This is how the mind works -
We have a discussion on Facebook on a tender thoughtful update posted by a friend about her husband and his quiet caring nature, his understated concern. It was lovely and romantic.
Mind to Ritu : See! You used to be such a romantic like her. But then you had to say no to love for such a long time in life. Wasted time.
Ritu to Mind : Love is hard work. Been there, done that. It hurt so much, I swore off it. I am okay now.
Mind to Ritu (In a smug way) : So you miss it, admit it. You miss the feeling.
Ritu to Mind : Yes I do. I miss eating roasted corn on cob too in the rains. Doesn’t mean I’ll eat it at my age. Can’t digest it. But the smell of corn being roasted on red hot coal, the sizzle when the boy rubs lemon dipped in masala on the hot corn, the delicious mouth watering aroma when he hands it to you … How I long for the cast iron digestive system of my youth when I could eat corn.
Mind : We’re talking romance here.
Me : Same principle. We’re talking of the unattainable here.
Mind : Coward!
And I go into a sulk. I don’t like to think of me as a coward. I like to think of me as Xena the Warrior Princess. Or Eve. No not the wishy washy Eve of the Bible but Hawwah, the kickass girl who wanted to explore the edges and push the boundaries.
“Coward” says Mind with a smirk. “Delusional,” it adds for added effect.
I wince as it hurts. It is close to the truth, but not all of it.
The eternal problem of a person who cares too much, lives on her emotions. I made a huge mistake. I let others define me. I focused on how others treated me, their opinion of me. It made me very insecure, since I can’t obviously have any control on how others view me.
And I was such a people pleaser.
It led to my getting manipulated. A lot.
I was honestly so grateful that I was noticed or loved, I completely missed the point, which was that I was lovable. Still am.
And, honestly, its a free world. If some people don’t love me, their loss. There are plenty of others who will.
Low self worth is something that has to be carefully weeded out of the system. I had triggers that I used to watch for. I am vigilant even now, these triggers tell me when I am descending into the rabbit hole of low self worth.
1. Not being able to say “No” to something I don’t want to do. ‘No’ is not rejection, it is just a polite way of saying that I don’t want to go out with a person or do a certain thing. If I say yes and then wriggle out – I am just wasting the other person’s time and mine.
2. This leads to the second point : Making decisions based on what others expect, not based on what I want to do. Watching Grand Masti even. Or – sigh – eating plain cheese pizza. Been there, done that. Shouldn’t have. The poor dear thinks I like plain cheese pizza. He also thinks I enjoyed Grand Masti.
3. Low self worth also leads to boastfulness. I had gone to an Italian restaurant along with Son Junior and his girl friend a few weeks ago. The guy sitting on the next table was boasting, a lot. He was just back from Europe and he really needed to tell everyone on his table and also the neighbouring ones all about it. We fell silent – and then son Junior said, “It’s not as though he went sleighing on polar ice caps!”
We generally boast to make ourselves feel better and to impress those around us, but it can easily backfire. If the people around you perceive that you’re purposefully boasting, like when you make unsolicited comments about your greatness, they’ll see you as insecure and annoying. In addition, boasting of great feats often makes the people around us feel inferior. When you make people feel inferior, they’re going to like you less, not more.
It all makes me think – perhaps I was unprepared for the relationship I was in that scarred me and left me bleeding. It left an impact on the rest of my life.
I spent the rest of my life rebuilding myself until now I can happily say
“I define Me”
I need to look at myself not with borrowed eyes and perceptions. I admit that it is nice to have someone care for me or for me to depend on someone. But then the other way is also wonderful, I care for others and they depend on me. They love me, but they don’t define me.
I could never leave myself that vulnerable. Am I wrong? Perhaps I am. But this sense of self worth has been built with such hard work, I can’t compromise it.
I define Me. And the people who care , the people who matter tell me it makes me more lovable.