I Lost… I Failed… I Overcame

    • 08
      Feb

                   “Your value doesn’t decrease because someone doesn’t see your worth“… something that is so hard to remember because we put the value of ourselves in how other perceive us. I know I have written about “loving yourself” and “finding love for yourself through Christ” but sometimes it so hard because God isn’t always there to validate us when those around us are. We all want instant gratification. I’ve found myself falling into this trap many times. Including this very moment. In the current world we live in, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat is how we make our perception of others. Good, bad, ugly, we go on what we see from their accounts and not what is actually there. We base beauty on who has best body. Intelligence on who sounds the smartest. Love on what couple post the cutest pictures. When we should be basing our generalizations of these things in what we actually can see, touch, find, have, and hold. The biggest problem is that everyone is looking for attention through likes and favorites instead of finding our self worth through God and ourselves.

     

     

     

              We all have been caught basing our self worth off of material things.

    Me personally, I found it in my job or other people. I can say this freely because I know it is true. I’ve always worked hard because I want to be the best. I seek acceptance from others because I want to feel worthy of their love and friendship. This comes from things in our lives that we are not always aware of. I believe I find identity in what I do because I was always told growing up “I couldn’t” do something or “I wouldn’t be successful”, so I built up the work ethic to prove everyone wrong. I drove myself with the belief that perfection was obtainable, almost to the brink of destruction. Why do I seek the approval of others? Many reasons just like you do. I want to feel accepted. I want to feel wanted. I need to feel like I’m not alone in the world. This need to have worth through other came from multiple things. Bullying, abuse mentally, emotionally, sexually (from men I thought loved me), constantly badgering myself to be better, because I believed that was the only way anyone would love me. Love me for what they saw and not who I really am.

    I’m so blessed to have had an amazing support system through my family because I might not be here today if I didn’t to pick me up every time I fell.

     

     

     

    I can tell you this because in June of 2016 I hit real close to rock bottom. I’ll get into what happened another time, but I’ll explain the repercussions of my actions. I had lost everything I found my worth in, the biggest being my job. I had been suspended for two weeks because I made a HUGE mistake. It was a mistake on my part, but it wasn’t so bad I couldn’t recover. That being said I walked into the office on my review day to hear “I’m sorry. We can’t keep you!”. The words swirled around in my head. I was in shock. I had FAILED again! I didn’t know how to feel, until I got into the elevator of the building to go 31 floors down…. I lost it. Everything I worked 100 hour work weeks to build. The $1.40 cents my time came out to because I was a salaried employee. The birthdays, holidays, dates I gave up to show I was an exemplary employee. All the accolades and status was fading away with every floor. Not only did I loose my job but I was in drama with the person that helped ruin my self esteem. I didn’t know my identity anymore, I had no self worth in my eyes, I was a failure. The biggest realization of my situation was moving BACK home. I emphasize back because that was honestly the last place I wanted to go live again. I’ve always been accustom to having my own space, because I’m a social loner (yes they are real, there are a lot more than you think). I walked into my downsized room and had no curtains, I could care less about curtains, but that night I did! I started crying and blaming it on not having curtains, but honestly I was crying because mistakes landed me in the the third worse place to be, where I started three years ago. My self worth, in my eyes, was gone completely.

     

     

    I’m going to say that I found my self worth in what I did and others because everyone does. Honestly, I was depressed. I had so much going on in my life that I didn’t want to cope with that I longed for the approval, the accolades, and the high I got from my job and others around me. When I didn’t have those highs I turned to other ways to not feel or just to feel something. Sex and alcohol were my go to and in the end my undoing.

     

     

    For awhile after I moved home I lived in a fog. Living to exist and not actually doing anything. That way of living is worse than being dead! I felt like I was on an island alone trying to get through the days. I was angry, I was hurt, I was lost. What saved me were the people who love me. My mom, dad, Mimi, best friends and the store. They banded together and pulled me out of the funk I was in. Gave me a reason to get up and do, but that wasn’t enough. I had to find my self worth again. Truthfully, I can’t say that I have completely recovered from not feeling worthy of others… and on days like today I question myself and why I don’t seem to be enough for someone or why people don’t invest in me like I do in them. But that’s when I remind myself I cast those thoughts out of my mind for a reason. I can’t think like that because those thoughts are not true!

     

    I am enough.

