Recently, I have been having a lot of conversations with many friends and family about the idea of unworthiness and self-love. These ideas have come up in many different forms, and these two ideas, go hand in hand. In my own way, I have been doing a lot of reflection and introspection of my own self-worth and why I do certain things. I have come to the realization that I have been carrying around many burdens and self-limiting scripts. These things from my past are still affecting the person that I am becoming. Now I am finding that is time to acknowledge these things and let them go.
One story that I want to fully and truly let go, from my past, is being bullied in middle school. I went to a private middle school, here in Denver, with very small class sizes and not many students in the school. I had really big glasses, and I was very quiet and shy. I didn’t look or act the way I am now.
I easily stood out and I was easy to ostracize. It became a period of time, where I only had one friend and I would spend my recesses indoors with teachers. I remember feeling deep rejection and unworthiness on a daily basis. For the 8th-grade class yearbook, I was told by other students, that I was voted “most likely to die alone.” (The teachers didn’t include this in the yearbook.) Nonetheless, as an eighth grader, this was deeply scarring and is a wound that I still carry today. It reached a point where the thought of suicide seemed the only option.
However, I remember during one of the last school projects, I was forced to be paired with the most “popular” girl in my grade. Even though I ended up doing most of the work for the project. I will never forget one conversation that we had together while working. During our conversation, she admitted how hard school was for her because the other girls in class would make fun of her.
“Wait, what?” And Here I thought that nothing could be wrong in this girl life because she was the ‘most liked’ in school.
Well, the other girls didn’t like how much attention she would receive from the boys in our class. So, they would make fun of her because they were jealous. She told me how much this affected her at school, and how none of the girls in our class were her friend.
This began to shift my perception of not only this girl, but of myself. I realized:
• Not only was I being judged at school, but that I have been judging others.
• I truly did not know what was happening in the “popular” girl life.
• Other people have their own wounds.
No, we did not become friends after this conversation. But, what ended up shifting for me was to never judge someone, without really getting to know them.
This has helped lead to me the person I am today. It has lead to some of my best friendships as an adult because of seeking to truly know and understand others. It has lead to my current positions and vocation as a tutor. Not only in teaching math but to working with students with learning disabilities. It has given me the strength up until now.
And now what I need to do to move forward, is get over my own wound of rejection and unworthiness. In order to move forward to be the person I want to be. It is time to let go and heal my soul wound.
Photo: Courtesy of author