Learning the Value of Self Worth this Valentine's Day Season

This past week it just felt as though one thing after another was going wrong, anything and everything that could possibly go wrong seemed to be going wrong. When periods like this arise in my life, I tend to shove the emotions down, or even worse, blame myself for factors out of my control. I had not realized how inhibitory and toxic my acts of avoidance and self-deprecation were becoming until I was on the phone with my best friend last week.

“What part of this [undisclosed crisis that had led me to call her crying multiple times in the past few days] is your fault? What can you control in this situation?” she blatantly stated. 

A piercing silence rang out on my end of the call as I realized, as per usual, she was right. This undisclosed crisis that I had been obsessing over for not days, not months, but literal years was simply something I had no control over. 

That leads me to my own question: Why are we so hard on ourselves?

When reflecting on what my friend said on our phone call, I had not even realized I was being so hard on myself. There have always been extenuating factors in my life that have made me feel as though I needed to prove myself. Factors that led me to start working when I was 15, to push myself to the brink of exhaustion in high school, and to push all of my emotions down to the point where the tiny part of myself in which I stored them was filled to capacity. It took me until a few days ago to even realize that I was behaving this way, and to do what? To prove my worth to other people when in all actuality the person I should have been proving it to, the only person I ever needed to prove it to, was myself.

Upon realizing I was exhibiting such detrimental behavior, I felt oddly lighter. Lighter in the sense that I had finally given myself a second amongst the years of repression to recognize how far I had come. I am a first generation college student pursuing a degree I am truly passionate about surrounded by a network of supporting and accepting individuals, and finally that felt like enough. 

We are still on the upslope of a holiday in which we celebrate romantic love and shower those who we have deemed worthy of our love with nauseating amounts of chocolate and oversized stuffed animals, (no shade ladies, the commodification of feelings just isn’t my favorite). That being said, I find it all the more crucial we take the time to redistribute some of that value and feeling of fulfillment back to ourselves. Yes, life always seems to unexpectedly yet assuredly have moments in which it seems as though all of your previous hard work and struggles do not matter. However, I promise you the power of knowing your worth makes those moments feel less ‘oh my god it’s the end of the world’ and more ‘this really sucks but I know I have the strength to get through it’.