Refining Your Value
That was a term one counselor used. Those are the things that happen in our lives that we take in and allow to define our value. Or the lack of it.
As partners we have probably had many of them.
Not being heard.
Being told you won’t amount to anything.
Abused, whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially or all of the above.
Had the phone tossed on the bed next to you after surgery and told to call if you need something.
Left alone in the icu.
Left alone when you're hurting and afraid.
Any one of these happening for any period of time can cause us to question our value to others, to God or even to ourselves. Clearly when we’re treated this way by the one who is supposed to love us and cherish us for the rest of our lives, we can begin to believe that if they aren’t showing us value, we are probably not very valuable.
Oh friend. Why do we let others tell us our value?
Truly I get it. When you have been a partner or in any type of abusive situation for any length of time, it becomes easier to believe what others say about you, either in word or action, or the lack of it. But know this. It’s not true. Please hear me.
It’s not true!
We do not have value because of what we do or what others think of us or even how we are treated. None of that is indicative of how valuable we really are.
We are valuable because God says we are valuable.
That’s it. And that’s enough.
So how do we start to refine those moments that we have believed?
That’s a great question. And that’s where we need to start.
Whether you’re a follower of Christ or not, this can be hard, but we have to go to the Source. He is the One who tells us we have value and He is the One who ultimately showed us that on the cross. He followed up His words with action. He tells us in Psalm 139 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He tells us that He formed us in our mother’s womb. He tells us that He goes before us and is behind us and covers us, meaning nothing happens without His permission.
So if He’s such a good God, why has He allowed so much crappiness in our lives?
Oh beloved, how I wish I could give a wonderful answer that would make sense in your situation, but I can only tell you that He’s good and I don’t know why He doesn’t put a stop to the pain. I begged Him for almost 20 years of my marriage. And even though things didn’t change, I know that He’s still good. I know that He loves me and He watched over me and that He isn’t okay with all that happened. And He loved me through it all. I don’t know the why, but I do know that if all that happened had never happened, I would never have the magnitude of empathy that I have for you, I would not be able to speak into the lives of other partners, I would never be writing this blog, and I would never have been able to help others heal if it hadn’t.
Believe Him in your mess. Whatever that is for you. Believe that He loves you and look for the ways that He is personally showing you each and every day. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering. It can be as small as getting to pet your puppy that you waited a long time for. It can be drinking coffee in the morning, talking to a friend, crying to someone who understands. Look for those places where He cares for you. He does it because you matter to Him. You are valuable to Him. And to me.
You can also journal.
When you hear truth, write it down. This is usually where I lose people cause we hate to take the time to journal. But it’s so important and it can be life changing.
I have a sweet friend who reinforced that to me when she said to tell all my clients to journal…she loved going back and seeing how far she had come and how she became empowered through the process.
That’s so true! Truth and value lead to empowerment. I not only want you to know how very valuable you are to God and to those around you, but I want you to feel empowered. As you write truth, as you write your feelings and express them in a way that you need to, it helps you to purge, to vent, to process and then to ultimately feel empowered because through all of that, you begin to know that all you have been told in the past and how you have been treated, whether it was visible to others or not, was false. It was a ‘them’ problem. It wasn’t about you. It was never because you had a lack of value. It was because that other person had a hole that they wanted you to fill. It was, and is, an endless hole that can only be filled by Jesus but also by them doing the work they need to do to realize that you weren’t created to fill their empty places. That isn’t your job. We each have to realize our value on our own and do our own work.
Journal. You’ll never regret it. It’s truly life giving.
Do something you love because you love it.
Sounds simple, right? It should be but when we’ve been a partner for any period of time, we know it’s not. We either become depressed and eat ice cream and watch tv all day or spend all of our time working out so we can be who we think that other person wants us to be. Or anything in between.
Hear me. If you want to watch a movie and eat ice cream, do it. Not because you’re depressed or you’re using it as an escape, but because it brings you joy. Same thing with working out. Do it because you love it and it’s how you care for yourself, not because you think that you have less value if you don’t look a certain way. Same with anything else.
So what brings you joy? Often for partners, this is really difficult to discern, so here's a few ideas.
It can be something simple like lighting a candle that smells amazing and taking a hot bubble bath.
It can be taking a walk.
Sitting by the pool reading a book.
Getting a pedicure.
Here’s what I want you to know. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time. It just needs to be something that brings you joy. Better known as self care. This is you showing you that you matter. Not in a prideful way but in a way that gives you a break, provides some peace and gives you a way to rejuvenate.
I used to think that I had to come last. Everyone else mattered more. I put them and their needs and wants before mine because anything else was selfish. That thinking didn’t help increase my value, it just reinforced that I didn’t or shouldn’t matter.
And then…..get a good coach.
Yes, this is a shameless plug but truly necessary when you are a partner. Friend you have experienced betrayal trauma. Please don’t take that lightly. The trauma doesn’t dissipate because you’ve set some boundaries, gained some empowerment, gotten divorced, or moved to a new location. There's still work to do and your trauma can still be triggered and keep affecting your life until you get the support you need to heal from it.
What does that look like??
Working with me you will.....
Work at your own pace.
You will get to share your story when you’re ready. And share it again if you need to.
You will be validated and reminded that you did not have anything to do with his addiction. It was never about you.
You will learn some tools for dealing with triggers that will inevitably come up.
You will consistently be reminded of your intrinsic value.
You will learn to set boundaries that will help in all relationships.
You will begin to heal and move forward which will cause you to become even more empowered.
Again. This doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen by your circumstances changing. It happens with the right support and through hard work.
At the end of the day, whether you work with me or another APSATS coach/counselor, this is about you right now. I trust you are here because you can relate to this blog in some way or another. While I’m sad there’s even a need, I am happy to provide whatever resource is helpful to you. That’s my goal.
Please drop a note and let me know what you’d like to see more of in this space. If you’re interested in an intro session with me, just click here to schedule.
But as we leave today, just remember that you matter. You have value. Not because I said it or you read it, but because Jesus said it and then showed it on the cross.
Let's begin to refine you by defining your value, like the beautiful diamond you are.