Recognizng Your Own Worth; Why It’s the Most Important Thing You Can Do

Sometimes hearing your own voice screaming, you’re worth more than this, can be the hardest thing you will ever do.

A few nights ago, a friend of mine called, desperately reaching out of the dark vortex of pain that was enveloping him for a hand or comforting voice to anchor him back to reality. He was in the middle of a break up, pacing his apartment and drowning in that horrible anxiety that reaches up from your gut and feels like it’s crushing every organ as it insidiously winds its way through your body.

Almost a year ago to the day, I experienced that same horrific, smothering anxiety; the same indescribable pain that leaves you sobbing on the floor, unable to stand. I knew there was little I could do for him in that moment except listen; nothing will ease that terrible pain except time. Nothing.

How ironic to be here at this moment, I thought to myself. The memory of my pain resurfaced and I ached for my friend, knowing what the next hours, days and weeks would bring. There was something haunting yet strangely gripping about watching the same situation replay from the outside this time. I was reminded of the Sandra Bullock movie Lake House and how the hero was five years ahead, aware of everything that was about to replay in her time.

Why had life brought me back here? Was it to help my friend through the next dark days and share what I had learned or were there lessons that I still needed to learn?

I listened as he talked about how he suspected that she was cheating because she lacked desire for any kind of intimacy with him, made every excuse possible to not spend time with him and treated him with general indifference. In the same breath he would say that he loved her so much, he couldn’t stand the thought of living without her.

There must certainly be some truth to the saying love is blind because anyone reading this would wonder why he would want to stay in a relationship like that?

Finally, I gently asked, “Chris, do you know your worth?”

“What do you mean?” came the hesitant reply.

“I mean, you have value as a person and she does not see it. You deserve to be treated better than this; you matter Chris! You deserve a woman who can’t wait to come home to you. One who uses any reason possible to touch your arm in the kitchen, kiss your cheek when you are watching TV or snuggle close to you while she reads a book.”

Typical to someone who is in relationships with a partner who does not see his value, my friend went on to describe her good qualities like how nurturing and kind she is to his young son.

“That is a very important quality in a partner but you are side stepping that fact that she doesn’t cherish YOU. You are a good person, a great father and good provider. If you knew your own worth, you wouldn’t allow someone like her into your life because she is not good enough for you.”

When we don’t value ourselves, we place our own needs and desires last in the relationship.

I don’t know if Chris understood what I was talking about that night. Recognizing your value as a person and expecting people to treat you accordingly is a process that some of us struggle with for most of our lives.

We seem to have to get knocked in the head with the same lessons over and over again until we finally learn. If we are willing to examine and embrace situations as they come to us, we will find that life has a strange way of blowing away the fog of our illusions and leaving us naked and vulnerable in the reality of our truths. It may sometimes be as terrifying as it sounds but this is the place where learning and growing can flourish.

I will have to ask Chris sometime if he grew up as the caretaker of his family as I did. I was so busy protecting and caring for my family and friends that I often put my own needs and desires last; a trait not uncommon with givers. Sadly, this trait has been repeated in my adult relationships over and over again.

I am not suggesting that being nurturing, giving or protective are bad traits. However, the line between being a giver and being self depreciating is a fine one; it can be very self destructive if you cross it.

                                                                Givers have to have limits

                                                                   because takers don’t.

 

Understanding your limits or recognizing when you are simply being used, are all wrapped up in knowing your value. You will never fully acknowledge your value if you don’t allow yourself to fall in love with YOU.

Self love isn’t arrogant, narcissistic or egotistical; it is healthy and necessary.

I personally struggle to accept compliments gracefully. I feel uncomfortable and I want to brush them aside for fear of being conceited or arrogant. However, turning away from praise isn’t humility; it only serves to diminish your presence.

I believe that I am strong, intelligent, creative, kind and resilient so what does it say to someone when I downplay their compliments? It says that I don’t really believe those things about myself. I am a firm believer in the idea that what we think and say becomes our reality. Therefore, if we put out conflicting messages, we are going to bring things into our lives that we do not want.

I’ve said before that I believe we are like mirrors; whatever we project outward is reflected back to us. If we don’t have the love we want, it’s because we don’t love ourselves; it has to come from within if it’s going to come back. If we don’t have the respect we want, it’s because we don’t give ourselves the respect we deserve.

By this token, it is easy to understand that if someone doesn’t see your value, if they don’t treat you like you are the most precious thing on earth, it’s because you cannot attract what you do not nurture from within and radiate outward.

If we think of self love as the foundation for our mirror, we can see how it can be the root of everything we have or don’t have in our lives.

Have you connected the dots yet? I know it was only through writing this article that I was finally able to get it; I guess that means life brought me back because I still had something to learn.

 

Recognizing your value and loving yourself are intrinsically tied to manifestation.

 

If you don’t love yourself, you won’t see your value. If you don’t see your value, you won’t believe that you truly deserve what you want to bring into your life.

Wow, that’s huge.

This week I challenge you to give yourself the love and respect you deserve:

If someone pays you a compliment, feel grateful that they recognize how amazing you are. It’s better than not being appreciated!

Write down all the things you love about yourself and really embrace them. Remember, no conflicting messages.

