On Being Human
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.” brene brown
I think as humans, we have this tendency to oscillate between bloated egos and severely low self-esteems. These feelings are typically tied to our accomplishments, how we view ourselves, and how we think others view us. For me personally, I am in a constant balancing act of pride and shame. I do something selfless or good, and I feel that sense of pride sneak in and whisper how good I am, and how everyone else should probably pick up some slack. My sense of self-worth goes up in these moments, and I find myself to be more internally critical and less gracious toward others' shortcomings. It’s ugly and it’s dangerous, but it is the unfortunate truth.
But in other moments, when I don’t do that good thing I know I probably should have done, or I am feeling unseen or unappreciated, or my patience has been extra thin and I’m feeling very human and icky, my self-esteem plummets. It can happen gradually in tougher seasons, or all at once-- when I have a parenting fail or totally botch a presentation. I feel small and ashamed for believing that I had something to offer. I feel embarrassed for having the audacity to allow myself to be seen. Like everyone else has known this secret all along that I am not as special or as good as I thought I was, and I am just now realizing it for the first time.
The holidays can be a dangerous time for people with this struggle because, if we are not careful, we can allow our actions to become dictated by the feelings that ensue from them. We start slacking when things get busy, so we combat those feelings of guilt by doing something decent, like donating to a charity or forcing ourselves on a low carb diet. But if we are being honest, we aren’t really doing those things with love as our motive. I’ll be the first to tell you that a good deed is a good deed, regardless of the motive, but when we begin to collect good deeds as currency for our own value and self worth, we enter into a dangerous game that says our value can be bought.
So, here’s what I want to tell you and me.
When you wake up in the morning-- as your feet slide out from under those sheets, before you shuffle to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot, before you have had the chance to make any decisions, good or bad-- I want you to recite these words to yourself: “I am worthy and enough, and no decision I make today will change that irrevocable truth.” And I want you to go through your day believing those words.
I am worthy and enough, and no decision I make today will change that irrevocable truth.
My hope is that the less tangled our self worth becomes with our actions, the more freed up we will be to do those good things out of a heart that is full and overflowing. If I can make it through the day actually believing that I belong and I am not, infact, a terrible human for giving Cyrus cheese and crackers for dinner (again), then maybe I can extend that same grace and sense of love & belonging to you, as well.