Tag Archives: toxic relationships

Being Worth the Effort



It’s a loaded word. And people write A LOT about it. Here are some quotes swirling around social media these days:

“When you know your worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.”

“The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.”

“Your Value Doesn’t Decrease Based on Someone’s Inability to See Your Worth.” (My favorite.)

“Never force yourself to have a space in anyone’s life. If they know your worth, they will surely create one for you.”

“Know your worth. It makes no sense to be second in someone’s life when you can be first in someone else’s.”

“Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.”


Ok, here’s what I think about all of this short tough love worth advice:

Knowing intellectually that you are worthy of love and deserving of being treated respectfully is one thing. It’s on an intellectual level. But truly feeling your worth on a cellular level—and living your life based on that deep knowing—is a different matter entirely.

Think about it.

There are a lot of factors in why we allow others to treat us badly. Some have been abused as children or watched neglect or abuse between their parents and on some subconscious level, don’t feel worthy of anything different. I’ve known wonderful, extremely talented and kind people who say they want to be treated well, but keep taking back neglectful, hurtful, toxic, or abusive boyfriends or spouses or girlfriends.

Some in this world appear to have enslaved themselves within dead or abusive marriages, too. From the outside it’s hard to understand.

Having lived on both sides of the spectrum: the side that watched abuse and neglect as a child and who allowed neglect and abuse in my relationships—to the person who owns her worth, is on her own, and who will no longer tolerate the abuse, neglect drama cycle…I know compliance to ANY type of abuse: emotional, physical or psychological, boils down to deep-rooted fears.

Intellectually I’ve always felt worthy—even when I stayed with someone who belittled, neglected and disrespected me. Even when I was with someone who never accepted me for who I am and tried to change me, while comparing me to others. I still felt worthy. I’ve been with a few people like that. And shame on me. Intellectually I knew I deserved better.But maybe this type of behavior ebbed and flowed? Maybe it was what I knew—what I grew up with. What I was comfortable living within the parameters of. EVEN though I would never, ever admit it. And, with girlfriends, would complain and always say I deserved better, bla bla. Perhaps I thought things would change? Perhaps I thought therapy, or my own inner work would make things different? Perhaps I bought into the other person’s viewpoint and tried to change until I no longer knew who I was? I mean, the love was there, right? Or was it? I was stuck in a drama rut. That’s what I now call it. And it’s insane. And it’s disrespectful to both parties as it always spirals into a destructive dynamic based on unmet and dashed expectations, hurt feelings and perhaps depression or an inability to communicate. It’s soul crushing. But many of us live in the lows and the highs and get used to this turbulent and distracting ride. It distracts us from reaching our highest potential. It distracts us from truly living, loving, growing and having authentic relationships filled with gratitude, respect and open communication.

I imagine that 99.5% of us would agree with every quote that I listed above. We agree intellectually. But less than half of us likely take the steps necessary to get out of bad relationships until they are beyond destructive and our health and wellbeing is tanking.

It’s due to fears. The biggies? A fear that there will be no one else out there better for us. Or the fear that it’ll be too hard or impossible to survive financially solo. Or maybe the fear is about being too old to start over? Another biggie: the fear of judgement. What will  family and friends think? Oh, there are so many fears.

Knowing your worth, therefore, is intrinsically linked with trusting the Universe. More people would leave a person who belittled, abused, cheated  or neglected them—if they trusted that life would be OK after walking out the door. Fear is debilitating.

Think about it. If you trusted more and feared less, what would you still put up with? And if you’d decide to keep trying, how long would you put up with it? After one year of therapy wtihout any change? Two years? Would you finally settle back into the status quo?  

What if  your guardian angel whispered in your ear tonight that you would definitely win the $10 million lottery jackpot and lose 15 pounds this year, how would you feel? Would you change anything in your life right now? Think about it. Would you be more confident? Would you want to keep the current relationships you now have—exactly as they are? Would you wait to see if others were sincere and were willing to make an effort before letting them into your now valuable and desirable life?

Read those two paragraphs again. Maybe journal on it. It’s powerful.

