How many of us value who we truly are as individuals? Do we allow other human beings to devalue us because of the their inability to love themselves?
I tend to think a lot about people who have hurt me, be it with their words or actions. At times, it forces me to question how much I actually value myself and why I allow anyone to make me question my worth. Recently I’ve dealt with an individual, one whom I do not know personally or professionally, in any capacity. We live in a world where everyone breathes life through their social media accounts. People feel it is their right to envoke authority through their speech, ideas and opinions. I was continually harassed for the better part of a year until only a few weeks ago. The only connection to this person, was the person currently in my life. They were in a relationship some significant time ago. This person stalked my social media accounts for years. I chose to delete/deactivate many accounts. She never attempted to reach out or contact me to have a conversation, so I never understood why or what the motive was. Why did she dislike me so much? What did it say about me?
About a year ago, she decided it was time to start attacking me and my relationship personally. The anger I felt was intense. The disrespect is what bothered me most. What I’ve learned about people, women especially, is that when they feel justified in their anger, they can be the most destructive to you. They can break you down and make you question what is wrong with “you”, and unless you are strong enough to realize, it’s not you, only then can you make the choice. It is essentially only your choice to be hurt or bothered by it or to let it go, stay silent and move forward. It’s said that hurt people-hurt people. And what I tried to understand, was that maybe she was hurt. And it was that hurt that forced her to attack a silent enemy who could have been an ally.
As a woman, I feel it is my duty to empower other women. I can honestly say that I have never behaved in the manner as the woman I mentioned above. I made it a goal of mine to celebrate other women, whether I knew them or not. Celebrate our triumphs, our battles, even our stigmas. To celebrate every innate quality that made another woman, perhaps more unique than I. The things she posted were so petty-attacks on my personal character, attacks on my skills, attacks on my relationship-that I started to realize there was a deeper seeded issue, and it was that of envy. Envy doesn’t mean being jealous about material things or appearances, I believe in this case it meant seeing a human being who is centered, happy and positive, who is truly in love and values family, friends and the earth. Seeing the joy made it unbearable and her mission was to crush that joy. I think the “jealousy” was that I truly value myself and my place in this universe, the lessons I’ve learned and the things I choose to share about my struggles and she’s just not quite there. She does not see her worth or the value in herself. I didn’t realize at the time that she was responding verbatim to my posts in hers. I would post a photo and she would respond negatively. I did not understand it and it affected me so deeply that this woman, this woman I didn’t know, wanted to be so damaging to me, a woman she didn’t know. I wanted to reach out, but her message capability was disabled and when I spoke with my significant other about it, he told me not to give her the power, that this was her behavior over the years that he knew her. That she was a very bitter person. I learned through family members, that I wasn’t the first person to go through this. And still yet, I felt empathy. What had she gone through? What is her story? What if we’re not that different, she and I, but we’d never have the opportunity to learn that.
Still yet, I wanted to know why. Why did she feel such animosity, why did she think it was okay to say what she said, to post hateful things towards me personally? To de-value me as a woman. The thing that hurt most was referring to me as a “side piece”, basically, a whore-mistress-booty call-whatever that term actually means. She made me feel as though I was worthless and I should never have given her that power. She would post these things in her “bio”. I called them “bio battles” because she was essentially fighting an invisible enemy. I was not that enemy. It took time for me to realize that there are some people who choose to live in a false reality and I do not have the power to change that. There are some people who would rather live in a world fueled by hate and negativity. There will be no fruitful conversation that can be had to convince them otherwise. Sad thing is, she seems like a successful woman otherwise. Well-educated, well-spoken. But the immaturity in her actions speak volumes. And then, I realize, she does not value herself enough to see the damage she is inflicting not only on another person, but on her own soul. She does not see worth in who she is or she would not do or say those things to another human being trying to exist in this world. One of her “bio battles” that struck a chord with me, but also confused me, was one that read “Empowered women, empower women”. I thought to myself, “is that what you think this is? empowerment?”.
Empower; em-pow-er; verb: (1) Give someone the authority or power to do something (2)make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
The second part of that definition resonates with me. “make someone stronger and more confident”. So then, how are you empowering me? Empowerment isn’t giving yourself the power to stifle another human being-to devalue their existence in the world-to make them feel weak and dehumanized. At that moment I realized that this woman, has no idea the sheer strength it takes to step outside of yourself and to be better to another human being. And unfortunately so, it isn’t my place to teach that. You don’t need to dim my light to make yours shine brighter. As women, we are all we have. If I am not supporting the woman to my right, but insulting her character and worth, I am working against what is an inherent behavior in us all-compassion. We are all going through something and when we forget to be compassionate, to understand the human complexities of one another’s struggles, we fail as humans. But when as women, we intentionally bruise and batter one another with insults and hate or envy, we fail even harder. I do not envy her.
No one teaches you to love yourself. That is something you must learn by failure, challenges, pain and growth. No one teaches you the importance of selflessness, we learn that when we give what we don’t have. My hope is that one day she will reach out. Maybe explain why she felt the way she did. The last communication she attempted was filled with lies and threats, so it may be a long time before, if ever, she realizes what her behavior created. She may never take responsibility and that’s okay. I am a firm believer in karma and I wish her peace. I am not a religious person, I believe in a more spiritual universe, still yet, I feel at the end of our lives we will answer to ourselves about how we lived our lives and what we did for others, without the promise of moral dessert. Who we chose to be when we thought no one was watching and where we should end up.
I am worthy. I am valued. And not only because I value myself, but because I see and respect the value of every life and being on this planet. That value comes back in ways that are not tangible. That value Fills my soul with the energy to keep giving. To never stop sharing. Never allow another human being to diminish your worth. Never allow another human being to make you feel like you are not deserving of love, compassion or happiness. When you are faced with a negative or toxic person, try to understand, it is not your doing and it is not your job to fix that individual. Offer peace. Offer respite or an ear to listen, but do not offer your energy. Do not offer your peace or your self-worth. You deserve respect. You deserve love. You deserve happiness.
You are worthy.