Recently, I was taking an e-course, Re-Think, given by the amazing Sas Petherick. One of our assignments was to go out and buy flowers, for ourselves. I was thinking, “Easy breezy, this is no biggie, because I do so often.” I’d already bought flowers for the week, but technically they were not a part of the assignment; so, I eagerly headed out to buy more. My motto is that one can not have too many flowers.
The thing is, when we gathered together to discuss the assignment, and our feelings about it, I learned that many of the women (The group was all women.), had varying levels of difficulty with the assignment. I’d assumed that most people were like me, but I learned that many of us (women, I mean) feel that we don’t deserve to buy ourselves something so simple as a bunch of flowers.
Let me say, that, like everyone that I know, we all have our issues, so I am not trying to imply that I have it all figured out. Claiming such a thing would be an out right lie. Proof positive, I am a vigorous proponent of and participant in counseling, therapy or whatever you choose to call it. Hell, I think that everyone should just do it. Anyway, at first, I couldn’t understand the thinking that led one to consider themselves undeserving of one of life’s simple pleasures. Yet, after some self-reflection, I realized that at one point in my life, I, too, felt the same way, and in fact, still do in some areas.
For the most part, I grew up without a father-figure to serve as a model for how a woman is properly treated. I was the product of a single-family home where my mother worked multiple jobs to give us the basics. Granted, she was an excellent role model of a selfless, hard-working woman who deprived herself so that she could give us the best schools that she could afford, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table. She was, and still is, a strong, beautiful woman whom I admire. Yet, she lacked the ability or inclination to splurge on herself. As a result, I thought that self-deprivation was a normal result of being a woman.
So when I married, I wasn’t even 18, I had no reason to question my almost total reliance on my husband. At the time, he handled everything, including my paycheck. He doled out money to me as he saw fit, and young and clueless as I was, I simply accepted it as a fact of life. Somewhere along the way, I came to believe that I was meant to wait until others found me deserving of such indulgences. (Ironically, it was this indoctrination in my first relationship that propelled me on a different path.) The thought ever occurred to me that I could go out and buy them for myself. I didn’t deserve such an extravagance.
As years passed, I began to rebel against the status quo to which I’d grown accustomed. I established relationships with other women, and began to see that they did not live under the same “rules.” I began to note that the life that I’d accepted as my fate was based upon wrong and antiquated beliefs. When I went to work for a major oil company and met a strong, independent woman, who to this day remains one of my dearest friends, I found in her a woman wholly aware of her self-worth. As our relationship deepened, I took note of everything that she did. She showed me, by example, that I could dictate my self-worth and that I controlled my life. She became a great role model for the person that I strived to become.
As an aside, I can be, how to put it delicately, loquacious. I think that it was my oldest daughter who discovered the word “logorrhea,” which the urban dictionary defines as “diarrhea of the mouth.” In an effort to ‘avoid the runs,’ I’ll get to my point.
I never thought it within the realm of possibility, that I’d ever find myself quoting Lil Wayne, a singer who I do not listen to or know much about. However, I happened upon the lyrics to one of his songs that sums up succinctly what I mean to say. He sings, “I just want you to know that you deserve the best. You’re Beautiful.” In these short and sweet lyrics lay the key to our self-empowerment. All of us, no matter who we are, deserve the bigger and the smaller joys of life. It is our right. No one can define any of us or our self-worth, unless we give them the power to do so. We deserve it all, the flowers, and so much more.
We willingly shower our loved ones with the best, but we often withhold the same from ourselves. Why? Because, we do not feel that we deserve them. Why are others more precious, important or deserving than our amazing and beautiful selves? Rewording the saying “treat others as you expect to be treated,” I urge you to “treat yourself just as you would your loved ones.” You are no more or less deserving than anyone else and our actions convey to others the manner in which we expect to be treated. Those flowers are just the beginning, and buying them serves as a small but significant step towards embracing your true and loving self. Doing so, emphatically proclaims that “I am worthy and I am deserving.’ With that said, I expect to be treated as such. Moreover, your actions are an example to your mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces or other women. So, go ahead and shamelessly spoil yourself, if only because, you deserve it.
And to you wonderful men out there who read this blog, please do not perceive this post as a reason not to bless your loved one with flowers or tokens of your love. We appreciate you and need and welcome your love and thoughtfulness. This post speaks to those of us, who need to be reminded that she is deserving and enough–as is. As such, the flowers are mere symbols to envelop and acknowledge our immense self-worth.