Are Your Feelings Disposable?
Are your feelings disposable? That is a question that comes up for many of us women. The simple answer to that question is no, never – your feelings are always important. I’ve struggled with this for a good portion of my life both as a teenager and adult. I always doubted my capabilities or thought I had no talents or special gifts at all. Maybe I was just mediocre. But I soon found out, mediocre was the furthest from the truth. And here’s the kicker, no one is valued at mediocre, it’s only what’s imprinted on us by other people. What other people think of us is not true, it’s what we think and know of ourselves that is the real deal.
Let me bring you back to years ago when I was pursuing my career in cosmetology I landed my first job straight out of school as an assistant. I was told that in my position I was disposable. I was told countless times in staff meetings that we were all replaceable. I took that very personally and I’m sure my co-workers in the same position did as well. That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow; to be told you’re basically replaceable at any given moment and you add no value to a company. Mind you, this doesn’t only happen in the position of a stylist’s assistant, it happens across the board in all markets. I dealt with the same shit as a server. This tactic keeps people stuck, or feeling trapped because they’ve come to believe they don’t deserve better. They believe that they have to stay where they are, work extra hard with no moving up the ladder because they are only as good as someone else makes them. This sort of breaking one self down is not only physically taxing, it’s emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausting as well.
Looking back I believed them. Could I be that invaluable that someone would tell me to my face?
When you’re dealing with all that kind of stress it’s only a matter of time before it manifests and presents itself in the physical realm of life. And I don’t know about you but for me that’s where I draw the line.
It scared me to know I was “disposable”. I then began to wonder, what the heck was I doing working for people who don’t give a shit about me as a human being? I questioned so many times why I worked so hard to gain so little. Why did I put my blood sweat and tears into someone else’s business to be told I was basically invaluable? Especially when I actually felt like I was doing the opposite – I felt like I brought tremendous value to the businesses. I was highly sought after by other people’s clients. I wondered what separated me from them, them being my bosses and the stylists that made it behind the chair.
And you know what, nothing separated us but illusion. The ignorance that they were superior to me.
But my point of this post is not that I was an assistant, it was that my feelings and my being was and is valuable. I and you are not disposable. We all have a purpose. No matter what you’re doing in life or where you are, don’t let anyone discourage you or make you feel less than. If someone doesn’t want to help you climb up the ladder of success then they’re not the person for you. That is not a model or mentor you want or need in your life.
You are worthy. You can live your dreams. You do not have to bow down to people who have their head so far up their own ass if they stopped short they’d come flying out their own mouths.
People will be condescending. People will be hurtful. People will be down right mean but it’s not you, it’s them. And as cliche as this may sound, you have to realize that when others project themselves onto you and make you feel like it’s you, it’s not. You can shield yourself with the love, kindness, and knowledge in your heart that they are not better than you, they are simply just different from you. And that’s ok because I rather be different than to be living safely or cowardly to the finish line of life.
So next time someone makes you feel like your feelings are invaluable may I suggest a warm introduction to that finger that’s in the middle of your hand, hold it high and proud with a big smile on your face and let that say hello and carry on.
For those of you who are struggling with feeling invaluable today, here are three things you can do daily to change your mindset:
- Show gratitude and have grace above all.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself all the things you love about yourself, even embrace your flaws. Know that they are there not to make you less of who you are but to make you a complete version of yourself.
- Remind yourself that you do not need validation from anyone or anything. It all resides in you. Happiness cannot be bought (although a few million bucks might make it easier). Do things everyday that make YOU happy. Especially if you’re a parent, because you set the tone for your household. If you’re in bad spirits then it can leave a gloom and doom on your whole day and your family’s whole day. Be assertive when addressing your feelings and do it with love.
Share your own experience — When someone close to you, whether it be a family member or friend, devalues your feelings, how do you handle yourself in those moments? In your mind, what would be the ideal way for you personally to react or not react to these instances?