, I make a mean spice cake.

  70. Rae

    This is beautifully written. Printing it and adding to my journal. Thank You!
    I am an amazing cook and I love with my whole heart!

  71. Juliana Gerber-Miller

    You have struck a chord again–thanks for that. And as always, you are one fab lady!
    One thing about me that is cool:
    I give compliments to people daily.

  72. DawnS

    I’m a good mom :)

  73. Roxanne

    Oh, Susannah, how I can relate to this post!
    I lived so many years of my life failing to believe how special, how worthy, how beautiful that grrrrl in the mirror really IS. Losing a beloved one ~ one that grew inside of me ~ injected me with so much pain, I could see little else.
    I became a nurse so I could “make it better.” Well, that is, everyone else but me. Why, why wasn’t I worth it? And … why did I turn to poisoning myself (read: self-medicating)? I basically had a shattering encounter with insanity … in which everything I thought real and true fell away, like autumn leaves fall from their trees.
    I’ve a way with words ~ i.e. I can write brilliantly. Also, I have discovered my innate flair for photography; flower photography.

  74. Heidi

    I can cook. And despite being a brown thumb most of my life, I decided to learn to garden. Spring and Summer, I cook with home grown veggies.

  75. Rainey

    Wow. Someday I hope to write something similar about finding myself.
    I have great intuition about others.

  76. mj

    Even after knockbacks, heartaches and bitter disappointments, I keep on keeping on, trying to find my true life. Because it’s there, somewhere, and what else can we do?
    Thank you Susannah.

  77. Graciel @ Evenstar Art

    i trust my instincts and i very often act on them.
    splendiferous post, brave woman. :) xo

  78. cate

    I make an awesome white chocolate cheesecake! Thank you for continuing to share yourself through this blog.

  79. Cheryl Mattis

    I am a good mother. I have two beautiful daughters 17, and 22 who actually like me!!

  80. kelly nolan

    I often have a childlike sense of fun.
    Thanks for the lovely and moving post.

  81. Tisha

    Susannah, you are such a gift to the world. Thank you for sharing the bits and pieces of your story…and for allowing us all to witness you move through life with grace, honesty, beauty and humor. I’m grateful.
    As for my own tidbit, I can listen really, really deeply.

  82. Sherri

    Absolutely beautifully written post!!
    I can see beauty within anything even when no one else can.

  83. stacy

    if i could write anywhere near as well as you, i could have written this post. i completely relate. thank you for this.
    i’m compassionate, and i make a mean pesto.

  84. Wendy

    I am a great cheerleader for my friends when they need to be cheered on. Go! You can do it! I truly believe in you! Yes, you can.
    Thank you for the encouraging words.

  85. charlane

    so many people need to hear this – thank you for sharing it.

  86. Traci

    I am a fantastic auntie! You’ll see…it’s the coolest thing in the world to be.
    Wonderful post, Susannah!

  87. Heathir

    I have a great smile.

  88. Jackie

    I am a great cook!

  89. Olivia

    I am honest, caring, encouraging and inspiring.
    I loved this post. It sounds so much like my own journey. I have done a lot of healing myself over the last 6 years and I am so thankful to be as happy and healthy as I am right now. I am also thankful that I have gotten to where I am by the young age of 25 (26 on Friday!). I am watching my mom, who is in her 50’s, just begin her journey of healing and coming into herself. I realize that healing is a continual cycle, but thank God I value myself enough to have started and I am now able to help others in this journey as well. If you are interested in reading about my journey you can visit my blog,

  90. KathyK

    Great post…I’ve some of the similar things about myself.
    I’m a good Aunt…and I love being an Aunt!

  91. Paula S

    Thank for the beautiful post Susannah. I would loooove to win the DVD – Brene is so inspiring. This year I am making more of an effort to get to know my 12-year-old son, as we have so very little in common. Without his knowledge I covered all his school books for the year with pictures I had sourced from all over of his favourite video game. I even downloaded the font used in the game title so I could do the name lables. It was a ‘good Mum’ moment and though he didn’t make a fuss, I could tell he appreciated the effort. I was really proud of myself. Ta da!

  92. Anneli

    Great post Susannah.
    I am “the organiser”, I help people make things happen.

  93. Beth McLarnan

    Very beautifully written, so honest…I’ve been through that and I know how painful it is. I like the way you described letting go of who you were not and seeing the girl you are. Which, is pretty cool I might add! I’m going to link it to my blog and make all my friends read it!
    Let’s see…I have a wicked sense of humor and can make you laugh til you pee your pants. Not even kidding!

  94. R.

    I am not afraid to follow my heart, even when it leads me away from comfortable and traditional paths in life :)

  95. Kim

    I love your post, I can so relate. I make people feel welcomed.

  96. Shannon

    I’m a great cuddler!

  97. Barb

    I make dogs smile, and that joy is infectious.
    I’m a killer baker.
    And really good at giving gifts also.

  98. Leslie

    When people tell me something and ask me not to tell anyone else, I don’t.
    I make my own fun.

  99. Helen Evans

    I absolutely love this.
    Here goes, ummmmm—see how hard it is for me? Wow. My sister told me once that I was a great encourager to her. She passed away almost 2 years ago and my world is not the same. I am trying to encourage myself these days. But, I must admit that I really do enjoy encouraging kids and trying to make them feel good about themselves.

  100. Catherine

    I … I … easily choose gifts that people will like very much !

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