I've really been struggling lately with self worth. I seem to gather it up from the outside to place inside my heart. When I take the boys to the park, and cook all of our meals, and decorate our play room, and make stuff for the boys therapy, and have an overflowing pantry and refrigerator - I am GOOD. Oh man, I am so good and capable and worthy. Which makes sense because I've done good.
Most people smarter and happier than me say self-worth is about who you are, not about what you do. I just don't know how in the heck to do that. Because when the floor is coated in dog hair, and I run out of gluten free crackers and forget to buy new ones for Grey's lunch, and Parker falls to the ground screaming 100 times and I haven't washed my hair in I'm too embarrassed to say how long- then I am worth nothing. I'm failing. And I let those swirly thoughts perseverate throughout my day.
The problem with creating worth from gatherings from the outside, is then it turns into a commodity that can be lost and gained. And when it's gained you're good, and when it's lost- you suck. But there is always someone who is going to be doing more, and when we measure ourselves against that- we feel like we fall short- even if we are doing something good. So we are left doing good and feeling bad. And if you are like me, you compare yourself to your own most productive self- so anytime you aren't at the threshold of 110%- you feel like you are losing.
Another problem with worth from the outside- is that there are too many outside factors beyond our control. For example- If you are a teacher and your class is well behaved and are learning something- AWESOME! That means you are good according to this flawed plan. However, if your students are struggling and poorly behaved and apathetic- YOU SUCK. But really, you are STILL AWESOME because teaching under those conditions are even more awesome. You worth as a teacher has already been established in your SOUL. In the love you feel for your students. In the lessons you plan and the papers you grade. In all the BS you put up with from administration and parents. In the way you do something that is just so awesome and unique to YOU.
Each one of us truly has special gifts. Not to get all Hallmarky on you- but it's truth. Each and every single one of us has something that we are called to share with the world. But we all can't be above average in all areas. And we don't need to be to be good. Self worth needs to be less like a ping pong and more like an anchor. Constant.
So, if you struggle like me, here is our mantra. I am special because of who I am, not what I do. My (yournamehere)ness is needed in this world. I will focus on what I am good at. Eyes in my own lane.
Today I remembered that people with a lot of obligations and worry, are people who have also been given great gifts. Otherwise- what would we have to worry about? So if the burdens of life are getting you down, remember that those burdens are usually attached to things so precious they are invaluable.
I struggle to remember how important it is to me to be an on purpose mom. I want to love and adventure with intent. (And not ALL the time and not better than anyone else, darnit.) Four years ago I wrote a post about it, and I said, I'll try to say get instead of have more. I get to give Greyson a bath. I get to help run ABA programs. They are joyful things that could easily be turned into chore mentality."
The other night I kept this in mind as I took my boys to our old friend, Woodward Park.
I GOT to take the boys to the park after they GOT to have Behavior Therapy. They were both jumping for joy.
Parker was completely fearless.
However, I was NOT. I was holding a loaf of bread, kneeling down taking pictures when out of nowhere, this guy stampeded me. I started running and screaming.
The sky was so beautiful and carried with it a touch of spring in its cotton candy skies. I want to share some with you, my cold weather friends.
We stayed past the sun's bedtime.
When we left, I started to have this moment of guilt. I wish we did this more. It made me aware of just how often I make those little seemingly harmless wishes. I wish I had more energy. I wish I left earlier. I wish we weren't here. I wish I had gone for a walk. I wish, I wish, I wish.
Those little wishes can suck the happiness out of a moment, and unnecessarily hurts your self worth.
A Rule of Happiness:
Spend less time wishing for what you don't have,
and more time recognizing what you DO.