Self worth is the thing that we teach ourselves. As women, it is something that we rarely if ever are taught. Our mothers mothers never lived in a time where they were able to fully embody a true self-worth and therefore it was never modeled fully to us. Under a dominating patriarchy, where women have had limited rights, voice, and agency, it is a true magician that is able to conjure this kind of inner value amidst a world that banks on your worthlessness in order to keep all systems running as usual. It’s the rare Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony’s, and Oprah’s that maintain themselves insular against a world that wants to pigeon hole and diminish their power.
The thing is, is that we are in a new time, a time of chaos and upheaval, a time where our systems are literally crumbling before our eyes. The systems that were once so concretely put in place are now vanishing. We are seeing incredible changes in human rights alongside the deepest trespassing of human decency possible.
My point here is that this disruption is creating a schism between what once was and what will be, and it is almost as if we have a pause to reconsider the ways in which we have been living our lives. Self-worth is the fundamental basis of this, as it governs every choice we have made and will continue to make in our lives.
I believe that is the Feminine paradigm that will heal this planet. This is a paradigm made up of collectivizing, empathizing, feeling, and creating. It is a recalibration and reshaping of the masculine energies that have dominated this planet for the past 6,000 years. We are in the midst of this recalibration but the core of it all starts with women claiming their own self-worth.
This is not something we are taught, it is something that we must teach ourselves. We all come from a lineage of women that have been dismissed, hidden, voices muted, bodies owned, and presence unseen. Our mothers did the best they could as did their mothers. When you are existing inside of a world that see you not as you are, but as you should be and only within those confines its very difficult to be anything else. Be anything else and be deemed a Witch. That is why we reclaim this word and for the agency it provides.
I have grown up a strong woman since birth. Loud, big, and funny, I was always a kind of leader to my peers, against the frey and challenging the status quo. Yet self worth? Now this was something that has been carefully cultivated for the past 35 years. Growing up the daughter of a beauty queen and model, being a fat ½ italian kid was not easy. I was constantly weighing myself against her standard, and never feeling adequate enough. Her constant discussion of weight, being fat, and how unattractive that is for a woman would just cut deeper and deeper into my soul. I spent many many years feeling utterly worthless, worthless about my body, of my looks, of my being, and therefore worthless as a person. I wanted to die for those years, why live when you are worth nothing? This isn’t something that we openly discuss, but it is real.
American women are conditioned to hate themselves from birth. And that is what we carry around with us, in some form or another for the rest of our lives. I remember reading Jane Fonda’s autobiography, Jane Fonda being one of the great American strong feminists. She was rail thin, bulimic and had almost no fat on her body and in one of the few exchanges she had with her father, he pinched her waist and in front of a family friend said, “Oh, Jane is still chubby...has some pounds to lose.” Reading that made me realize, it doesn’t matter what size a woman is or how much they try to fit themselves into a worthy ‘box’, it comes down to their existence. The smaller women get, the more they are diminished, until they literally become nothing, until they die. Jane Fonda spent her entire life as a bulimic not resolving it until she was well into her 40’s.
It wasn’t until college where I got deep into yoga, obsessed actually finally finding an outlet within which to feel my body in a new way. I went everyday and for the first time in my life I became a ‘normal’ weight. Boy did that change my life, the way people reacted to me, and the attention I all of a sudden was getting from humanity. Still, on the inside, I felt ugly and worthless. You can’t go from being conditioned a certain way your entire life to all of a sudden feeling worthy. No, this kind of deprogramming takes years and years. It is a slow coming to the light, emerging from a well of darkness. But my case is the same for every woman everywhere, because it doesn’t matter what size you are, from birth, you are taught to feel unworthy. It is this unworthiness that gives others power over us. It is the primordial wound that we all hold that keeps us captive by others, that keeps us in toxic relationships, jobs that are deeply dysfunctional, and what keeps us at a low level of depression/fear not knowing if we will ever be enough and afraid of who/how the next person might be judging us.
The only way out of this hole of unworthiness is for you reading this to begin to choose you. No one can do this for you. Not a therapist, not a healer, not a friend, not a boyfriend. No one can give you self-worth but you and that is opposite to everything we have been taught as women in this culture and for thousands of years. The power that others have over us is when we look to them to validate us. At that moment, we put our worthiness and agency in their hands. And so whatever can praise and elevate can also destroy, whatever we put in some else’s hands literally as the power to completely destroy us.
This is the age of the Divine Feminine, and it is the time that all worthiness begin to emanate from women ourselves, from the light within, and from our own consciousness and our own hearts. There are so many pathways to this, but I believe that it begins with impeccable self care. It means choosing yourself and your needs, what your inner voice wants to feel and experience. Its claiming your own joys and dislikes. It can start with small things, a bath, a healthy meal, a new book. And from there it can grow, into dance classes, a hiking club, regular mediation. From there it can grow further until what you have begun to do is reprogram your inner dialogue to consider your needs first. As women we have been conditioned to put our needs last and to trespass our own lines and boundaries in the name of making others comfortable.
Boundaries have been one of the hardest things for me as being an empath and Witch I literally feel other people’s feelings and hurting them kills me. Yet, at this point in my life, I’ve witnessed how I actually end up killing myself, diminishing myself down to nothing if I don’t honor those boundaries. I get smaller and smaller, my energy lower, my voice a whisper while the other person (usually a man, but in some cases women) becomes enlarged, energized, powerful, and strong.
What I have realized is that this behavior of not upholding my boundaries is actually perpetuating the system that I am actively in the midst of helping to recalibrate. Those are opposing energies, and lose power the more they are in conflict. The Divine Feminine can never emerge if we do not honor ourselves, our boundaries, and our power. The Divine Feminine can never fully exalt itself if women do not themselves begin to witness their own divinity. Self-worth begins with us ladies. It starts in our hearts and moves out to every aspect of our life. How we speak to ourselves, how we treat ourselves, and how we allow others to treat us is the hallmark of maintaining your Witch-Queen-Goddess Power. This isn’t an overnight transformation after millenia of diminishment, but as we begin to name it, feel it, and see it for what it is, we can begin to challenge, reclaim, and shift it into what it should be. Self worth; the thing we teach ourselves and in the end, the thing no one can take away from us.