For years I've dealt with something I hate talking about: never being good enough. I'd fly to the moon if I could, just to gain some self-worth. I'd become a politician, if I felt it would earn me some award in Heaven. I'd do nearly anything just to feel worth something.
I've shown this tendency in the past, playing the violin until people actually paid me to play, becoming a female mechanic (in training) despite the odds, having a clothing business that turned into a booming success. Or now . . . writing books until my fingers have nearly fallen off.
At moments through all of these accomplishments, I've felt worth something--honestly. But then things always make me depressed afterward. Maybe none of it was worth anything? I'm a jack of all trades, master of none, just trying my hand at everything until I feel satisfied. That reflects on me. How insecure and vunerable I can be. At least through my books, I've realized more about myself--especially while rereading my own journal, The Golden Sky, after my son died.
I realized all of this again yesterday as I gave a friend a copy of Homeless in Hawaii. "I hope you'll love it," I said. "And now a trilogy--after all the sweat and tears, I'm finally done!"
She clutched the book and didn't even smile. "What a nice thing to add! You could have just given me the book and not said a word." She stared at me. "When will you realize that I'm just as great and accomplished as you are? Just cause I can't give you something I've been working on, that doesn't make you better than me."
I stayed gape-jawed, then I drove home and cried. I've always thought she was wonderful. But after her cruel words, she didn't seem quite so fantastic anymore. I'd just wanted her to have my book because she's my friend.
My thoughts came back to my boomeranging problem-- since it always comes back to haunt me--that issue of self-worth.
Every time I've felt good about myself or something I've done, certain people in my life have hurt me. This has only happened because I've put my self-worth in them instead of where it should be, in myself.
I talked with another friend about this several years ago. "But you're so talented," she'd said.
"Anyone can be talented if they work at it," I said. "It doesn't make me valuable to anyone, especially God. It just makes me a hard worker."
"Well, if you feel like this, imagine how others feel, the people who haven't worked to be good at anything. The people like me."
I grabbed her hand and told her about the many gifts and talents she obviously possessed. It shocked me, but she had no idea what an amazing person she was! And after that day, I saw a change in her, as if I'd shone a flashlight on something that had always been there--her significance.
Last night, after crying about my friend's words--and to be completely honest--my lack of self-esteem, I had a symbolic dream that still has me a bit confused.
I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Maybe you'll be able to help me see its deeper meaning?
P.S. Have you ever felt like this--struggling to find self-worth? If you haven't, please don't say 'no.' That'll just make me feel like a turd on the ground, really.
Thanks for all of your kind comments on my last post. Your friendships have bolstered me and encouraged me to keep writing this blog.