Often I hear partners doubt their own self worth and feel broken and alone.
I get it.
Spending years in a relationship where it’s said that you have value but it isn’t lived causes such a disconnect.
It’s a great example of Cognitive Dissonance-the perception of contradictory information.
It’s not a perfect world. We can all do this and we can all experience this. But when it happens consistently in a long term relationship it can rock your world. You don’t really know which way is up or down.
Gaslighting can have the same effect.
It’s no wonder partners feel so broken and alone and feel no sense of self worth. I spend countless hours telling clients how much they matter, that they are worthy, that they are valuable. But until they believe it on their own, my words don’t matter. They have to feel it.
I have to feel it.
You have to feel it.
When everything around us is telling us or showing us something contrary, cognitive dissonance, it’s hard to believe.
And today I’m struggling.
Could be my perception. Could be reality.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter. I have to remember who God say we are. Who I am.
We live in a world where actions and words typically don’t line up. In a relationship of any kind, they should. That builds trust. It builds relationship. It builds rather than brings anything into question. It builds rather than bringing confusion.
When you’re in a relationship you should be able to count on some things…Reliability. Honesty. Dependability. Actions and words lining up. When they don’t, that’s where cognitive dissonance comes into play.
I don’t know about you, but my desire is for a real relationship, not perfect, but something and someone that I can count on. Consistency.
Believe it or not, that also contributes to self worth. To value. To knowing that you matter.
So today when I say that I’m struggling it’s because things aren’t lining up in my world.
But here’s the kicker. Is it real? Or is it how I’m feeling?
Friend….feelings are real. I’m not discounting them in any way. What I’m saying is, is that really my reality or am I allowing the crappiness of all of this trauma bring these feelings to light?
I don’t know.
But the hurt is real. The pain is real. The loneliness is real. The feeling of not mattering is real. Feeling broken is real.
So what happened? What brought all of this about?
That’s the real question for me and the real question for you. Learning to examine where we are at emotionally matters. As much as I’d love to blame a situation or a person for how I feel, that may or not be the case. It may be what I’m believing based on a trigger from how I’ve been treated in relationships before.
That’s where I need to start.
Am I worthy?
Of course. Not because of who I am or what I do but because Jesus tells me I am. Friends or family could tell me, and you, and we won’t believe it until we really know the truth and make it our own. Jesus’ words and actions are consistent with each other, even though others may not be. That’s what I can rely on. He loved me enough to die for me and for my sin. I’m worthy because He says so.
Am I valuable?
Yes! Again, He proved that on the cross for me and for you. It doesn’t matter where I live, how much money I have or don’t have, my job, my living arrangements, what I drive or who I know. I am valuable because He says so and proved it. That is enough.
Am I broken?
Yeah. I am. My heart hurts and my heart is heavy. Things are just hard right now and I really can’t distinguish why. Yet I know without a doubt that He picks up each and every broken piece and puts it back how He wants and how He sees fit. It may not make the picture or ‘piece’ that I think it should, but I’m carefully crafted by Him….missing pieces and all. And I’m beautiful just the way I am, not having to measure up to this worlds vision of me or who it interprets I should be. But just because He made me this way. And again, that is enough. For you and for me.
Am I loved?
Ugh…..all of the above is true. He proved His love for me in so many ways, yet I can still struggle. How about you? It’s because I’m human. I want to be loved by others.
But here’s the crazy part. I am. I already am. So why don’t I feel it right now?
Because I’m sitting here alone on a Sunday afternoon when I desire to be with others. I desire connection today.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, to base a lack of love on that feeling and allowing that feeling to dictate my reality isn’t beneficial for me. It’s a slippery slope from knowing all of the things above and being confident to letting my emotions get the best of me and end up in the toilet.
Yet sometimes I just want the bleeding to stop. I want the aloneness to stop.
So how can I, and you, combat that without our circumstances changing?
Be confident of truth.
Write down what you know to be true so that you don’t forget.
Make connection with a friend or family member who will understand.
Be intentional about getting together with others.
Most of all, for believers, spend time in His Word in the places that will remind you of truth.
Eat pralines and cream ice cream.
Okay….just making sure you were paying attention!
But truly, it’s amazing how doing one of the above can change your perspective. I started writing this in tears and stopped when I had a visit from one of my girls. Nothing changed. We didn’t talk about me. But my perspective changed, not my circumstances. Her simple visit got me out of myself long enough for me to remember.
Am I still alone? Yes. But I remembered that all of the other things I’m struggling with are feelings, valid, but not truth.
Her visit, along with her words, reminded me of the truths that I had forgotten.
You, and I, are worthy.
You, and I, are valuable.
You, and I, are broken and put back together.
You, and I, are loved.
I pray that you and I would remember these truths before we slide into a place that isn’t true and is detrimental to our heart and emotions…whether or not our circumstances change in the immediate future.