Proving our worth

Have you ever felt like you were not good enough?

I remember this student I had in China on my first year teaching in a university there. She was this sweet 20-year old girl who reached out and asked if I needed anything especially that at that time I only knew a few Chinese words. We were walking in the university ground when she told me that when she was born, her parents cried.

“I’m sure those were happy tears from proud parents,” I replied.

“No, they were not happy but sad,” she immediately replied.

I was taken aback, “What do you mean?”

“My parents had only wanted a baby boy and there I was, the third baby girl. They cried because they didn’t want me.”

Sometimes the world feels like a harsh place where we had to perpetually prove our worth, that we are good enough and that we are wanted, needed.

But this is what I know – yes, we are good enough and we don’t need to prove that to everybody. Let’s wake up every Monday morning ready for a new day. Let’s read books and learn from them. Let’s do something that scares us once in a while.

Let’s run and do yoga and feel the grace of our body’s movement. Let’s make our world a better place by filling it with what good we can contribute. Let’s invest in ourselves by learning. Let’s embrace the ups and downs of life. And most of all, be kind. Kindness invites good things.

So the next time you feel worthless and unwanted, ask yourself: Am I kind? Am I working on improving myself? Am I embracing my decisions? Do I love and respect myself?

These questions matter because most of the time, what we need is not found from another but from ourselves.

About that student of mine. Her English name was Shiela. I remember the first time I met her I knew right away that she lacked self-confidence. I also remember what I told her that day:

“Being unwanted by your parents is beyond your control. What you can control now is how you love and respect yourself so that your past will not break your future.”

Written: 09 September 2016

Photography: Pexels


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