It started with an innocuous quote reminding women they don’t find their worth in a man, they find their worth in themselves.
That seems fine. It’s a lesson we tried to teach our daughters. I would replace the words “a man” with “others” because I think it’s not just about dating.
The final line of the quote continued in the dating direction rather than the self worth direction. It added that you then “find a man who’s worthy of you.”
After a positive message, this seemed to imply that your process isn’t complete – that’s it’s not enough to find your own worth – if you don’t find that man.
But that’s not what moved me to respond. After all, maybe the woman sharing the post had found such a man and wants to share it with friends. Maybe she’s angry at a man who turned out not to be. Maybe she’s just posting advice for the young women she knows based on her experience.
That still wasn’t what bothered me. Well it was – but something else was calling for my attention.
Among the comments on her post was one from a woman who wrote, “that is what all people should realize – You are most important.”
I was horrified.
The quote began by reminding us that we must find our own self-worth. Perhaps we can re-couch that as a reminder that we should be on our own list of important people.
It does not say we are more important than anyone else.
It took me a long time to find my own worth but I am not the most important person in my life.
I would do anything for her.
I would and have stopped or changed what I’m doing if she needs something.
Needs. Not wants. I often will if it’s only a want.
Before she died, Kim was more important to me than I am. In many ways, her memory is still more important to me. My memories of her and honoring what she was still make me a better person.
Before she died, Elena was more important to me.
I can’t imagine I would have been a very good husband or father if I was the most important person in my life.
I hope to surround myself with people who feel comfortable in their own skins – people who understand, yet may undervalue, their worth.
Am I making too much of this?
It bothers me that this benign quote becomes a checklist.
Got yourself in order? Check.
OK, now go find yourself a man.
You don’t have to – you’ve got yourself in order.
You can. You just don’t have to.
Find other people who you can see are important to you. Don’t rank them in importance – just spend time with them and enjoy.