Updated: Oct 10, 2019
It was a hot day in the south, my dad was holding my hand, and as a child I could sense his excitement of finally have a riding buddy who shared his dare-devil ways to take on the upside-down roller coaster.
As we moved our way to the gate, he explained the intricacies of the riding of the roller coaster. Something I had only dreamed about until today.
I asked a dozen questions as we inched our way to that contraption that made perfectly normal and quiet people scream their heads off.
How come people don't fall out when the train turns?
What happens to the hats and wallets that don't stay put?
And what is a "Chicken Exit"?
We both knew that neither of us were the types to ever turn the latch on a gate as that and had a quiet moment of reflection as we looked on it.
Our turn finally came, and just as we were loading in and Dad was telling me how important it is to be in the first car, the attendant pulled me back and toward a measuring stick. With as much dignity as a shorter than average girl could muster, I was shown the chicken exit and made my way slowly through it, knowing full well I was no chicken. But yet here I was, standing next to the roller coaster with tears stinging my eyes, while other kids my age screamed like I was supposed to be screaming, becoming fully aware for the first time, of how it feels to not measure up.
How often in life are we asked to stand up to a measuring stick and fall short?
Sticks that are labeled:
Did you get your to-do list done today?
Did you lose your temper?
How long did you stay up to help someone else?
How many miles did you get in?
How quickly did you get that done?
Do your kids love you?
How many calories did you eat?
How much did you lift?
What grade did you get?
How much does he love you?
Often we are aware of the feelings that come when we fall short, but very rarely are we aware that we are willingly standing up to these standards and agreeing to them no matter how pointless, how senseless, how crazy they are.
And even more...how we create these standards for ourselves and then punish and refuse love and acceptance to ourselves for not meeting them.
As if we must be worthy of love.
Of self-worth and value.
And deprive ourselves of the magical ride of life because we don't meet the qualifications we set for ourselves.
It is easy to believe that we must disapprove of where we are at. Our minds are taught to believe that this is how we move forward. The process goes: we hate where we are enough to move. And so we create standards to measure why we should not be okay with who we are and where we are.
But the result of that thinking is quite the opposite of forward movement.
Can you for a moment, imagine loving yourself, valuing yourself for exactly who you are today?
What would you do today if you genuinely loved yourself?
How would you act?
What would you do?
How would you feel?
Excited to try new things?
How do you act when you believe that you are enough?
You move forward.
I dare you to believe that you are enough today.
That you or anyone else does not have the right to determine if you are worthy of acceptance.
That is already in place. You can crumple a dollar bill, you can step on it, and yet it's still worth a dollar.
You have value. Today.
So ma'am, step away from the measuring stick.
It doesn't serve you and you don't need it.
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