“You is kind. You is smart. And you is important.” These are the precious words Aibileen shared with young Mae Mobley in the movie, The Help. While the words are simple, the message is deep…it’s about communicating the truth about her value and significance regardless of her circumstances. Most of us have no objection seeing a young girl as unconditionally valuable, yet we often hold ourselves to a different standard. What about the “little girl” inside each of us that longs to know that we are significant regardless of our circumstances?
I distinctly remember reading a post from author Shauna Niequist on Valentine’s Day where she ended her thoughts by saying, “Remember that you are significant with or without a significant other.” All too often, we as young women judge our worth based on whether or not we have a significant other as if being in a relationship increases our value or earns us a stamp of approval. So how do we take our value out of the hands of the other? How can we be in relationship and claim the truth about our value regardless of the outcome of that relationship?
Go To The Root
We all have insecurities and recurring pain. However the kind of pain we feel in the midst of difficult circumstances is unique to each of us based on the painful times in our own stories. How did you learn that you needed a guy to love you in order to be lovable? Perhaps you experienced a relationship that caused you to question whether or not you were loved or perhaps you endured a tragedy that left you questioning your own empowerment in the world. Whatever events your story holds, one of the bests gifts we can give ourselves now is to revisit those moments and speak truth to the little girl that began to question her value and safety. Going back to the root of our pain is the best way to move forward on a new path where we can truly own our worth. It is difficult to claim our value now while still doubting our value in the past.’’
When we question our value, we begin to question the person that we are—our strengths, our weaknesses, our personality. When we start to question the person that we are, we will likely alter ourselves in ways that are not true to ourselves. We become the person that we perceive others’ want us to be. Here, we must realize the message that we send ourselves in the process of trying to become someone else. By rejecting who we are to please others we are saying, “I am not good enough as is and I am not wanted or lovable as I am now.” Instead, of altering yourself out of your insecurities, start by articulating the message you want to give yourself and decide how you want to act based on this truth. If you knew unequivocally that you were valuable, how would you interact in your relationship with yourself and others? How would your priorities be different? Chances are a life based on the truth about your worth looks different than your current life.
Live Your Truth
Our actions should speak louder than words. Whether we are in a relationship or not, the way that we conduct ourselves should speak to the knowledge of our unconditional value. While we should not become invulnerable, never depending on anyone for support, the choices we make in our relationships should reflect a strong relationship with ourselves. Making choices based on the knowledge that we are worthy and valued will not only lead to healthier relationships, but we will also attract the right person who loves us for who we truly are and not someone who loves us for our performance as someone we are not. Isn’t this what we had hoped to find in the first place?
As women, we dream, we plan, we hope…we have an idea of what we hope our life looks like. It is healthy to dream and it is healthy to hope. However when a deviation from our plans, hopes and dreams means that we turn on ourselves and question how lovable we are, we MUST revisit our worth through the lens of the truth about who we are regardless of our circumstances. So, in the words of Shauna Niequist, “Remember you are significant with or without a significant other.”
Image via Wit & Delight