There’s a powerful passage in the new book Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic For a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living where author Shauna Niequist talks about why she’s choosing to be present in her life—instead of striving for perfection. She writes:
“This isn’t about working less or more, necessarily. This isn’t about homemade or takeout, or full time or part time, or the specific ways we choose to live out our days. It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling. It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in a thousand ways, but still worth loving.”
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
Are you trying to prove your worth?
Maybe you’re trying to prove your worth by weighing less. Look, I’ve lost a few pounds. I promise I’ll lose more. Soon I will be lovable. Soon you can love me. Soon I’ll finally be worth it.
Are you trying to prove your worth by dieting or working out? Look, I’m trying. I’m trying to become what you want me to be: smaller. More muscular. Compliant. Worthy.
Are you trying to prove your worth by working long hours? Do you see? I am putting in the time. I am working harder and longer than anyone else. I am trying to earn your respect and admiration.
Are you trying to prove your worth by staying silent? I am being good. Do you see my goodness? Do you see my obedient nature? I’m not rocking the boat. I am not saying a word when you upset me, when you cross my boundaries.
Are you trying to prove your worth by keeping a spotless home, by not making any mistakes, by saying things that people want to hear? Are you trying to prove your worth by getting straights A’s, by earning more money, by being self-reliant, by showing that you don’t need much rest, by making it seem like you have it all together, by being someone you’re not?
Are you trying to prove your worth to your partner, family, friends, boss, colleagues? To society? To yourself?
Look at the behaviors you’re engaging in, the actions you’re taking, and consider the intentions behind them. Consider the beliefs behind your behaviors. Consider what you really want to achieve with these actions. Are you doing what you’re doing to prove that you deserve love, respect, kindness, care, attention?
Whether or not you believe your worth is God-given, your worth is inherent. As I’ve said before, you are not currency. You never were.
How would your life change if you saw yourself as worthy already? How would your actions change if you saw yourself as worthy already?