Fostering Self-Worth …

 …annihilating the boogeyman as a first step

Life! Last week I  spent some time writing out my fears and came to an epic discovery that at the root of many of my relationship issues is the fear of owning up to my own sense of self-worth. I am not suggesting a revisit of self affirmations prompted by new age mantras of past. In fact, in my opinion the new age movement inundated those of us in need of healing with an excessive focus on self (little s), without a balanced sense of accountability.

We were to forgo much-needed self-appraisals, which would have enabled us to see how we showed up in life, and claim our entitled respect, choice, and voice.

Without a humbled view of self we lack empathy and compassion and are less likely to see how others are at the same mercy of the human condition, with all its trial and errors in tow; the kind of humbled view that says….I’m OK, You’re OK!

Right-sizing our expectations of each other is then possible and can support more love and tolerance – allowing for the witnessing and appreciation of mutual worth.

That’s the self-worth I encountered, or, the realization of a lack thereof.

Fear and illusions of controlling people, places and things has kept this humbled sense of self-worth at bay, in lieu of an aspiration to conquer imagined boogeymen currently running a-muck in my life. These boogeymen claim legacy to the culprits who threw the first blows, landing childhood wounds that never seem to heal.

Fostering Self-worth The trick is, I believe, balancing attention to those wounds without attempting to destroy or annihilate what or who we believe to be the source. If this balance can be achieved, and I believe that it can, that would translate into more time and energy to support and mirror to one another the kind of love, tolerance, and understanding capable of fostering self-worth.

In my case, much like the amputee whose phantom limb continues to create discomfort and pain long after the source has been removed, I need to catch my brain up to the fact that I am no longer attached to painful incidents from my younger years. By owning up to how I have enlisted others into my mock war against the boogeyman I become freer to choose from a place reflecting and expressing self-worth, which in effect allows me to mirror the self-worth of others back to them.

Yes, that is the kind of self-worth I desire to own up to.

Author’s Note:
Inspiration for this reflection was prompted by a conversation with my hairdresser, whose mother recently, and unexpectedly passed away while the family was on vacation in Mexico. The magnitude of her loss could be witnessed and measured by the amount of self-worth that always seems to exude from her. She had a good, nurturing, and loving mother whom I believe had something to do with the fostering of her sense of self-worth.


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