by Angela Brinkman
For the most part, I tend to be an open book. But there are still parts of myself that I will hide until it gets to be about 1:30 or 2 in the morning- which means that most people never truly get to know me and my hidden struggles. Yet on January 4th of 2019 as I was searching for a worthy article to share with a friend, I had the idea to search for one that would also benefit me.
This is what led me to type five little words into the google search bar: “boys don’t equal self worth.”
As the chronically single friend, I find myself comparing myself to others and wondering “why not me?” quite often. This is where my true self comes out. I struggle to feel worthy of anything, especially the love and attention of not only a significant other, but even just my female friends too.
But as I read this article, I was reminded that society is set up to constantly compare yourself to others – boys, girls, professors, employers, and even parents sometimes. This article reminded me that confidence placed in attention only leads to disappointment when the attention fades.
One of the closing points of the article was that it is important not to seek validation from outside sources, because that will only heighten insecurities. This closely touched on a 2am conversation I’d had over break about refusing to compare myself to others, because that is what stands in between me falling short and success. My worth is not determined by how I “measure up.” By comparing, hurdles are put up that keep me from the success I’m after. I can’t be truly happy without intrinsic support.
But as this battle of “when will I be good enough?” rages on, in the back of my mind I am reminded of the time I was good enough. I know deep down that Jesus died for my sins. Suddenly, my “why not me?” is turned into a “why me?” What have I done that was good enough for Jesus to actually find some of the worth in me that I seem to think I have? And once again, I’m reminded that there is nothing worthy about me, but Jesus died for me because of His Amazing Grace.
As that thought rolled over me, I realized that nobody could validate me in the way I need to be. Whether or not anybody else loved me didn’t matter, as long as I was loved by my dog and my Jesus. Since I already know Jesus loves me, the only other one that matters is my dog, and since I take him for rides in the truck, I’m probably set.
But yet, that leads to one more person I forgot: Me.
As I rolled my eyes later at the soap in our bathroom shower that was scented “Love” and recalled my littlest sister teasing me that that was what I needed for Christmas, I decided to read the back of the bottle. Instead of claiming that the scent of the soap would cause someone to fall in love with me, it claimed it would “inspire connection and self-confidence.” The pieces began to fall into place, and I realized what I think I’d known deep down for a long time.
Even if I am loved by Jesus, if I can’t learn to love myself, how can I truly show love to others? Jesus didn’t love me out of duty, but out of choice. Though I might not understand “why me,” I am so worthy because Jesus has made me worthy of His own life, which is way more important and much cooler than mine. I must be someone worth loving, since I am loved by Him.
This pressure to better myself so that I might measure up or compare to others then becomes ridiculous. There is nothing I need to do to prove myself worthy of love or attention, since I’ve already got that from a source way worthier than anywhere else. If the defining factor about myself is that I run fast, my hair is perfectly curled, I have straight A’s, or I have a doting boyfriend, then people will fail to see that my most important feature is that I am loved by God, cherished by Him, and worth dying for.
I’d rather be known for that.