Set the alarm on your phone for three times a day and say this affirmation:

 

                                               I am good

                                                I am kind

                                                I deserve to be loved

                                                I can trust myself and others

                                                I can forgive myself and others

                                                I am grateful to be me

 

As you begin to really love and respect yourself, the people who don’t see your value will be replaced by people who feel blessed to have you in their lives.

 

Warm wishes for a wonderful week!

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In case you missed it….

If you missed “How Regain Respect for Your Partner”, it is flourishing over on elephant journal.

 

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/08/how-to-regain-respect-for-your-partner%E2%80%8F-jennifer-lemky/

 

I apologize for not posting much lately; my girls and I have had some life altering curve balls thrown our way in the past few weeks. But I have some great new stuff on the way so keep you eye out!!

Warm Wishes,

Jen

 

How To Regain Respect For Your Partner

Recently, I happened to be in the same room as a woman talking on the phone to her partner. The topic of the conversation held no real significance nor was it of a sensitive nature, yet her annoyance with him was very apparent. Just as like a row of toppling dominos, the more annoyed the woman became, the more aggressive her partner became until she eventually hung up the phone because he was shouting at her.

After she abruptly ended the highly charged conversation, I said to her, “I can’t help noticing over the last few days that you have mentioned several times how stupid or annoying he is.”

“Yes,” she replied in an irritated tone. “He drives me crazy. I just don’t understand how someone can be that dumb!”

“It sounds to me like you have completely lost respect for him.”

“Yes! I have absolutely no respect left for him anymore,” she said with more resignation than annoyance.

As gently as I could, I suggested that when we lose respect for someone, it changes how we speak to them; our tone of voice becomes condescending, our words belittling. Likely, his escalating behavior was the result of him reacting to those cues.

She looked surprised for a moment but then quickly agreed that she often talked down to him because his stupidity was annoying and she couldn’t respect anyone that dumb. She justified her feelings by insisting that he had become increasingly more stupid as the years had passed and listed other traits that caused her to lose respect for him like his laziness and inability to hold a job.

Since she was receptive to the conversation, I first assured her that I wasn’t blaming her for the situation she now found herself in, and then I put forth the idea that he hadn’t become increasingly dumb or lazy. Rather, he had always had these traits but in the glow of new love, she either hadn’t seen them or had made allowances for them because she wanted to be with him.

This is a mistake the majority of us have made at least once. We fall into relationships quickly and let infatuation and attraction lead the way rather than objectively looking at the other person and deciding if we are willing to accept them just the way are.

Relationships are really about “terms”; each person states their terms and the other can agree to them or not. It is easy in the beginning to establish a baseline of terms that allows the relationship to move forward. Things like smoking, level of fitness and activity, desire for a family, religious views, sexual proclivities and orientation are all examples of major “terms” that have to be agreed upon. Hidden in the mix are other less obvious terms that a person may not admit to outright. Sometimes there is an agenda to keep these terms hidden but often he or she may not even consciously realize they are bringing “terms” into the relationship that the other person may not want to agree to. They may be things like: I want to watch sports all weekend, I don’t want to help with the housework, I want to play video games in my free time, I need large amounts of alone time, I want to go out and socialize all the time or I want to stay home and never go anywhere. These are just a few examples of things that can make or break a relationship after the infatuation stage wears off.

If you find yourself annoyed, frustrated or losing respect for your partner, it’s likely because you can no longer tolerate some of their terms. The real question is: can you still love someone you don’t respect?

By its very definition, love is acceptance and admiration while respect means that we admire someone and hold them in high esteem. Therefore it would appear that love and respect are mutually exclusive; you can’t be in love with someone you don’t admire and you can’t admire someone you don’t hold in high esteem. You can never really be “in love” with someone you are not proud of.

Love is not black and white; it is a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Couples who have stayed the course have survived the lows and found love for their partner again.

However, respect is a totally different beast. It does not generally ebb and flow through the course of a relationship and once lost, it is very hard to regain.

If you find yourself falling out of love with your partner because you’ve lost respect for him or her, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Write down all of your partners “terms” as you see them and then separate them into two groups: negotiable and non-negotiable. If your partner is not willing to work on changing the non-negotiable terms, then you have to make some very hard decisions about whether or not you are willing and able to stay in the relationship.
  2. Loss of respect is not a one way street. Your belittling words and actions will cause a downward spiral in your partner’s feelings toward you.  If you are serious about regaining respect, you have to ask your partner what you are doing to cause him or her to lose respect for you.  You can only change YOU, not your partner.
  3. If possible, you and your partner should have a discussion about each other’s negotiable terms and see if compromises can be reached. 
  4. Don’t focus on the negative traits because that will only cause you to find more and more things you dislike about your partner. Instead, set your alarm and three times a day write down 1-3 things you like about your partner. If you really can’t think of anything you like about him or her right now, write down the things you initially fell in love with.
  5. Life is like a mirror; what you put out into the world is reflected back to you. Make a commitment to yourself to compliment your partner on their appearance, personality or behavior three times a day. Leave a note on the mirror telling her how beautiful she looked, send a text message thanking him for mowing the lawn while you were grocery shopping, or tell him how much you admire him as a father. You’ll be amazed what comes back to you when you send out positivity rather than negativity.

If you have found ways to regain love and respect for your partner, I’d love to hear from you!