Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Compassion! Turn to the left. Compassion! Turn to the right.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

Lying in bed, I started questioning myself. I wondered what is the mathematical calculation to determine self worth? What are the factors that diminish self worth? Is self worth diminished if you lower expectations of others around you? How do you not feel arrogant for saying this? How do you not feel like a pompous heel?
I know this sounds funny for some but I started to pray. I knew if I didn’t, I was in for a restless night. I felt my emotions brewing in a pot. I felt all the insecurities of my situation surfacing. Yes, things don’t always turn out the way you think they will but you make the best of the situation, be thankful for the positives and trust in God. “The Lord will provide.”
Still, I was scared and still am. I’m scared of resentment. I’m scared of lowering standards. I’m scared of settling. I don’t want to settle. My fear of complacency stems from a fear of diminished self worth. I grew up with a very strong woman who taught me what it means to have strong sense of self and another woman who believed self sacrifice was a duty for a woman. I don’t want to sacrifice myself. Yes, we give up things and heightening our perspectives based on influences but no man or woman should sacrifice to the point of diminished self worth.
My ponderings in the wee hours bubbled up my questions of self worth at the cusp of my new role as provider. I started making my list. My self worth has increased with motherhood. It has been strengthened by childbirth. It has been bolstered by the love and care received by friends, family and unlikely folks.
Why am I so afraid my self worth has been compromised? Then it hit me. I had so many expectations and associations with being a wife and a parent. I had dreamt of being a parent for so long that a fantasy was formed. I wasn’t na├»ve to think parenting would not influence my relationships but I didn’t realize Newton’s Third Law.
So I lay in bed, and while the family was sleeping soundly, I asked Mary to help me not connote self worth with my reality versus fantasy. Like the warm blanket that enveloped me, the message wrapped me. It all comes back to unconditional love. We love those around us faults and all just as God loves us faults and all. Why should I pass judgment on myself based on my insecurities? Yes, I should work past my fears and apprehensions but these fears and apprehensions do not determine my self worth. God loves me for who I am and will guide me towards being a better person every day. He does this not just for me but for all mankind. I need to do the same not only for others but for myself.
Every relationship is about surfing, finding the balance. Riding the waves takes diplomacy and a gentle touch. I’m not lessening my values; I’m adjusting and counterbalancing the breaking waves. I’m still me and my self worth will only strengthen and increase.