Know your (beautiful, extraordinary, God-fearing, inspiring, rare, genuine, remarkable, and holy) worth.
— Sopha Rush
Affirmations of self worth, love, and acceptance are a key to life because true validation can only come from yourself. Self-worth is simply the value one sees in themselves, but it can be very hard to manifest that idea. It’s one thing to say you value yourself, but it is something you need to internalize. Especially if your actions and thoughts are saying a different thing.
Self-worth can have a direct influence on mental and emotional health. It can be the cause of some mental health issues or the product of others. Whichever way it falls, it is important to get control of it for your own sanity. For me, it was a toxic relationship that lead to a lack of self-worth.
When I was in high school, my sense of self-worth started to diminish. I didn’t even realize it until this past summer. One, I was a people pleaser and, two, I did not know how to say no, so I was already spreading myself thin. On top of that I had gotten into a relationship, and things went downhill from there.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
When I was in the relationship, I thought I was “happy”. But looking back I was able to see how toxic it really was, and how it had an impact on my overall self-worth. It was filled with verbal abuse, manipulation, and dismissive behavior but, at the time, I could not see it for what it was because of…love.
That relationship lasted three years but, even after it ended, I was still connected to that person and allowing the same behavior. The only difference was the lack of a title. My friends were able to see it for what it was, but I was never willing to accept it. I was left feeling empty because I had let someone else be what filled me for so long. I couldn’t see the value in myself, in any regard, and some days I didn’t even like to look at myself. My emotional health was in shambles, and everything felt meaningless.
Then, over the summer, I was at a praise and worship event. As I was praying, an Elder came over to me and whispered four words: “You are worth it.” I immediately froze because I couldn’t believe or understand how those four words were all I needed to hear. After that, things started to change.
You are worth it. No matter what you are going through or came out of — you are worth it.
I started to discover the value in myself. I made a promise that I would do things for myself, things that made me happy. I had to work on building my self-worth day by day. I became my own cheerleader. Before I go anywhere or do anything, I always say to myself, “You got this, sis. You’re mad poppin’.” I journal daily. I listen to music. I take myself out on dates. There’s also this amazing podcast I listen to that touches on an array of topics: Therapy for Black Girls.
Validate yourself. Find what makes you happy. Work on yourself for yourself. Separate yourself from toxic environments. Take time for you.
Being able to see and embrace the value in yourself is important for not only your emotional health but, also, your mental health. It is not the remedy for all mental health issues, but it is a stepping stone to moving in the right direction and taking back control of your sanity.
“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work-in-progress at the same.”