Unraveling what makes one tick is like one big confusing, frustrating, fascinating, and ultimately rewarding science project. This is what I realize I'm in the midst of doing right now as I attempt to put into words something that I have struggled with for so many years but seem to be unraveling each day that I live and breathe. While I don't claim to be anyone's 'scientist', I know that multiple things are absolutely necessary in order to conduct an 'experiment'. One of those things is patience. Another is focus. Yet another is attention to detail. Lastly, willingness is an imperative component. All of these are things that I recognize I've had to gradually develop in order to finally get to the point where I feel I can allow myself to be vulnerable enough to find out what makes me who and what I am.
I have no problem taking risks by this point in my life. If anything, I'm excited by the prospect of each & every opportunity to step outside of what I know in order to further uncover even more layers of my being. There is SO much that I could say right now about my self but as I delve into the matter at hand which is the importance of knowing your value and your worth, I realize that I must go inward and backwards in order to move forward. To be blunt, I have to identify, accept, acknowledge and deal with some old shit that I've been carrying for a long time before I can TRULY do any kind of examination of how I feel about my self in the present. Somewhere along the way, I've adopted a feeling of unworthiness and thus have been carrying, nurturing, and feeding this false truth about my self for many years. I am acknowledging publicly that this has been the root of the majority of the upset, discomfort, and challenges that I've experienced over the years. What I'm constantly in the process of doing is allowing myself to be not only mindful but also curious about the ways in which this has happened and continued to show up in different relationships and areas of my life. This is one of the instances in which the [patience] comes in handy because rather than to go back and figure out what I 'did wrong' or 'didn't do right', I have to stop & do something very important: cut myself some slack and be very gentle with myself. Though I'm sure I'm hardly alone on this, I have had a tendency to beat up on myself about every perceived mistake, every perceived shortcoming, and every perceived failure I've experienced. I realize now that doing so has only caused whatever I've been going through at any given time to be magnified. As someone who has done quite a bit of reading and has put lots of spiritual principles into practice I now understand that a more useful tactic is to allow whatever negative fallacies I may be carrying about myself to come up and simply not feed them. As the saying goes..."whatever you focus on will grow".
The inspiration for this writing came quite some time ago, but clearly it all had to come 'full circle' in order for it to come through me as intended by the creator. Some of the reasoning behind my examination of self worth and value came and continues to come from experiences I've had with regard to work. As someone who has worked in the arts for the past 10(+) years, I've encountered a vast number of situations that required me to assert myself. In many instances I've done what I set out to do. However, in an even larger number of instances I shrank, swallowed my feelings and thus laid more baggage on my own back. Much of that baggage is what I refer to when I say that I have old 'shit' that I've been carrying for far too long. This is where the [attention to detail] comes in to play. As of late, due in large part to being 'in therapy/treatment' I've been able to identify and acknowledge certain patterns I've developed over the years in terms of my reaction (or lack thereof) to certain situations I encounter in various aspects of my life. What I realize now is that this is one of the key elements that I've glossed over in the past. In fact, this has been the key "A HA" moment that has been necessary for me to move forward and make different choices when faced with similar situations, circumstances, & people. Until recently, I didn't realize just how much the 'old' and the past has affected my present. It's as if I've been finding my way through a maze---in reverse. Starting in the middle (which is actually the beginning or the root), and working my way back I've come to understand how interconnected everything really is. The feelings of unworthiness started a long time ago. I've nurtured, fed, and carried those feelings along the way and thus, I've found myself in various situations where I felt undervalued.
In short, using my SELF & my life as the focal point and primary point of reference, I can say here that I recognize now just how IMPERATIVE it is to stay the course in doing the work associated with knowing, remembering and affirming your worth. There are so many things to consider when talking about the importance of knowing one's value & worth...as I've been reminded as of late. The way I feel about my self is directly connected to what I believe, what I've been told, what I've accepted, and what I've chosen to carry along the way. Some of those things have been healthy and even more of it has been rather counterproductive to my continued growth and self esteem but even those things have served their purpose. What I have to do now is allow myself to be still and be HONEST enough with my self to acknowledge when I'm reacting to past feelings of unworthiness and thus put those things in the proper context so that they don't interfere with the truth that I know of my self. [willingness]
From there, I'm at least better armed to know that it's ok for me to assert, affirm and live in the fullness of all that I am---insecurities and all. I am so grateful to finally understand that the process of loving myself and knowing my value has less to do with trying to erase the feelings of unworthiness that may still be lingering in my heart and mind and more to do with feeding the positive things I know to be true about my self. [focus]
The last important element necessary (for me) with regard to my value and my worth is[acceptance]. Acceptance of the fact that my worth and my value is never defined by anyone else but rather can only be stifled, lessened or forgotten by none other than ME.
When I embrace all of the TRUTH about myself, none of the other (untrue) stuff has a leg to stand on. Here's to the ongoing, (sometimes maddening) process of experimentation...and the magnificent results that await each and every one of us along the way.