What’s even more powerful, is if you lived ‘as if’ all of the above is true.

Because it is.

Your life is already valuable and desirable because it is yours. YOU, (and I) are valuable and desirable and deserving of love and deserving of others making an effort for. But maybe you need more proof before making any changes or standing up for yourself or your needs?

It takes a leap of faith—especially for those of us who weren’t validated as children or by spouses or who were raised to give and give and expect nothing in return. You are worth someone making an effort for. And you are worth making more of your own effort for … like taking a step in a positive direction.

It takes faith. It takes trust. It’s a powerful combination. Put together, they form a kind of mental pixie dust that starts to erode your fears, letting you take baby steps toward your best life.

Thanks for reading my musings.

Love & Light XO




Strengthening Your Wings

by: Stephanie Jones

by: Stephanie Jones

Yesterday, someone wise told me a story. I had actually heard it before. It’s a parable from a children’s book. Sometimes the most profound lessons stem from the simplest truths, don’t you think? It goes like this:

A little girl found a caterpillar in her back yard. She had just learned about metamorphosis in kindergarten. So, she picked it up, put dirt, leaves and moss in a jar, and placed it inside. She was careful to put holes in the jar’s lid. Then, every day, she watched the caterpillar eat and eat and then start to make its cocoon. For almost two weeks, the little girl watched the cocoon hanging from a twig—knowing that the fat, goofy-looking caterpillar was turning into a beautiful butterfly. She was mesmerized.

Finally, the cocoon began moving slightly. Then it really started swaying back and forth. The little girl began to get upset. She saw that the butterfly with struggling to get out. Even though her mother told her not to, she thought she should help the butterfly. So, she, ever-so-gently, poked a hole in the cocoon so the butterfly could fly away. She lifted the lid off the jar and waited. And waited. The butterfly stopped moving. Sadly, it died. The little girl cried and cried! She was beside herself. What did she do?! She was only trying to help. Why didn’t it work?!

She was distraught when her mother looked up information about metamorphosis and discovered that the only way an infant butterfly can physically fly out of the cocoon is by strengthening its wings. The wings get stronger through the process of struggling with the cocoon to break free. Only after a certain amount of time battling with the cocoon and building strength, can it fly away.  Without the struggle, her wings are too weak and she’ll lay there and wither.

I guess some of you know where I’m going with this don’t you? No matter how hard it is to see during our pain, we need some of our struggles to build strength. Of course, I’m  not talking about tragedies like tornados or childhood leukemia. Seriously, some things are beyond reason. But, I’m beginning to see that our every day struggles to find ourselves and to listen to our intuition, are incredibly important. Taking steps to take care of ourselves and to form healthy relationships can be hard. Who knew four years ago, when my husband left while our 2nd child was a baby, that it would turn out to be blessing for me. I’m SO much stronger and grateful now. I have more confidence, more patience, more spirit and drive. Perhaps I  had to be on my own, to build myself up and find myself again. I still cater to my children’s needs—what single parent doesn’t?! But I’m also listening to, and honoring my inner voice. I’m writing fiction again. So, I’m working, raising my boys and trying to find time for work that pays AND my fiction. I’ve never felt more invigorated (and tired!). But that’s beside the point. Without my struggle, I wouldn’t have find myself or my courage. (I’m still working on flying, but I’ll get there someday.)

Conversely, if you feel like you’re the little girl watching someone you love struggle to fly—as I have found myself doing many times in my life—remember that it’s not always possible to help. If you’ve tried to help only to see someone fall back into old habits, remember that sometimes helping is enabling. Some need the struggle or need to hit bottom before they’ll be open to change.

It’s a good lesson for me, as I often want to help others instead of focussing on myself and my issues. And this past month I’ve been reminded again and again through some chaos and drama, that the only person who I can ever help and who I can ever change is myself. If someone in my life is struggling, especially with addiction or destructive behavior, I have to detach with love. Not everyone understands. And that’s okay.

Sometimes going through the struggle is the only way to find the will to fight…and hopefully find a way to soar above the problems.