Many times, when survivors are trying to make sense of things and are picking up the pieces, we have internalized insults and believe lies told to us. We second-guess our abilities and question others when they compliment us. Our self-esteem and confidence have been damaged, so we may question the sincerity of those around us and may be reluctant or reserved in tasks because we replay criticisms from those who wanted to break us. Remind yourself of your capabilities, things you have going for you, and what makes you unique. Narcissists target people because they see a value that we may not even recognize in ourselves. Something about you made that person say, “I want that.”
Small Steps #10 – Recognize Your Own Beauty, Talents, and Abilities
What skills or talents do you possess?
- Do you know your way around tax forms?
- Do you sing and provide comfort and encouragement?
- Are you a “super mom” – able to cook, budget, and referee children’s concerns in a single day?
I met this woman at the 2020 Christian Authors and Readers Festival, the day before statewide quarantine. The blanket you see pictured is one that I use regularly. When I see it, I remember where I got it, how (won a raffle), and who made it. I see craftsmanship. I think about how warm I am under it. I’m reminded that those things we do that may be small to us because they come so easily can mean a lot to those who can’t or don’t have the ability or resources.
Make a list of things you can do, have achieved, have been complimented on, or make you proud. Remember, you were a whole person before jealousy slithered into your life to make you believe you’re worthless or nothing without them. Last time I checked, God is the only One we can’t live without. I love my family and friends, but neither they nor I am divine or capable of salvation.
You have value and purpose. Whether you understand how God will use you isn’t really the point. Understand that just because someone took advantage of you doesn’t mean there’s no way for you to ever make a difference.
From engineering to needlepoint, there is an opportunity bless people and, possibly, earn income from what you can offer. Don’t let someone else’s insecurities convince you that you can’t get by without them. Don’t worry about if they’ll ever see you shine. Do well because it’s in you to do so.
Sometimes, I’ll put extra links to articles to read or videos to watch. I want to share two songs I looked up today. One is a song our “Young Adult Choir” used to sing. I was too young to understand anything other than “hold onto God no matter what.” The second is one that my college Gospel choir, Umoja, sang. I listened to this periodically over the years also. It would still take a while for me to realize what I was asking and that the ways I might be helpful to others wouldn’t necessarily be the way I anticipated. I have learned that our gifts and abilities don’t have to be “loud” or showy to be a blessing.
"I'm Still Holding On" - Luther Barnes