A few weeks back I was at a public function where all in attendance were encouraged to wear nametags. As I looked around the room at all of the unfamiliar faces, each with a nametag stuck to the front of their shirt, I was struck by something. We wear nametags so that people will know who we are, but how on earth can a little piece of paper tell people about who we really are? After all, our name doesn’t make us who we are, but rather the things that we’ve lived and experienced, and the ways in which we define ourselves. Upon thinking this, I thought of a list of words that I use to describe myself, and about what the world would look like if we put those words on nametags. I think we would see more of a person and learn to look deeper than simply a name.
Hello, My Name is Valuable.
For a long time, I struggled with appreciating the person that I was. Because of things I experienced growing up, my mind was wired to put myself down. I got to a point where I couldn’t even pick out one thing that I liked about myself, and that’s when I knew that something had to change. Following this point of understanding, I went on a three-year journey to learn to love myself. It was extremely difficult. There were some good days, and some really bad days. But as time went on, I knew that I was changing. I was starting to appreciate who I was, and learning to love the things about myself that I was taught to hate. Suddenly I was becoming someone more positive and I genuinely liked the person that I had grown into.
Now, when I see myself, I see myself as valuable. I see myself as significant and important, and 6 years ago, I never could have said that without lying. Because of that, seeing myself as valuable is one of the things that define me the most, and it’s because it wasn’t an easy journey for me. It’s been a long hard road to self-acceptance, and it’s a huge part of who I am, and always will be. For me to be able to define myself as valuable is huge for me. It shows me how far I’ve come, and it allows me to remember the past without dwelling on it. It gives me the permission to move forward and keep going despite what’s happened. It gives me hope.
I define myself as valuable because I can love the things about myself that I’m good at, the things I wasn’t able to recognize before. I can also appreciate the things about myself that aren’t very great, because they too make me who I am. I define myself as valuable because I know that I am loved and that I am worthy of love. As a kid, I was constantly reminded that I wasn’t, so for me to be in a place where I can believe that I am, and know it fully, is incredible. I define myself as valuable because I am a unique being, I am fully and completely me. And for the first time in a long time, that is okay. In fact it’s more than okay, it’s enough. I am enough.