It’s fall and Big Apple is pulsating with renewed energy. Last Saturday Rachael was here for the weekend. Aaliyah made her favorite red sauce penne pasta with crispy fried shallots. We all sat down to have lunch. Unlike every time, she was not enjoying the food. I observed her for a while and then asked, “What happened Rachael? You don’t seem in the right frame of mind. Are you okay?”
“The men I like or approach don’t reciprocate. Am I not good enough? Is anything wrong with me?” she asked. Both Aaliyah and I looked at each other. Aaliyah got up to get some desserts. “It has nothing to do with you, Rachael. You are not the kind of girl they would like to go ahead with. That’s completely fine,” I replied.
“No, I feel I don’t have it in me. In college too I am pushed away by the popular girls. I don’t fit into a hangout with them, though I want to,” she broke down. Not knowing one’s self-worth can be very harmful. Coming to a conclusion on someone else’s acceptance or rejection of ourselves is a common mistake that we human beings make.
“A ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ must not affect you in such an extreme way. Others’ approval should not lead to doubt regarding your own self in your mind,” I said. “It is bothering me. Whatever I am facing, I am not feeling good. I don’t find myself good enough,” she burst out crying.
Aaliyah came with the desserts. She gave her a tight hug. “You are perfectly fine, Rachael. There is nothing wrong with you,” she expressed. I got up and took her to our balcony. November flowers were blooming. What a treat to the eyes!
“Do you see the flowers there?” I asked. “Yes, I do!” she replied. “Each one has its own color, fragrance and essence. They bloom irrespective of anyone’s approval or liking. Each flower has its own individuality and quality which distinguishes itself from the rest. Each has its own value. They are all beautiful and unique in their own ways,” I expressed.
“You are not going to mix yourself in the crowd just to be accepted. You have to understand your worth and not let anything affect you,” expressed Aaliyah. “All this is normal. It happens with all of us in some way or the other. Be it school, college, work or life in general, we come across such people and situations. That is for you to be wise and analyze. Move on from any such scenarios because they are definitely not the parameters of your self-worth. The people who like you will like you for who you are,” I further added.
She touched one of those flowers. Then she looked at us and said, “I will never underestimate my own worth ever again. I love you both. Thank you so much.” “We love you too,” both Aaliyah and I expressed and then the three of us headed to the table for the desserts.
Real accomplishments are necessary for measuring our progress. However, assigning our own value on others’ validation and acceptance is unwise. Never let any such external factors taint your spirit or uniqueness. Be proud of who you are and keep that smile on!