     

     

    In the fall of 2016 my life was blessed to make a new friend, one that would change me for the better. My family is huge in the local church, any chance to serve we take up, that includes prayer team on Sunday’s. This particular Sunday was somber, I was feeling extra low that day, but I got my church clothes on and acted like everything was okay. At the end of service, my parents went to the front of the altar like they did every Sunday and a young girl came to ask them to pray. Who knew that Sunday her asking for prayer would bless me too. They were taking sometime to talk to her once church was over, emotions were high so I decided to put on my happy face and say something. I walked up put my arms around her and my mother saying “Welcome to the family!” She looked at me and said “I know who you are! You’re famous and perfect“….. I modestly fighting back tears said “far from it” and just put a smile on my face because I could barely breathe. Her words burned in my mind, because they were so untrue, I’m imperfect. I felt tarnished, dingy, masked by my failures and identity loss. And this girl was telling me all the things that I knew were untrue. It wasn’t long before she came back into my life. She was 20 at the time, with an adorable 3 year old boy, about to get married but having some health issues that were tormenting her mind. My mother is an extremely spiritual woman but that day God put it in my path to preach. I unloaded everything that I had been going through past and present, which for me is hard to do, trying to show her that she isn’t alone she is perfectly imperfect. That’s the moment life started to change for me hearing my own words and realizing I’m perfectly imperfect and what I need will come when it’s meant to. That my timing is not as good as his timing is. I was meant to come home not because I failed because I wasn’t in a place to thrive. I needed help from the people that loved me because I was drinking myself into oblivion. I’d never meet my full potential unless I was right where I needed to be in the arms of my family and in the presence of my God. So as much as I was meant to give my testimony to her to be the rock she needed…. she reminded me that I am perfect, a piece of coal God is working to shape into the most precious diamond! My setbacks will be my strength because I will not let them overcome me. My self worth does not depend on my job or the people around me….. I can’t control those things. The only thing I can control is ME! How I feel about myself will not ever be seen by others it will only be felt by me! What an epiphany! Crazy to think I tried to control things and they ended up controlling me.

     

     

     

    Everyone saw the things I wanted them to see, but never saw me.

     

     

     

    No likes, followers, man, women, friend, bottle of wine, or job will ever be able to give me worth…. only I can do that! I say this still reminding myself everyday that I can’t control the world around me. That the pictures I see aren’t always what they seem. That what I should hold near and dear to me is the truth that imperfections and all I am who I’m meant to be. My past doesn’t shape me how I chose to view my past is how I’ll shape my future. To strive for something greater because of the people I can touch along the way, not to have the fading accolades of being considered the greatest. To not be down on myself, because If i fail… I WILL get back up, knowing that only I define my success. To see everyday as my gift to keep going to show that you reading this have worth because we all do. That fixing my perception of the situation determines my feelings.

     

     

    My dad poses the question me daily “What have you done to better yourself today?”

    Now I ask you…. “What have you done to better yourself today?”

     

     

     

    And I pray for you to realize this too…

     

     

     

    “Lord for those struggling with their feelings of self worth. Basing their existence on attention. Trying and failing to control everything around them. Seeking the accolades of work, a spouse, the material world around them… let them feel your love, your hope, your compassion. To know that the only place they’ll truly find it is with you. Putting down their pride to show those around them vulnerability. No matter how bad they hurt at the moment your love will prevail whether it be a feeling or someone there to show genuine unconditional love. I too still struggle with this but I am fighting like they are to overcome. Bestow us the knowledge to overcome those terrible thoughts when they come to mind. Give us the tools to get through them. Please send them your love when they need it and remind them that you love them. That I love them. They are worthy! Amen.”

     

    Know that no matter who you are, what you feel, or where you are I love you! You are enough! You are priceless! Worth more than all the gold in the world. Remember that!

     

     

    God bless.

    comments(5)
    • Donni Baseball
      February 8, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Reply

      Oh my God, Ashlea. This is amazing, our stories are very similar. God bless you!

    • Gina Connell
      February 8, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Reply

      Hey darlin! Want to get together so I can dump some ice water on your head again?

      I have moved back to New Orleans, my home town and I am loving it. I am teaching a Bible Study to women leaders. In January, their homework was to send me 1 thing they like about themselves every day. Once a week, tell me what they don’t like about themselves.

      Your beautiful face pales in comparison to your beautiful heart. For those of us who have looked further, that was always evident. I am so glad you are loving your imperfect self, because then you can love others better. I have watched over you from afar (lurking, I guess). Keep in touch with me.

      Love you, Sweet Ashlea. I am so proud of you!

      • abullington
        February 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Reply

        Thank you so much Gina! I actually think of you often and you’re always in my prayers. I love meeting strong women who want to make the world better and you have been one of those women to me! I hope you are doing amazing!

        All my love and best,

        Ashlea

    • Miles a Patrick Nelson
      February 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Reply

      Beautiful statement that every person should read to prepare themselves for the real world. Thank you for posting. It’s obviously from your heart ❤️

    • Joyce Laux
      February 9, 2017 at 8:23 am | Reply

      Beautifully written from the God-place within you. Thank you!

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