For what it’s worth

My friend and I were out to dinner with my sister on Christmas Eve. My sister had asked about how dating was going after divorce. My friend answered: “Kristine and I are just trying to find men worthy of us.”

At the time, I thought it a rather high-handed way to describe what we were looking for. As if we were Diana, goddess of the hunt, looking to forget we were sworn maidens for life.

But since then, I realize her comment lacked hubris. What she meant was—what the f#*k, guys?

As I watch my lady friends, married or not, navigate relationships, I realize many of us have a fatal flaw.

We don’t claim our own worth.

We know it, ladies. We know what we’re worth when we enter this world. No baby says, “I’m hungry but I think I’ll just lie quietly here.” No. We cry. We make noise. We get our needs attended to tout de suite.

And as we get older, we learn how to attend to those needs ourselves.

And then, we date.


What happens? We date and play small. We ignore that he doesn’t call when he says he will, or walks five feet in front of us on the sidewalk. We tell ourselves that just because he doesn’t ask about our day or our family, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t really love us.

C’mon. We’re smarter than that. A little Diana never hurt anyone.

If we don’t know our own worth (and we do, deep down) and if we don’t claim our own worth—who the hell will? An extra 10 pounds, a bad day, frizzy hair—we berate ourselves rather than realize true love ignores all of the above. And none of the above make it alright for someone to devalue us.

My sister asked me, before my divorce was final, “Are you sure? Do you really want to go through with this?”

The answers, in order, were yes and no. Yes, I was sure. No, I didn’t really want to go through with the divorce but I had to.

My answer at the time was: “If I don’t feel I deserve better than this, who will?”

The price we pay for sitting at the dinner table or in the car with a man who has forgotten our worth—or never really saw it—is high. For those of us attuned to it, every cell in our body screams “no.” We are wired to be loved, to be cherished, to be given to as we give—fully, honestly, with reverence for how rare true love can be. Recognizing the worth of the person sitting before us—and honoring it.

When we ignore those cells, we die a little each day. We become a lesser, less confident version of who we once were. We become the baby who has ceased to cry because she knows no one is coming.

Good thing I’ve got strong lungs. And I know my worth.

For what it’s worth.


35 Comments Add yours

  1. astoldbymua says:

    It’s always great to remind yourself you ARE worth it. Great read.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you. Something most of us don’t do often enough!

  2. srbottch says:

    Good note, Kristine, and I think it applies to both sexes. Self worth, ahhh, how fleeting it can be. I enjoyed it.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you–I agree. Self worth has nothing to do with male or female. But for some reason, my male friends don’t seem to struggle with it as much as my female friends. I’m glad you have it!

      1. srbottch says:

        Honestly, it comes and goes. Men hide their feelings pretty well, sometimes to our own detriment. My career in sales was the perfect roller coaster ride for feelings. At the top of your game, tremendous self-worth, at the bottom the tendency was to feel like crap, full of doubts about ones self. Then, you turn the corner and back to highs. Gosh, it was fun.

  3. it is wonderful to come home to that realization … of your own worth.
    I am inspired by you, and am gradually feeling that about myself too.
    it is a good feeling.

    1. candidkay says:

      It IS:). Let’s hold on to that together, shall we?

  4. So true. It can take a lousy marriage (or several!) to realize we’ve sold ourselves short. Better late to realize our true worth than never. Onward!

  5. Aunt Beulah says:

    Once we’ve allowed it to be trampled, iIt takes a long time to rediscover our worth and believe in it. Thanks for the truths in this post, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      You’re so right! So many times, it’s the frog in boiling water syndrome.

  6. darlasue22 says:

    So good! Thank you, thank you!

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m so glad it resonated with you:). Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Knowing your worth is crucial. As they say, we accept what we think we deserve. Love button

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you:). We deserve some really good juju . . .

  8. Wow. So beautiful. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you:). I think we all need a reminder once in a while . . .

  9. candidkay says:

    Ah. “Me first” is so very different from knowing your worth, isn’t it? I hope the repairs continues and the end result makes you both very happy . . . the scenario you describe is so very common. All too common.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Cynthia!

