Monday, August 30, 2010

Self Worth Part 1

Am I worthy?

We all ask this question at least once during our lives, usually more than once.  I find myself asking this question a lot lately.  I decided I would commit to a short series of post exploring this question in my life.  Today I want to pose the question:

How do I measure my self worth?  What makes me feel worthy?

  • clean house
  • decorated house
  • enough money to afford some luxury while not going into debt
  • niceties like a favorite bath salt, fine china, quality books, and nice linens
  • others' opinions of me: am I a nice person, loving, well dressed, pretty?
  • self worth when it comes to my parents: money, am I worth spending money on {like for my wedding for instance}, do they brag to their friends about me, do I have a degree and a career?
Now, obviously, some of those ideas are not mine.  DH and I only have fine china because it was an heirloom wedding gift, but I was taught that having nice things was a sign of worth.  A lot of the items listed above do not reflect my opinion of self worth, so much as they reflect what I was taught to think of when I hear "self-worth".  I grew up being taught that if you had material things and people approved of you, you were worthy.  You can see how that is reflected in the above list.  If my parents thought I was worthy of their love and attention, they would spend money on me.  They had a budget of $10,000 for my wedding; however, when I became engaged to an atheist and planned to marry before I finished my college degree, they cut it back to $2,000.  Our wedding was last minute, in a college chapel (it was a compromise btw my parent's church and the garden DH and I wanted to wed in), with about 20 guests (mostly from DH's side of the family who drove over 500 miles, because my mom was too embarrassed to invite her friends who lived in the town where we married).  Our reception was at a restaurant in a back room that wasn't even sectioned off from the general public.  There were people seated at tables right next to our wedding cake (thankfully they weren't in the pictures).  Because I married someone who wasn't like my mother had planned and because I didn't already have my degree and a career, I was not worthy of their money to give me the nice wedding they had planned and saved for.

As you can see, my family has a very skewed view of worthiness that I plan to move away from.

How do you define "Self Worth"?  
What makes a person worthy of respect, love, friendship?

In my next post, I will think about and discuss how I would like to define self-worth in my own life now that I am an adult.
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