I think you are amazing, but that doesn’t matter

I think you are amazing! I really do.

But do you know what? It doesn’t matter what I think, because you have great value regardless.

A recipe for feeling miserable

Self-worth

Don’t let society or another person’s opinions of you tell you differently or define who you are. It’s so easy to slip into that frame of mind. It’s human nature to look to other people around us to find our worth, to base our worth on their perceptions of us. Oh, but this is an incredibly unhealthy way to live. Basing our value on what we perceive others to believe about us, or maybe even what they have told us in words or actions, is a recipe for a miserable existence. I know this from experience.

Back in the day

Burrus_HallBurrus Hall, VA TECH

VT_Duckpond

Duck Pond, VA TECH

I remember a time back when I was dating a guy long distance in college. We had met in a creative writing class his last semester at our university,  right before he transferred to do graduate work in Savannah. I was SO into him and our relationship. I didn’t do a lot of dating in high school and I think I was in love with the idea of being in love, ha. Finally, I was with someone who I thought loved me. I confused all the emotions, and hormones, and romantic feelings for love and I was totally smitten. My world revolved around him. I would wait for hours in the evenings for him to call (I’m dating myself! This was before I had a cell phone!)… only to be called hours after he had promised or on many occasions left hanging completely.

I remember distinctly that we had made plans for him to visit me during our first Thanksgiving break as a couple. I was psyched. I cleaned my apartment until it sparkled, carefully chose my outfits, planned some fun things to do, and dreamed of being together and close again. The day that he was supposed to come, I waited and waited making sure to stay at home (again, this was before cell phones), yet, he never showed up and I heard nothing from him until late in the day. I had been worried sick that something had happened to him. No, he was fine and hanging with friends at his parents home 3 1/2 hours away, he assured me. He wasn’t going to make it that day or at all. Needless to say, I was heartbroken. I kept it together while talking on the phone, only to cry my eyes out once I hung up.

Ugh. The real sad thing was this. I didn’t value myself enough to walk away. I stayed in that unhealthy, one-sided relationship until the guy broke up with me in the midst of my final exams (yes, terrible timing) the following spring. His reason for ending it – I wasn’t assertive enough. As crazy as his reason for ending it was, I think we can agree about me having not been assertive enough. If I had been, I wouldn’t have tolerated his behavior as long as I had. Because I didn’t value myself, I ended up allowing myself to be mistreated in this relationship and by others again and again … in other dating relationships and work relationships and friendships. Thankfully I met and married a good one!

We won’t find value within

It has been a process for me to learn to find my worth outside the opinions of other people, including myself! Finding our worth from within is cliché in our culture and sounds great on the surface, but it is just as dangerous as looking outside to other people for value. Much of the time I am my own worst critic. The voices in my own head are the cruelest. How about you? Only when I truly began to look up to God and view myself as his special creation, his daughter, did I begin to see my worth and did the negative voices outside and inside begin to quiet.

Looking up

SkyWhen I look up for worth, it no longer matters what other people think of me or if a friend deserts me or if I am skinny or pretty or fashionable enough. Hoping to be successful or smart enough are no longer weights that I carry either. Trusting that God has specially, and uniquely designed me for his purposes and that my value comes from him is an incredibly, incredibly freeing belief. Sure, I am human, and it still stings to be rejected by another person, for example. But I am no longer devastated like I was in years gone by. I no longer feel like I am an inch tall. I am able to pick up my life and move forward, with hope and joy even.

If you choose to look up for your worth, you can have the same thing too. I know you can. You are special, uniquely gifted, one-of-a kind, and beautiful in ways you don’t even realize. You don’t have to walk around, like I did in the past, as if you are asking forgiveness for breathing, for existing. I am not talking about being arrogant. There’s nothing beautiful about arrogance. What I am talking about is being completely comfortable in the skin that you were created in, loving it even, because it was specially hand selected. God makes no mistakes.

Free for a new mission

The cool thing is this. As we stop wasting time worrying about the opinions of others and wallowing in self-pity when we don’t feel we measure up, we can take all that energy and put it towards something meaningful. Then we  have the energy, and healthy emotions, and time needed to fulfill our God-given tasks in life. If I was still walking around afraid of the world and feeling an inch tall there is no way I would write about all these things on this blog for the world to see. Nope. I would do what I did in the past. I would hide and keep quiet. But thankfully that has changed and now I am a gal on a mission!

You are amazing and have value because God made you! I think you are amazing too, but that doesn’t matter. Now watch out world!

With Love,

Lauren

 

2 thoughts on “I think you are amazing, but that doesn’t matter

  1. I was the same way when I was young. Even having had “boyfriends” in junior high (as my mom said, we never went anywhere, how could he be a boyfriend?) my high school-into-college boyfriends had the same power over me as they did with you. It was so frustrating for me. It was like I was watching myself from above, telling myself “get a grip!”

    We both have girls and I pray we can instill this article in them. To have worth in someone else than just ourselves and our boyfriend.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s good to know that I wasn’t the only one, ha! Unfortunately, it probably is way too common with teenage girls and young women :(.

      Amen! Let’s pray our little girls avoid this sticky trap.

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