The other day I was at home working like most days, and all of the sudden I was overcome with anxiety. If I am being completely honest this is something that has happened enough times that I know how to handle it. One of the things I like to do when my anxiety gets bad is to drive. I know. I know. That may sound dangerous; especially because when you think of an anxious person you don’t usually imagine them being stable enough to drive, but for some reason being behind the wheel of a car without a specific destination to end up at soothes me. Anyway, this isn’t about anxiety or how to deal with it, it’s about something the Lord showed me while I was driving that day (I do a lot of praying in my car. Jesus and I love car rides.) He showed me where I place/have placed my value, and man that car ride was long but totally changed my perspective. I thought I’d share it with you guys.
The word Value can be defined as “the regard that is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” The Lord dropped a question in my heart that day. He asked, “What do you believe you’re truly worth?” I was a little stunned by this because this is God speaking, doesn’t He know that answer? I mean doesn’t the Lord tell us we are valuable in the Bible? How can I answer a question like that? I simply couldn’t answer right away and I heard Him again say, “Amanda, what do you believe you are truly worth?” I was quiet for a little trying to think of all the promises the Lord has made to me over the years. I simply stated, “You say I am fearfully and wonderfully made. That you have a plan for my life. You see me as beautiful, and wanted.” It was almost in a moments time I understood what the Lord was asking me. He didn’t want me to repeat a Bible verse to Him. He didn’t want me to perform a church-goer monologue, He wanted the raw and ugly truth. He wanted me to verbalize that ugly truth, the truth that I don’t see what He sees in me. The embarrassing fact that most of the time I feel ugly, and stupid, and under-qualified, and unwanted, and that everyone will leave me, that I’m not worth true passionate and romantic love, that I’ve made too many mistakes, and that someday everyone will find out that I’m really not cool. That I’m just messed up and hurting and trying to keep it all together. Don’t you know when you have a secret, or a harsh reality that it is the hardest thing to verbalize. Most people can’t even utter the words yet here I was, in my car, contemplating a vanilla ice cream cone from McDonald’s (they are literally $1) and the Lord wanted me to call out my insecurities one by one.
Now, I know what you’re thinking and of course I got that ice cream cone. Not even my deepest darkest insecurities can keep me from a refreshing high calorie dessert. They’re delicious. You should try one. I mean, when the ice cream machine isn’t down. Okay moving on. I sat there in my car eating my ice cream cone like a timid child after a time out, and I did as the Lord asked, I called out my insecurities. I thought, “Heck, it’s just you and me God. I trust you. My family isn’t here. My friends aren’t here. My ex isn’t here. My followers aren’t here. It’s just us. Here we go.” I listed them all and covered just about every area of my life. I cried a little…okay a lot. Only because I didn’t realize how little I saw myself. I had never verbalized them before and in doing that it made them even more real. I finished my ice cream cone and wiped my tears and felt better. Maybe because ice cream just does that, it makes you feel better, but also because I hit step 1 in what I like to call the steps to Self-Value. This first step is Self-Awareness.
Step #1 Self- Awareness.
Self-awareness is just that; it’s being aware of one’s self. This sounds very deep and almost “vibey” but I don’t mean it to. I mean it to be very practical. Very logical. You have to be aware of your own thoughts, emotions, and desires. You have to be honest and real with yourself. If you can’t do that, forget trying to have healthy relationships with others or live a fulfilling life. Most of the times our lives are either so fast paced or so distracted that we don’t even have the time to reflect on why we do what we do, feel what we feel, or react the way we react. We are too busy, or too unaware to notice who we are and what we are becoming. I have definitely been someone who can relate to both. I like working and keeping busy and sometimes a busy schedule keeps me from having time to reflect on my day, or what really is going on in my life. Other times I may not be as busy but I am always around people, or on my phone that my thoughts and feelings are never retrospective but rather reactive. Taking the time each day, to reflect and rest is so important to your emotional and mental health. It can prevent anxiety, stress, overthinking, and depression. Having the ability to be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, fears, and even dreams allows you to eventually accept them…. Which leads to step 2.
Step #2. Self-Acceptance.
I think this is the state that I’m currently in. I have already realized everything that makes me…. Well me. I have come to know my weakness, my strengths, my insecurities, my true dreams, and much more but now I need to learn how to accept them. Acceptance isn’t always a, “Ugh okay I guess I’ll never be good at _____, or I’m not ever gonna change regarding ____.” No. Acceptance is being able to look at your weaknesses as reminders to grow, and your strengths as gifts for others. It means that in your present moment you understand and take what is happening to you as data to make decisions for your future and move on. You never stop at this step. If anything, acceptance is a step that propels you to the next step. Think of Self-Acceptance as a trampoline. You may have to jump up and down a few times in order to gain momentum, but eventually you get that one big jump that’s higher than all the others. You’re “one big jump that’s higher than all the others” is step #3, Self-Love.
Step #3. Self Love
Now I have to say I have a love/ hate relationship with this term only because I like to see myself as a rebel, so if something’s trendy I usually hate it. “Self-Love” has been plastered everywhere in media recently and honestly I don’t think most people truly understand what it means. It’s become this trendy catch phrase we say when we aren’t qualified to give someone advice. It’s a quote Forever 21 can put on a stupid plain shirt and sell for $20. It’s so marketable honestly. Great job Self-love, you’re really doing great business here. In all actuality, most people don’t really love themselves. Or they think they do because they have accepted the good and bad in themselves and just put it out there for everyone to see. Now, that’s great, no secrets. Accepting yourself has never been….well this accepted, but most people miss one very important thing. You can accept yourself all you want but LOVING yourself isn’t just about accepting where you are but it’s being able to say that’s not it. You don’t always have to have anxiety. You don’t always have to be over weight/ under weight. You won’t always shut people out. You don’t always have to be single. Self love is being able to love yourself enough to keep growing, keep moving, keep striving, keep fighting, keep pressing forward. You love yourself and respect yourself enough to give yourself the best life you deserve. You are able to get rid of toxic relationships because you know you deserve better. Not you deserve better in the snap your fingers, flip your hair kind of way but in a way where it doesn’t hurt as much to watch someone walk away. You realize that your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s inability to see your worth. Your whole world won’t shatter just because you’re alone on a Friday night. You don’t think you’re ugly just because you don’t get likes on a selfie. You won’t think you’re not worth love just because he isn’t texting you back, or because he couldn’t read your mind, or because it didn’t work out with the last one. No! You’re able to go through hell and still keep the same confidence and the same enthusiasm to live your life because you don’t base your worth on things that are situational.
All in all, that car ride showed me a lot of things about myself and where I need to go in order to truly love who I am inside and out. I wanted to share this with you because I truly believe we all need to know these three steps to understand our value and live a happier and more fulfilled life. I hope this inspired you in some way and opened your eyes to a new perspective. I know it did for me. Thank you for reading and I'll talk to you guys in my next post.
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