Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feel The Love

"Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative - self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it's a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them."

Jennifer James: Cultural Anthropologist and Motivational Speaker

I have been having transitional pains lately. It's that time of year where we're preparing for the summer. It's also time when I seem to struggle more with my own self worth. I think it's because I don't have full time and full season employment. There is always anxiety there. It has gotten better over the years, but it still haunts me, reminding me it has never completely left.

I have been jealous, too. Jealous of others. Jealous of people's accomplishments, their successes, their haves and my have nots. I am always happy for them, truly. But there is that side of me, that little corner of me that is secretly Hulk colored of them. It's something I'm working on. Most days are pretty good, but the other day, it was hard.

I had an audition for a show. A musical. I consider myself to be able to sing decently. Nothing ear splitting, but not Idina Menzel either. I can carry a tune in a bucket. (haha!) Earlier in the day, I had gotten word that I had not gotten into a production that I felt I was a shoo in for. I had seen who was cast and started immediately dumping on myself. Telling myself I was no good and why do I even bother doing these things and I ended up in a dark and sad place. I was swirling in my own created misery when I recalled The Daily Love. It's a great website where they guide you how to love yourself. Really. I thought it sounded hokey at first. But it has been quite a boon to me these past few weeks.

As I am recalling this, and the wisdom that has passed to me, I said, "You know what? It's all good. This event doesn't own me. This just opens me up for more opportunities."  I couldn't even BELIEVE that I had said that myself.

So, to go back a bit, after this happened, I went to pick Nathan up. I told him I had an audition that night. He said,"Are you nervous?" I absolutely was. I was nervous that I would forget the song, nervous I wouldn't be able to sing as loud as I could (as my throat likes to get really dry and constrict right before I sing). And I was having some serious self image issues (I had recently had a very small chip in my bottom tooth and my hair has been appearing to me to be even thinner than it has in the past). I wasn't in the best or most positive of places I needed to be. 

I told him I was nervous and he looked at me and said,
"Mom, focus on the song, not on the people. And if you screw up, that's okay because you will do better next time."

It was strange to be on the receiving end of such sage advice. I knew Nathan was right. It was still hard doing it, and I could have been better, but to be honest, I did better than I thought I was going to. It was 60 seconds of my life that I spent literally all day perseverating on. I haven't found out if I have gotten a part yet, but I am no longer worrying about my performance.

Nathan had some problems yesterday, too, with his self worth. His desire to be perfect consumes him sometimes. He feels that if he is perfect, then people will like him. When I picked him up yesterday, his site director told me that he was very sad when he got picked up at school, something about not knowing the answer to a trivia question. He was crying and inconsolable on the bus. Once he got there, he was upset again when trying to do archery and not hitting a bullseye every time.

  When I was talking to his site director Nathan started to say, "No, no, no! Everything is fine. I don't want to talk about it." I stressed to Nathan that he was not in trouble and that I wanted to find out about his day because I cared about him. He fell the floor and did his seahorse imitation, where he curls up on the floor and has his head and chin tuck together. I assured him he was not in trouble and managed to get him up off the floor. 

As we walked outside he said, "Mom, I'm sorry I'm not perfect." I said, "Buddy, I don't want you to be perfect." He asked, "Why?" I replied, "Nobody is perfect honey. I don't want you to be perfect. I want you to be you."
"But don't you want me to be the best at everything?" he inquired.
"No, buddy, I just want you to try your best. You don't have to succeed at everything to make me happy."
"So you still love me even though I don't hit a bullseye?"
"Of course I do. I love you no matter what."

We both have been jealous of other people's accomplishments and wanting to be "perfect" and "special". We both suffer from self doubt and self loathing. Part of this process is to try to show by example. I know I have been struggling with this my whole life. I don't want him to stay on this road like I have. I have changed that path and am working on being more kind and loving to myself. I hope that it rubs off on him, too.


  1. I don't think there are many that don't struggle with these issues. Ironically as I was reading your post this song played on Pandora:

  2. Powerful stuff! This post is worth reading daily!

  3. I think we all struggle with these things, but we don't always voice it. I am taking the time to put breath to the thoughts and putting them out into the Universe. :)