You’re Not Worth It – How You Treat Yourself Matters
You’re not worth it; or at least that is the message that we are telling ourselves. Either straight up by beating ourselves up over everything, or subtly by not making ourselves a priority and not taking care of ourselves. Not thinking we’re worth it, or that we matter, keeps us stuck thinking that the life we have is all we deserve and that we are where we are and that is it.
Listen, for a long time I was the queen of not believing I was worth it.
From relationships where I allowed myself to feel small, and “friendships” where I was a doormat of convenience to never ever doing things for myself. I remember feeling guilty for buying a specialty coffee (not the boozy kind , the amazing Caramel Light Frappichinio kind), because who did I think I was? spending that much on something for myself because I just WANTED it? There was no need, just a want, and why would I deserve that.
If I wrote it all out in great detail this would make a super long story, and I just tried to say I would try to write it in point form, but I really don’t think that that would do this story justice. So grab a special coffee (you’re worth it!) and get set for a long read. Or you can browse the photos of last year’s Awesome Life Retreat and take my word for it, you really should come. It is going to be awesome, and you are worth it!
Enter the longest hardest couple of years of my life. At a whopping thirty three years old you may think “just wait” because tough times are coming. I am sure that tough times, unfortunate circumstances and a whole bunch of cruddy things will happen in my life after this point. I don’t expect my life to be easy breezy from now on. However, learning that I matter, changing my perspective, and leaning more on the Lord than ever, has made me realize that no matter what comes my way, it’s going to be ok.
It’s not how I felt. When my identity of doing “all the things” was stripped away I felt completely useless. All of my worth was tied up in what I could ACCOMPLISH. How much I could DO. And no matter how much I did, there was always MORE to do. I set the bar so high that I would always fall short. And if I was only worth what I got DONE then I was never going to be worth enough. I was never going to arrive.
To be honest with postpartum after Finn was born I fought back by trying to do more. To be the super mom that worked full time, breastfed, was home with her kids and made Pinterest Parties (which I actually still love!) and over deliver, plan all the social events, cook all the food and do all of the errands. I wouldn’t really let anyone help, because they would be taking away opportunities for me to gain worth.
As I started counseling I was told time and again that I couldn’t continue to do all of the things, or I wouldn’t get better. I am a woman of willpower (or at least used to be lol!) so decided that no one was going to tell me I couldn’t do it. Anxiety hit me like a five hundred foot wave, crashing over me and leaving me floundering, spinning and not being able to do anything. My insides were kicking and screaming, my body was reacting to the stress with tightness in my chest, breakouts in my skin and constant tummy troubles. I would freeze, crawl into bed and just cry, and honestly turned off all feeling except when it came to my kids (and I am so thankful for that) After 11 months of trying to handle this on my own I finally I “gave in” and started medication and talked about making changes to how we functioned. It was designed to make me slow down, spend time on myself… for someone whose self worth was wrapped up in doing and accomplishing… well this was just not going to work.
Then enter the accident. Yah, that thing again. But honestly it was a pretty pivotal moment for me and when I was in the midst of it I couldn’t process it, let alone talk about it…and now I can’t really stop.
I was fully encapsulated by the sea, wave after wave crashing on me and I was left to the mercy of the world that surrounded me. If I was staying afloat by what I could do… I was now sinking…and fast.
The anxiety that had crashed in waves just held me down. The darkness of how I felt was drowning me, pushing me further into the dark. It felt easier to give up than to fight. But it wasn’t. My littles kept pulling me up for air. Without knowing it, being gifted with so much love and sweetness, they would hug me, rub my back, laugh or just snuggle. They would dance, play and show me that there was still air up there, worth coming up for. I get sad a little when I think about how little I had to give them at that time, but then I remember that what I have learned will allow me to give more for the rest of my life.
And this is what I had to learn.
How much I could DO wasn’t how my worth was measured. I mattered just because I matter. My family loved me not because I provided, but because I was worth loving. That even if we ate burnt rice and boiled over every pot on the stove, my kids would still think I was the best mamma ever. My real friends cared for me even if I didn’t plan every event like it was the next coronation. And most of all that God created me, and loved me, no matter what. Period. Full stop.
I am still learning it. I am still working through it. And the next little part can be point form.
I met Dr. Adrianna Wilson, she is a freaking amazing woman and I am so thankful that she has come into my life. Her ACT Group and one on one sessions are a big part of my learning, and an integral part of the puzzle that took me to the Making things Happen conference.
I was at an ACT Booster where we were talking about “Drawing your Future” (Based on the Ted Talk here)
I am an artist in many ways but drawing off the cuff is definitely not my biggest skill. However I drew a picture and it was pretty clear. I no longer wanted to feel like I was being measured by what I did, I didn’t want to feel chained to my computer and I wanted to be happier. My camera was still in the picture, and my kids, I was out in the sun and felt strong. Yup, I had a picture of what I wanted. A great first step. But HOW. How do I get there?
After the group I had a couple of hours before I would be picking up my kids, so I sat at a coffee shop and journaled and prayed. I felt pretty uneasy. I mean if now I knew what I wanted my life to look like, how would I be ok just being where I was. Was it practical? Was it realistic? What about my business? What about our bills?
And then I ran into the ladies from Elegant Productions, a beautiful boutique wedding planning company I have had the amazing pleasure of working with. We chatted quickly about how we had all just had (or were having) our last weddings of the season and how it was going to feel so great to have a break. I asked if they were planning a big vacation or taking any time off, and they mentioned that they were going to a thing called Making Things Happen. I asked Katie what it was all about and she said “kind of a retreat for creatives where you learn how to do the things you want to do and make your life what you want…or something like that”. Heh? really? Isn’t that what I was just working on? Thinking and praying about?
So I asked if I could join them. By that time the next day I had invested almost $3000 on something that I didn’t really know what it was. I just felt a tugging, some intuition, something telling me that I needed to do this. Did we have the money just sitting around? Nope. But I was learning this process of believing that I mattered, that I was worth it, and that changes were coming.
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I headed to North Carolina just a couple of weeks later. But it was NOT what I was expecting. It was so very much more. I think I had an expectation of how to be more productive, how to find the perfect balance and how to do it all successfully. Nope. It was more about stripping it all away and looking for what matters MOST.
Lara Casey, Amber, Gina, these beautiful souls touched my heart and encouraged me in ways that I didn’t expect. Lara prayed for me, my marriage and spoke such truth that it totally turned around my family.
While I was there, I realized that it was big in my heart to help others find this knowledge, either through sharing my experience or connecting people with what they need to get there.
I know that not everyone has the money to invest in going to the Making Things Happen workshop. And I know that not everyone can even afford the Awesome Life Retreat. But my heart was to offer something similar for the people in my world, that would help them to live the life that they truly want. To give an opportunity to get away, reflect and figure out what matters most to them.
So yes, it is a LONG story on how I got to be here and how I ended up hosting this retreat and why my heart is so much for it.
Tomorrow I will be posting about all of the amazing people who supplied and took part in the Awesome Life Retreat 2016 and who is being a part of the this year’s amazing retreat!