We’ve all had those relationships. The ones that begin with fireworks, passion, crazy butterflies and the warmest of explosions. We think that because of those goosebumps, because of those daydreams, and because of those kisses, this one is ‘special’. Maybe the relationship grows, becomes exclusive. Maybe we relate ourselves to that other person and give him the title. He’s ‘mine’. She’s ‘it’. Hopefully, it works out. Oftentimes though, it doesn’t. Where is the line between ‘it’ and ‘isn’t’?
For one of my really good, long term friends, this has been a years-long struggle. She became involved with a man in California, and he had two boys from a previous marriage. He pursued her at a time in her life when she seemed quite capable of standing on her own two feet. He convinced her that he was worth her time, until she believed him. They ended up dating, living together, and eventually she became a mother to his sons, though they never married.
Three years ago, she made the choice to move back home because of her mother’s illness. At that point, she probably should’ve severed ties with this man. As it were, she had fallen in love with his children, and had accepted them as her own. She could not break free from the three of them, even though she now lived 3,000 miles away. She has had many relationships since, but has kept the ‘dad’ on the back burner all along. A part of me has always encouraged her in this, as I believed if their love was strong enough to survive the distance, maybe it was truly ‘meant to be’. In reality though, the only reason this relationship has endured the distance, the arguments, and the hurts is because of one lone factor. My friend does not feel ‘worthy’ of anything more than this man has to offer.
When she lived with him, she was injured on the job, which led to physical inactivity, which led to weight gain. My friend’s boyfriend ridiculed her, calling her fat and lazy, even though she had become the sole caretaker, maid, cook, and financial planner for their household during her recovery. He became psychologically, emotionally, and even physically abusive. She put up with it because she believed herself unworthy of anything more. She had been raised in a similar environment, and like many people in her position, was doomed to keep repeating the cycle…all because she didn’t know any better. She’s worthy, she just needs to believe that about herself.
Until she does, her path will remain unchanged.
I was just like her. I also believed myself unworthy of full acceptance and support. I wasn’t raised in that environment, though. I was loved and accepted by my parents. There was no abuse or neglect. But I had pretty severe self-esteem issues from an early age, resulting from being a ‘chubby’ child, and getting bullied by neighbor boys & stuck-up classmates. I didn’t get asked to prom, barely dated, and never saw myself as anything beyond a reclusive ’emo-before-it-was-a-thing’ nerd. Even though I was intelligent, well-educated, and somewhat attractive. I had a mother, best friends, and lots of family who constantly told me what I ‘deserved’. It didn’t matter. Until I saw it, believed it, and asked for it, I would never get what I ‘deserved’. And while I always say, ‘deserve has nothing to do with it’ – deeming yourself ‘worthy’ has everything to do with what you actually receive.
My point is this; you will get out of life and out of relationships exactly what you look to find. If you do not see yourself as ‘worthy’, you will receive far less than yourself. If that’s what you want – fine. That’s probably not going to make you happy for very long. All you need is a little bit of vision, a great bit of confidence, and a whole lot of ‘worthy’. Only then will you get your heart’s worth.