It’s truly a life-changing day when you finally realize your worth.

As much as I hate to admit it, it took me a little longer than most to come to this realization.  I’ve been known to be a people-pleaser.  My tendencies to take flight from confrontation transferred into friendships and even marriage.  I lived in constant fear of someone not “liking me” as if it would be detrimental to my livelihood.  Thoughts about my own feelings or needs were consistently placed on the back-burner in order to keep others content.  And honestly, I was quite comfortable with life.  My belief was that by making everyone else happy, that I had found true happiness.

Boy, was I wrong.

A little over a year ago, the happy little world that I had built up came crashing down all around me.  Oddly enough, I was shocked.  If I’m really being honest with myself, I saw it coming many months before.  But again, I was a pro at avoiding confrontation…believing foolishly that if I ignored it, it would just go away.  Nonetheless, I felt completely blindsided by my situation.  My first reaction was to withdraw myself.  Once a social butterfly, my days now consisted of coming straight home from work and just sitting in the same chair everyday.  I had no desire to talk about it.  No desire be even be around anyone.  I was tired of pretending that I was alright.  Tired of being strong.  My mind was locked away in a prison of “what if” questions whose answers I was terrified to know.

Had it not been for amazing leadership in my life, I could have lost myself during that time.  Their phone calls and encouragement helped me keep my head.  I’m so thankful for their hands in my life.

It was one of those phone calls that sparked something in me one Saturday night.  I answered and heard the voice on the other end ::

“Amber, I need you to get up, get dressed and get out of the house today.”

As much as I hated to, I did.

I spent the night surrounded by my amazing friends.  Maybe I wasn’t as talkative as usual, but I was doing a lot of thinking.  However, it was one pressing thought that would not leave ::

“What makes me feel as if I don’t deserve to be happy?”

As much as I wanted to convince myself that I wasn’t miserable, I just couldn’t.  I knew that what I needed was not unreasonable.

If that was the case, then why didn’t I feel like I was WORTH the effort?

It was then I realized that I DID believe I was worth it.  I was.  I still am.

But to make the necessary changes to find that, was what hurt the most.  I found that sometimes in order to gain what you’re worth, you have to be willing to take a risk.  And so, I did.

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t get the answer I expected.  As a matter of fact, it’s not at all like I thought it would end up.  Even after stepping out and making the necessary changes, I instantly began reflecting on my worth again.  My brief moment of courage had quickly dwindled and sent me spiraling into an abyss of self-consciousness.  My mind wavered to the point where the only thing I felt was uncertainty.  But again, my amazing leadership took their time to counsel me throughout my confusion and I began to realize that I was worth so much more. I realized that I deserved better.

I’m amazed at the transformation that I’ve seen in myself since coming to this realization.  I’ve found that mental health translates over into your physical health as well.  I’m not only worth finding someone who loves the “real me”, but I’m also worth taking care of my health and being the best me possible.

The thing to remember is, the minute you negotiate your self worth and accept less, you say to the world that you are not worthy of anything else.

But for me?  Never again.

I deserve more than I’ve allowed myself to receive.  I deserve happiness.

I deserve to be loved.