Eight Years

By: Michelle Plett

It’s been eight years since my father saw me face to face.

Eight is a lot of years. In eight years I have had a boyfriend, broken up with a boyfriend, dated other men, travelled to countless cities across Europe, began and completed a Masters degree, moved countries and lost my step father to a heart attack.

In those eight years my father has chosen not to visit me.

And sometime earlier this year I decided that I would stop allowing it to bring down my value.

You see, my dad was amazing growing up. We went on trips together and he provided me with everything I needed. It actually hurts me more to think about those times only because when I compare them to our relationship now it makes very little sense.

And this separation began to affect my relationships with men, at work, my decisions. It affected my value. How do you go about feeling proud of your accomplishments and the woman you are and becoming when one of the people who is meant to cheer you on, doesn’t take time enough to say “well done”, let alone give you a hug. It got to me. I realize that now.

It’s amazing how much I allowed one person’s decision to affect who I am and how I felt about myself.

And then one day, I woke up. Full disclosure the healing didn’t all happen in one day, it was a process, but it took that first, hard step in a moment’s breath.

Why is it that we allow others to affect us so much? I believe it’s because we spend so much time thinking about the likes, the comments, the shares on social media that it has seeped into other areas of our lives. We seek approval and believe that that approval means we are valuable.

But we are not valuable because of what others do for us, what they think of us, or how they treat us.

We are valuable because we have been uniquely created to fulfill a purpose in this world, in the lives of others. It isn’t in our actions, but simply because of our being human.

And I am pretty sure you know this. So what?

How is this going to help? What I did will likely surprise you. I began to speak words of value into others lives. I gave myself to others, I turned the shame I felt from not feeling wanted and let it fuel my drive to be sure others found their value.

When we consciously give to others, affirm others, we unconsciously affirm our value and ourselves. Giving to others, even in the smallest ways, can transform our thoughts and remind us of our value.