Have you ever looked in the mirror and not liked what was staring back at you? Have you ever been told that you are “too black” or “a little chubby”? Have you ever been told that you weren’t good enough? Have you ever felt that you don’t matter? I know I have and had I not grown up with a strong support system around me, these words could have been extremely damaging to my self-worth.
Everybody has those days where you don’t feel good enough, where you don’t feel that you are important. Today, I want to remind you that, you matter.
Unfortunately,in our society, women ( and I’m speaking as a young black woman) are sometimes only valued by how well they can “twerk” or by how many Instagram likes they can get… this is sad. Gone are the days where a women could be revered for her intelligence. Instead we have replaced that revere with disdain. We as a society in whole, place too much emphasis on the outer person and not enough on the inner person; the part of the person that actually matters.
A thought came to me awhile ago: If you have a hundred-dollar bill and you crumple it up, is it not still worth one hundred dollars? Of course it is! Just because it doesn’t look like its worth something, doesn’t mean that it isn’t! Don’t judge someone or something by its outward appearance. Some of the best gems are a little damaged.
I read a book ( and subsequently watched the movie) called “The Help” and in that movie there is a scene where the help Abilene speaks to her mistresses daughter. The daughter is not your quintessential “cute”child and she is well aware of this by the way her mother treats her. Anyway, Abilene empowers the child by telling her (and getting her to repeat ) this phrase: ” You is smart, You is kind, You is important”
(see clip below)
As an educator, I see low self-esteem in children as young as four and that scares me. We live in a society that not even our children are safe from scrutiny and judgement. I adapted the mantra from “The Help” and created my own. Whenever I detect that the class is feeling down, I encourage them to repeat this phrase, “I am special, I am important, I am kind and I matter”. We need to start empowering people when they are young so that when they get older petty things can’t shake them!
As a Christian, one scripture that always brings comfort to me when I find my self-worth shaky, is Psalms 139:14
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Amen! I take solace in the fact that He created me just the way I am and I’m okay with that! Somebody may say that I’m “too black” or “chubby” or “not good enough” but I know who made me and that He made me this way for a reason! So I’m going to love on me unconditionally and I’m going to give thanks to the one who gave me the opportunity to be me!
So don’t let anyone dull your shine! You matter! 🙂
India Arie has a great song that is a great anthem about self-esteem. Some of the lyrics read:
I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally,
Because I am a queen!
Have a blessed Monday!!!