I've been a bit quiet lately, I know.
Some of that is just busyness. I finally started as a leader with Weight Watchers and have been leading my own meeting, slowly figuring out what I'm doing and improving a little bit each week. I've been making running a priority again. I've been trying to drastically reorganize and declutter my house, which has taken a big chunk of each day... plus just a lot of kid-related things that have needed my attention.
But too... I've had some things on my mind that I just haven't wanted to talk about.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine made a unilateral decision that concerned me. I wasn't asked or consulted... it was just made. Initially, I was pretty unhappy about it... but I figured that I'd see how it played out. Maybe it wouldn't be as bad as I thought. But... as time has marched on, the decision has proved to be about as awful as I'd anticipated, with huge negative impact on the quality of our friendship. That's hurt.
But what I've come to realize lately is that I'm just not okay with that.
A funny thing happened to me over the course of the changes in my body over the last two years. I'm different. I have stronger belief in my own worth. And it's easy to simplify that... to say that I feel more worthy because I look better. But it isn't just that.
Somewhere in the journey, you have to come face to face with the ways in which you've considered yourself unworthy and treated yourself as unworthy, and they aren't just because you're overweight. There's a cultural bias, for sure, that is wrapped up in that. But you also realize that you have certain beliefs about yourself... like that it's selfish to spend more on fresh produce for yourself because you're unworthy of it. Or that the hour you take for exercise each day could easily be spent on something else -- like your family or your job or the upkeep of your house -- and that you're wrong for spending it on yourself.
You have to come face to face with that and spin it on its head to get to the other side -- where you start to believe that it is okay to do those things because you are worthy. Somewhere in the journey, you begin to see yourself differently. You begin to see your own self-worth. You grow in confidence. You grow in self-respect.
A dear friend of mine, who is a high school teacher, shared a letter with me recently that she received from one of her students. The young girl had been able to hold her own in a debate with a smart older boy because of some of the things they had learned in class, and the girl was thanking my friend for her part in that. As the girl wrote, she talked about the impact that had made on her... how she always second-guessed herself, always believed that the things she thought were true were probably wrong because how could she be smart enough to be right?
It made me cry. It made me cry and want to hug that little girl... Partly because my heart broke for her, but also because I understood. I understood those feelings. How many times have I doubted my own judgment because I felt too gullible, too uninformed, too willing to believe what people told me? How often have I looked to other people for what to believe because how could I be right?
What I've begun to realize is that I'm a lot smarter than I've given myself credit for. I'm worth more than I've believed.
I can't choose how other people treat me, how much value they give me. But I can choose whether I allow myself to stay in a situation where there is such discrepancy.
Because I can see now that I'm worth more.