It is very important to discover ones self worth. I know this how?
Growing up, I was never taught about the importance of self worth. I always had dreams of going to university after high school. However, I did not have the understanding of my worth as a person.
I grew up in Qumbu District at the foot of Ndwane village, South Africa. Our home was near open land next to idyllic fields whilst still part of the village. Life was tough……, my father passed away when I was a baby therefore I never knew him. I remember enjoying stories of his quiet, kind and generous nature….stories of how proud he was of me and my siblings, how loving and positive he was as a person. When I was growing up, I was always ambitious and full of faith and my mother often told me how I reminded her of my father’s faith. Despite the circumstances, I had big dreams and believed that one day those dreams would come to pass. Our household was full of laughter, a simple life. I had no brother, it was a household full of girls.
I grew up in a village where cows had names. This is not a joke… my favourite cow was called Mrs, she had sway, a wiggle and confidence in her flirty steps.. a twinkle in her eyes – no wonder she had so many calves… lucky cow. I never expressed my thoughts for Mrs and here I am spilling it all out (fond memories ).
In my early years I was given the task of herding our family cattle after my uncle decided he was no longer going to assist my mother with them. My big sister was a teenager and the task of herding cattle was allocated to me because I had no brother nor father. I had no choice but to wake up at dawn to take care of them before school. This meant that I was teased by other children. I felt withdrawn, I didn’t feel beautiful nor worthy. This continued until I was 13 years old after my mother had decided to hire a farmhand who took care of the cattle and farming etc.
Growing Insecurities and unforgettable Gift
St John’s College… my secondary school…boarding school. I knew what I aspired to achieve. When I was 16 years old, my sister Nolwazi gifted me with a book “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela and it was the best gift I have ever received. I say this because receiving a gift was a rear occurrence and ….the book encouraged me to hunger for success even more. I still not felt worthy but my faith inside of me was greater than my circumstances. Life was not easy in secondary school, I was surrounded by beautiful girls from cities. I was from the village from a poor family. Dreams of success kept me motivated. In my mind success seemed possible even for me.
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do” Nelson Mandela
My pouty thick lips and small eyes were often criticised. For years, I did not believe anyone who complimented on my looks…
It is funny that people pay thousands to have surgery on their lips to look like mine….I grew to love mine and very proud of them now… not to boast but yes I love them .. I say this with a smile.
Isaiah 61:3 ‘a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.’
In my later teens I entered into a relationship with a man who never compliment me. He would even water down any compliment I received from others. In my mid 20s after having been in the United Kingdom for few years I decided to chase my dream of becoming a lawyer. I enrolled at university and I was admitted. I was very proud, my family was proud but my ex doubted that I would succeed in completing my studies because he knew my background. I was then a mother of 2 children. This made him further doubts my decision. His doubts did not discourage me but irrigated my tree of faith. 2 years in my course, I finally gained courage and left the relationship with my daughter and son. Questions of self doubt echoed in my head but my spirit told me it was well with me. I felt strong and hopeful…. scared too.
God’s Mercy Found me as I was.
After 3 years at university, I graduated with a law degree. Out of 210 students in the first year, only 93 students graduated and I was one of them. I was the first in my family to graduate from university. I did not only fulfil my dream but I found me, myself worth, my desire to fly like a eagle… felt boldness in my steps. Doubts of aforesaid lies left me. That was in 2012.
The past does not determine the future ahead. Some may argue that the degree certificate gave the lead on life… yes it did but it only confirmed what was always inside of me waiting to be reached out…but was oppressed by circumstances and lies told by others to pull me down. I felt worthy, strong and still am.
Self worth is in your heart, your emotions, your smile, your everyday life, your confidence, in the way you treat others… not boastful, non judgemental.
Self worth it’s confident, fearless, faithfulness, respect, accepting, aware, peaceful minded, self love.
I often say affirmations to myself.. I am blessed, beautiful, delivered, strong, happy, positive…..to remind myself that I AM that which I aspire to be… even before something positive happen. I’m a redeemed child of God.
I compliment my children everyday…remind them of who they are, their worth, their potential..the power of positive mindset and power of faith.
By Bella Sasa Tati