Newsflash: it is my job to value me.
I have a strong desire to feel valued, in fact, it’s one of my Core Desired Feelings that I’ve identified by participating in Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map program. If you haven’t heard of this before, I highly encourage you to check it out. I’ve been revising my list annually for the past 4 years. The premise is that when we know how we want to feel, we can use that information to guide us in making better choices. For example, if “brave” is a Core Desired Feeling and you face a choice that puts you in a situation where you have to step up and be brave, or you can run away and avoid it, you might dig deep and find more courage to step up – to be brave.
The words on my Core Desired Feelings list have changed slightly through the years, but one that has stuck around in every iteration is VALUED. For me, the words change out as I feel like I’ve implemented them, or as I move through dynamic stages in my life. So, for one word to continue lurking, just hovering, waiting for me to finally figure out how to consistently FEEL it… there’s a clue that I haven’t put enough focus on it. I want it, but for some reason, I inadvertently push it away from me… like chasing after a beach ball in a swimming pool.
In the last year, I decided to focus on VALUE as my sole Core Desired Feeling. I purchased a pretty journal from Barnes & Noble, customized it by applying rub-ons to say ‘I am Valued”. My intention was to write down three proofs that I had provided value in the world each and every night before I went to bed.
But I let the journal sit on the shelf for the first six months.
It took me until November of 2016 to finally open the damn thing and start writing in it. Here is my first entry, the guideline for my intentions with the journal:
“One of my most significant Core Desired Feelings is VALUED.
I desire to make choices from the position of which path will lead me to feeling valued. When I recognize I feel de-valued, or even dismissed, invalidated, ignored, discounted, then I can and I will adjust my choices.
I recognize it is my responsibility to find and step into this feeling. It is me, Janet Louise, who draws the experience to myself. As a practitioner, it is up to me to convey my value to others – as a person, it is up to me to fill my own cup and let it overflow.
I will consistently observe how I add value to the world because I exist. I will document and invite this feeling, this knowing, to permeate my life:
I am Valued.“
For the next week or so, I was somewhat diligent about writing down three things that had happened to me proving that I had shown up and provided value.
But, then, something happened that I wasn’t expecting.
I had a day where I didn’t talk to a single soul.
These days are not uncommon for me. I regularly need to disconnect from everyone and everything to replenish my own energy. And I am not joking when I tell you that I don’t communicate with a single person on those days.
So, when I sat down with my journal in the evening to identify three ways I had shown up and provided value to the world, I was dumbfounded. I wrote:
“Thinking about how I provide “value” in the world on days when I do ZERO interacting with the outside world. I’m catching glimpses of the importance of showing up for myself, too. I can look to myself for how I showed up for me, how I valued my own input, desires, existence, etc. It shifts from I feel valued… because (of whatever external reason)… to I VALUE ME.”
Then it took me another week of processing and absorbing this epiphany to finally start writing a list of ways that I recognize, honor, cherish and value me.
The last entry in my journal says,
“Remember this – you should never have to convince anyone of your value. If they don’t see it, can’t appreciate it, it is their loss. Not yours. Do not internalize others’ lack of recognition. You’re amazing and I love you! I value you! I value me!”
And I haven’t written another entry in that journal since December.
So, how am I learning to value me?
I still struggle.
I forget important things.
Like how strong, wise, creative, fun, witty, silly, loyal, fierce, and light-hearted I am.
I can get lost in all the ways I perceive that I’m failing, and be sad that I’m not meeting other people’s expectations. I can beat myself up for my strange perspective of the world, for my lack of motivation to conform, for my inability to be “normal”.
And sometimes I do.
But, sometimes I don’t.
I’ve re-established a self-care regimen, with a new approach that incorporates loving and valuing myself. Nourishing my body with healthy food, supplements, and plenty of water feels entirely different when I’m giving it to me because I love me vs. a feeling of restriction and limitation brought on by trying to look a certain way to appeal to other people’s standard of beauty.
I’m forcing myself to go to sleep at night, to be more structured with my sleep patterns. This is a gift to me because I absolutely LOVE my active dream life, and a regulated sleep schedule improves the quality, quantity, and frequency of my dreams.
I’m meditating more often. This connection to Divinity reinforces within me that I am valuable simply because I exist.
I’m starting to recognize that I encounter opportunities every single day to step away from people and situations that do not help me feel valued. I’m getting better at distancing myself from this onslaught on my psyche and my energy. Without malice, I simply remove myself from the path of people who just can’t SEE me. We tend to look out through our own filters, making judgments and assumptions based on our own experiences, and I’m improving my ability to allow you to have your opinion of me, without taking it personal.
Those who know me well, know my integrity, my heart and soul, my beautiful struggles… and they still love me unconditionally. This is priceless. And I’m grateful to have it in my life.
Additionally, I’m starting to STOP certain behaviors, as well:
- stop dimming my light
- stop playing small
- stop shrinking
- stop dumbing myself down
- stop censoring myself
- stop catering to others
- stop allowing devaluation
I just turned 42 years old and it’s about time I finally absorb that I must value me. I don’t need anyone else to value, recognize, see, understand, or appreciate me. My value is not in what YOU see, it lies in my ability to honor myself.
p.s. Going through the exercises in the Desire Map has helped me find clarity and direction in a manner that simply setting goals does not. This link is an affiliate link and if you decide to make a purchase, I will get a small % kickback. That’s just an added perk for me because I would be recommending this program to you whether or not she had a referral system in place. I love it that much!