  10. Hamish Joy says:

    Hullo, Kristine.

    I love your site – most of the articles have a soothing tone, it’s always interesting to read. And that’s why I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. You can find the details in my latest post –

    You are supposed to write a post about the award. However, you don’t have to – Maybe such a post might be disruptive to the overall tone and general style of your site. However, I’m still nominating you, if that’s OK.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Hamish. Leinster has a follower limit, which I exceed. But thank you for the kind words and for stopping by my blog! I’m glad my posts struck you:).

      1. Hamish Joy says:

        Hi, Kristine,

        I wasn’t aware of the follower limit. I just read up on it, and I see you’re right. Well, that would disqualify most of the nominees I’ve put up, I think. I think I’ll just be sneaky and keep mum about this. Shhh…

        I enjoy your writing style. You have your own style, but it reminds me a little bit of Robert Fulghum in the tone. 🙂

      2. candidkay says:

        My mother loved that author! Thank you:). I’m sure she is smiling at that compliment.

  11. ViewPacific says:

    Living yourself you become worthy, and then you can attract worthy people into your life. It doesn’t seem to work the other way around.

    1. candidkay says:

      So very true. As my mother used to say, tend to your own garden:). A folksy way of saying the same.

  12. Right Kristine, here is the secret of the universe! Do you love you?
    Then that is what you will attract. You will know how much you love yourself by how you react to fellow workers, friends, family and even strangers. Are you offended by them, get angry or hurt by comments or attitudes towards you. If yes to any of the above, then you will attract exactly what is needed to help you through whatever it is, and create a more loving way towards yourself.
    And if you do love yourself completely…you will be happy, relaxed and quite happy within and without in all that you do. You no longer feel the need to ‘want’ to be with another because of this or that. And if you do connect with another, it will be a connection of truly equals, not a worry or fear within a thousand miles.
    Oh, and it teaches much patience….oodles of it, in the making of that true connection. Mind you, they are ‘all’ true connections for exactly who you are, to help you find you. They have much purpose, even the knock backs, from you or them.
    And yes, impatience teaches patience. Finally 🙂
    So my friend…do you…and so will the universe. As soon as you concentrate on you, and I mean doing that with integrity, your integrity, the universe will, with great love, give you exactly what you need.
    And of course, having a sense of self worth is paramount to the journey…as long as you truly believe it is who you really are, with no little fears or niggles underneath it all of…what if….am I…how can I…why is…bouncing around inside our skulls like peak hour traffic.
    Don’t get me wrong, I can feel you have oodles of confidence, and out of life you have learned in some ways to ‘hold it back’. But this is a different confidence, this is a confidence within, an acceptance of who you really are inside, and then give back out into the world because you truly are accepting of yourself, and that can only be gained by stepping through those fears…and loving you in doing so.
    So to begin the rest of your life, be what you truly want inside, just focus on something you like to do, or keep saying your ‘going to’ do, and never get around to it. That is a huge indicator of how you think about yourself. If you won’t do something because you would rather share it with someone…then you are NOT focusing on you.
    Now there is the universe’s red flag at a bull. Go do that thing. In it you will find you…and a true sense of self worth like no other…oh, and some hot hunk of a man will come along and start annoying you…tell him to run along, your busy finding you 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Mark. Sending a hug your Aussie way. Big one.

  13. Oh yes. You nailed it. And I agree, it’s a tough one to work our way through – but I’m trying too. And learning every day. Reading this today helped a lot! Thanks for another great insight.

    1. candidkay says:

      It sounds like we’re leading parallel lives, Lee. I’m glad this one helped! Sending you love from the States:).

  14. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” When we get this right with ourselves, the world responds accordingly! Tough gig. Great post Kristine.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, what a great bit. Thank you, as always, for your kind words.

  15. Cindy Frank says:

    Bravo. Beautifully stated. I am also quite certain there is someone worthy waiting for you in the same way you are waiting for them. Don’t settle.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks. I won’t. Painfully working my way through that one!

  16. “We berate ourselves rather than realize true love ignores all of the above. ” Love it! Great post.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by again:).

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