Hope :: Relying on Others…

Photo: My dagger – a gift from my father – image edited in Photoshop

Relying on others is a double-edged sword, or dagger in the picture above. Don’t worry, the edges of said dagger are pretty dull. Anyway:

I’ve spent most of my life relying on the acceptance of others to find motivation. I’ve needed others to tell me that I’m good enough… that I’m following the right path… that I’m worth something…

The Danger

When that support is lacking or the words dry up, I’ve felt completely lost and alone.

When you feel lost and/or alone, you tend to struggle with depression; or at least I do. When you struggle with depression, it’s difficult to start something new or find enjoyment in life.

Watching a storm from my apartment window in Boston, MA

I can tell you with full confidence, however, that there is hope.

No matter how dark things seem to be, there is always light. There is always something to look forward to in life.

Though I took this picture in the early afternoon, it was storming outside. As you can tell, it was very dark inside my apartment.

I took the picture to send it in a text. Someone asked me how my day was going and the dark and the storm just about summed it all up for me. When I looked at the picture, I got a shock when I realized the contrast in the image. It hadn’t seemed that bright when I saw it in real life.

That’s how our lives are

Sometimes circumstances can seem so dark, but if we look for the light, we are going to find it.

Others can help us find the light. However, dear reader, we can’t rely on other people to give us our self-worth or bring us into the light.

Surround yourself with people

In my opinion, we should surround ourselves with people who care about us and support us.

However, when we rely on others to carry our entire weight for us, it pushes people away from us and we find ourselves on an island, separated from everyone and trying our hardest to not drown. Think about it: we tend to become resentful when we have to do all the heavy lifting for someone else; they feel the same way when we do it to them.

So, what do you do?

It’s time to work on your own sense of self-worth.

Personally, I find my self-worth in many places:

Obviously, that isn’t a list of “many” things; it’s only a partial list. I also personally struggle with finding my worth outside of what others think about me.

Story time

The other day, I had an issue come up where another person showed frustration that I was sharing my thoughts in front of her; not to her, simply in front of her. It brought back memories from my past of others putting me down because I shared my thoughts too much and it sent me spiraling into feelings of inadequacy. As I was sinking into feelings of self-doubt, I received an email from the professor of that class telling me how insightful my thoughts are and how indispensable I am at the moment.

It was actually that encounter that sent me on the path of writing this post in the first place: realizing that – once again – I’m allowing how others feel about me to influence how I feel about me.

As I focus on the bullet points above and fix my mind on my skills, talents, and faith, I find that my sense of self-worth increases exponentially.

Quote image: "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." Lucille Ball

Loving yourself is one of the most difficult and arduous tasks you will ever pursue; however, it’s also the most fulfilling thing you will ever do for yourself.

Have faith in other people, knowing they care about you. But don’t rely on them to carry your self-worth. Only you can do that.

Brittany Stonestreet signature with Dove

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