I recently read an interview with comedian-of-the-moment, Amy Schumer, in which her genius way of turning insecurity into comic fodder shed some light on the subject of self worth. She explained that her stand up routines often use the experiences of her formative years as a way to tell relatable yet hilarious stories. She went on to regret how often times, an outcome of such learning experiences can be a toll on ones self esteem. She opinionates that losing confidence and feeling worthless is a result of placing our value in the hands of others, measured by how they see and treat us. This is misguided. "The real issue," she clarifies, "is actually how you treat yourself. I think that's something most people have experienced... feeling like they don't deserve love."
This, my friends, is truth at its most basic level. First, we may assume someone or a large amount of people view us negatively (which rings true to some negative way we feel about ourselves), when in reality, that isn't proven. Allowing our insecurities to inform how we believe others feel about us, when that hasn't been confirmed, can cause us to misinterpret intentions and actions. Second, giving others the control over how we experience our own value greatly risks of an abuse of power and taunts us as a perpetually moving target. All of these dynamics can build emotional walls that keep us from meaningful and fulfilling bonds and isolate us from emotional growth. We are most certainly selling ourselves short by not exploring and understanding our own intrinsic value as a human being.
It's time to stop operating on that surface level. It's unjustified to make others pay for the insecurities we feel about the very things that make us human. We're never going to be perfect; we're always going to make mistakes. Not to mention, there will always be someone prettier, skinnier, younger, richer, with a better wardrobe and bigger, more well-designed house. Self worth is a birth right. As cliche as it sounds, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. A deeper understanding of ourselves is one where we accept both and see us for the impressive people we are.
It's easy to measure ourselves by a new car or pair of designer shoes, because these things carry the superficial weight of appearance. They quickly communicate how much we value a certain way of living, and while important to give to ourselves the same way we do for others, such aesthetics don't feed our souls on a deeper level. They don't personify worth for more than a few moments, particularly since the newer and better version is just around the corner. That model can set us up with both insatiable needs for superficially experiencing our virtue through ever-changing criteria as well as problematic spending habits (hello, credit card debt!). To quote our wise, funny girl again, "No matter what realm you're operating in, it's all relative." The question is, how do we reconnect with the self love each and every one of us possesses?
Self love is quite the buzz word these days used to market spa retreats and meditation workshops; ubiquitous on the mommy blog sphere meant to (I presume) lift a young mother's guilt over leaving her babe with a sitter to get a massage. Yet, it has merit: this quest to love ourselves enough and feel worthy enough to do whatever it is we want. No matter the profession, partner, or life path we choose, we deserve to be happy and experience love. Because in the end, love and happiness (regardless of the means they come in) are two of the most powerful sources of profound peace and fulfillment.
What we're talking about is soul searching in its primary form: stripping away material things to bring enduring, meaningful experiences into our lives. Building a mental and emotional currency of worth is something only the individual can do. If self judgement comes in the form of anteing up to others, you will always fall short. To quote Theodore Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Look inside, figure out what is worth it to YOU. The catch is that it's different for everyone, but that is also the beauty -- the beauty of being human and original just by breathing. It's gratitude, compassion, forgiving, and loving that perpetuate worthiness. Stepping away from the material fixation that society holds us by for just a few moments a day can help us reconnect to a deeper sense of self. Owning our fears about where we fall short more opens us up for accepting the same faults in others. We all deserve love, because it is in all of us.