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  • Denise

Worthiness: What it is and why it matters.

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

If you don't believe you deserve good things, you wont seek them out.

Lets be real, for many, self-care and self-love can feel a lot like self-righteousness. Many feel it is selfish to really focus on themselves, spend time, money, or energy into making themselves feel better. This is because certain people trick themselves in believing that it feels better to only focus on others. But in actuality, it is necessary for a good quality of life to care about yourself.

Many of us, including myself, harbor negative ideas about ourselves that were imbedded by toxic people that are often close to us, or responsible for our emotional development (think, parents). These people were, or are still, suffering in some way or another. They say hurtful things, do hurtful things, and make us believe that the hurt and pain is deserved. They point out our mistakes, our short comings, our flaws, and make us believe THAT is why bad things happen to us. We start to find ways to make it make sense. And the easiest thing to do in order to make it make sense, is to simply believe it. Growing up, I was emotionally neglected. My tears, my fears were always invalidated because it was an inconvenience to try and help me with them. I achieved so much but got very little genuine acknowledgement by the one person I knew should care the most. Then, when a friend, a crush, or anyone else hurt me, it just validated that I was indeed, meant to be hurt. I was not worthy.

When you begin to undo these toxic and negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself, you start to realize that, no, this is not true at all. We all deserve to be treated with respect, not only by others, but also ourselves. For years, I got some type of validation by helping others, while not catering to myself. I would spend time on people who would never do the same for me. I would put in the extra effort, money, whatever, to keep that person close to me, ignoring their apathy. As I got older, and had children, I began to have less and less time for other people. I began to say "no" more often, because I was so busy raising my own family. It got easier and easier to use my children as the excuse to not do the things I shouldn't be doing anyway. I made the conscious choice to stop using them as the excuse, and gather the courage to say no, because it took away from me.

Graduating from nursing school was one of my most proudest moments. It wasn't required of me to go to school with young children, work my ass off, take no days off, but I did it anyway because I wanted more. I began to get a little jealous of my other classmates because of the support they had from their family, while I felt I did not have the same amount of love and support during this huge accomplishment. I looked inward, and began to think, I need to set that example for myself. Over the years, slowly but surely, I took more time for myself. I believed I deserved good things, and that I deserved good things to happen to me. I began to forgive my past, my short comings, and gave myself permission to happiness. At first it was material things, time alone, but eventually it evolved into more. I began to dig deeper, and have more love for myself.

One of the first things I did was make a commitment to avoiding toxic people, toxic situations. I quit my first nursing job due to the toxic environment and landed a position at my dream organization. I let go of friends, and even family who served only negative purposes in my life. I loved myself more and more, and started to focus on my health. Let me say, shouts out to my friends, family and husband for enduring years and YEARS of weight-loss talks. I was all over the place trying to examine why I struggled so much with my weight. A lot of it had to do with the lack of true, science-based education and strategy, but a lot of it had to do with me even believing it was possible. Was I worthy of this? Did I have enough reserve in my heart, body and mind to give this a shot?

I started, stopped, changed course, changed strategies so many times, but I always wanted it. In 2018, I made a familial executive decision that I mattered enough to make others a little uncomfortable. What do I mean? I began fasting, and originally, my fear was "but how will the family feel if I do not eat with them?". But I did not care. This had to happen. So I talked to them, explained what I was going to do, and that I mattered. They got used to it. I was worth this sacrifice. I often drank tea or broth with them to keep some type of normalcy, but overtime, I believe they all realized that sometimes, people have to do what they have to do to better themselves, and that their small discomfort is worth the gain for the other person.

I have arrived at the place I knew I needed to be. Self-love. For once, I wasn't last on the list. I had to do what was best for me, and sometimes that would involve saying no to others. And you should too. No one is going to break down, protest, or abandon you for loving yourself and putting yourself first. And if they do, they have issues of their own, and maybe you don't need that energy while you are working on yourself.

Getting healthy, losing weight, getting fit whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally is an act of self-love and self-care. Mindset is everything when it comes to this. I wish anyone reading this, the best. I wish you love, peace, healing and clarity in life. Whatever your goals are, set them in love.

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