One of the hardest things for me to do is recognise my own worth.
Even in some of the most meaningful and lengthy relationships I have, I find it difficult to say you aren’t treating me how I deserve to be treated.
Intrinsically, this is laced with I demand that you give me more than you are. But, in my imagination, saying I SHOULD BE GETTING MORE translates to, you think you’re so. Fucking. Awesome. Don’t you? Who the hell are you, anyway?
I don’t want to have a conversation with anybody wherein I risk an accusation of immodesty or inflated ego- maybe because on some unconscious level I am accusing myself of the same goddamn thing. Such is the nature of not always knowing your merit. Or worse, being afraid of just how awesomely high your significance on this here planet earth is.
It’s ridiculously easy to become the Baby that gets put in the corner when you volunteer for the position.
When I do this, I modify myself at the sacrifice of honouring myself.
And I am a smart girl. I can use my words like a weapon, spearing a victim with the spike of my tongue as I drip the poison of their thoughts and truths onto the mirror of my own wounds. I can be a real bitch, when I want to be.
But surprisingly, it takes me a while to get there.
Deep down, I believe in love and life and doing unto others as you would have them do to you. And I believe this so fervently that when I am wronged it isn’t a natural reaction to assign accountability to another party. I blame me. And sometimes, I let this happen for a really long time. With acquaintances or ‘friends’, with co-workers or entire organisations, often I can’t quite manage to say, YOU. YOU NEED TO GIVE ME MORE, OR ELSE WE DON’T HAVE A DEAL.
And so, here, now, on this tiny little piece of the Internet, I am saying it. YOU. YOU DON’T GET TO DEFINE THE TERMS OF MY LIFE; NO MATTER WHAT PART YOU PLAY IN IT.
I DO, MOTHERFUCKER.
Maybe, Internet, this is something we can do together. How often do we agree to the unspoken rules of a relationship, a dynamic- from work to friends to lovers- because on some level, deep down inside of our kind, frail, gentle souls, we don’t believe we have the right to expect any more?
How often do we nod and whisper in a small weak voice, OK, when actually it is NOT OK that you aren’t being paid a fair wage, or your boss shows zero respect for your accomplishments, or that same person laughs every time you share your dream as if to say, YOU CAN’T DO THAT, YOU SILLY FOOL!
Every time we concede to these influences in our lives, a tiny part of our self-worth gets taken away from us- and it is eleventy thousand times easier to subtract than it is to add, because every time we subtract we get weaker, and it takes somebody strong and powerful and in control of themselves to say ENOUGH. I AM WOMAN AND SO HEAR ME ROAR.
Every time we assist the subtraction, we fuel the other part of the dark voice inside, the one that says, WHO ARE YOU TO EXPECT ANYTHING? BE GRATEFUL FOR THE LITTLE THAT YOU DO GET. The weaker we allow ourselves to become, the louder we allow The Voice of Ridiculousness to be, until The Voice of Awesome- the one who knows exactly what she should tolerate and what she should not- cannot be heard any more.
And then the battle is lost.
Well. It stops now. I work hard, and I believe in my triumphs- and my woes- and I slip up as much as the next guy, but essentially I is good, I is kind, and I is important.
I am a capable and intelligent woman, and sometimes that scares people. THAT IS NOT MY FAULT.
I work hard, and deserve to have my victories and contributions recognised as an important part in the success of the team I am in. THAT IS A FAIR EXPECTATION.
I am loving and fun and caring and emotionally considerate. I SHOULD GET THE SAME.
Telling the world you know what you are willing to bargain on, and where the hard lines are, admitting to yourself that your strengths and powers and knowledge are unique and special, results in the happiness of your dreams. But you have to believe it all before everybody else will.
Can we all believe in our self-worth together?
I’ll do it if you do.