Worthy of Love, by Jacob Nightingale

“We instinctually measure our self-worth based on our perceived value to the tribe that surrounds us, and unfortunately, I am a rocket scientist on a football team.” 

Find your Tribe, and there you will discover your value. Find your willingness, and there you will decide your worth. 

We were all innocent once. A child; vulnerable and uncertain. We struggled to make sense of the world. Nothing was certain except for our undying love and devotion to those we valued. We gave our trust freely to those we loved, without reservation. We would do anything to please them, and give anything to see them happy. There is no greater devotion than the love of a child and every child wants to believe they are loved equally in return. A child is always seeking feedback and reassurance, because they want to know one thing—if they too, are worthy of love. Our body may have grown and our spirit has matured, but that child still wants to know, “am I worthy to be loved?”

Worthiness is measured, not by how much you are loved, or by how much love you have been given. Worthiness is measured by how much love and devotion you are willing to give.

A child is born willing to give ALL their love and devotion; no one is more worthy of love than a child.

Like all children, we’re all pure potential. Our Will is the very essence of our potential and we are free to create ourselves however we choose. Is there a such thing as worthless potential? 

No one is worthless; we are all a work in progress, and our progress, our worth, is based solely on our willingness to learn, grow, and improve.  

While we can measure our “value” based on our past contributions and accomplishments, it’s solely based on another’s appreciation and value for what we gave. However, our worthiness, is only effectively measured by our willingness to give, and whether we did the best we could with what we had.

Are you worthy of being a friend, parent, leader, partner, spouse, doctor, student, artist, author…?

Love is the devotion to creating value, contributing, supporting, actualizing dreams, and nurturing growth, improvement, creation, and connection. If your worthiness is based on your willingness to give love and devotion, you need only to ask, “How much love and devotion am I willing to give?” This is your worthiness.    

Are you worthy of Leading? 

How much are you willing to give those that choose to follow you; to nurture, inspire, guide and support their growth and improvement?

Are you worthy of being a parent?

How much are you willing to give your child love and devotion; to support their development, to offer comfort and safety, and to nurture their growth?

Are you worthy of being a friend or romantic partner?

How much are you willing to give love and devotion to the relationship, to nurture each other’s growth and aspirations? 

Are you worthy of creating success?

How much are you willing to give to reach your objectives?

Are you worthy of love and devotion from another?

How much love and devotion are you willing to give?

While we cannot state another’s worth, we can decide if it’s “worth it” to give. When you give to someone, you are investing a part of yourself to them, and for someone to be worth it, they must be willing to accept and willing to invest. If someone is unwilling to give, how can they be worthy of what we are giving? If they are unwilling to grow and improve or to contribute and nurture growth, how can they be worthy of our support and contribution? If someone is unwilling to give love and devotion, is it worth it to give them ours? We cannot allow ourselves to give to those that are unwilling, and if we are unwilling, we are not worthy of what others are willing to give. 

It’s amazing how this simple shift in perception can change everything; it can break down the chains of self-doubt, worry, and insecurity. You don’t need to ask whether someone else finds you worthy. You can measure your own worthiness and the worthiness of those you keep in your life. If you are willing to give love, you’re worthy to be loved, and you are worth every ounce of love you have in your heart. That small child can find peace and comfort, knowing that no matter how much they were cast aside, forgotten, or unfairly challenged, they always have been and always will be “worthy of love.”


Be a Woman’s Best Friend

What makes a woman so unbelievably anxious around other women? What makes one woman leer at another as though they’ve stepped out of civilization and into some third world wasteland where they must fight to survive? Why are women so competitive?

If you put an average woman in a room filled with woman we don’t know and sit back to watch. The fireworks are about to spark. No one can read her mind…but if we could? What exactly would she be thinking? (There are stereotypes for a reason.) I am discussing generalizations and not specific circumstances. I’m going to try and identify for you what it’s like to feel like the wallflower, the outsider, and the shunned. Maybe the next time the body language of the woman you’re looking at seems a little off you will know that she’s probably in the precise scenario I’m about to portray for you.

In my experience there are several outcomes of conclusion that women are. A woman might be the type who judges based on choices of attire weighing heavily their ability to care for themselves financially. Another might look at the body language and find some of the behaviors offensive. Some look at a woman and instantly think of something harsh. They don’t say it but it’s written all over their face just as though they’ve eaten something horrible. They cannot hide their thoughts.

One woman might look at another and see only a loving creature. I promise you that this type of woman is rare. I consider myself honored to know many of this type of woman. In fact, I try and surround my life with them. If you know her…please understand how blessed you truly are!

Most of the reactions from woman to woman that I have seen are fraught with tight pursed lips of judgment waiting for that other woman who is speaking to show any sign of weakness. Then and only then can the judger feel as though she has elevated herself and she can feel superior. This deduction is self-evident and what I find is the most pronounced goal for many women. It’s the one endeavor that gives the judging-woman in question absolute acceptance without the benefit of giving it. It’s something I perceive everywhere and an attitude that I toil with every single day.

One little girl hides in the closet because mommy’s been drinking and she’s afraid she’ll be beaten again. There’s a little girl who sat on her bed and cried because daddy never came home. There’s a little girl who wants to earn her place in her family and diligently fights for respect. There’s a little girl who hides in the back of a classroom, because her intense shyness causes her to alienate herself from other children. There’s a teenager who is so modest that the simple attention from a boy causes her cheeks to flourish red. She could be that awkward skinny girl with no shape that never got asked to the Prom or the braces that she had to wear when she should have been in her dating years. Consider a fearful young woman unable to care for herself when she leaves home. There’s a girl who’s been rejected by the worst kind of man who she allowed to bruise her heart. There’s a woman who just lost a position to another woman with less skills. There’s a woman who got married and thought it was forever but found out it wasn’t. There’s that woman who walks into a bar and everyone notices but no one notices that she looks that great because she’s empty inside. There’s a woman struggling with her weight and one who cannot gain weight. There are women who have lost fortunes and women who have fortunes who lose themselves. There are women who struggle to stay positive and women who are positive despite their struggles. There are those who do not understand transparency because their fear of being hurt, and women who hurt because no one sees them. There’s sickness and pain and loss and grief that a woman cannot escape because all wrapped up in one tight bow is an element that if you spend any time on this planet you will be all these women.

I have been all these women. I have been beaten and tortured and loved and sick and healthy and big and small and happy and filled with despair. I have not been every one of these women at the exact same time. Life changes and with all those changes is the human condition of hope that in the next day something incredibly magical will happen. Even when times are not bad, that hope that joy is just around the horizon keeps most women moving toward whatever goal that they’re currently undertaking. This movement is measurable; it is without a doubt worthy and should absolutely be praised by other women. It takes insurmountable courage to want something and act upon it. The choice for some to enter the workforce every single day is tantamount to exacting that courage to face whatever insecurities and fears she has. While it may seem easy for some, the realization is that we as women all know that judgment and condemnation await us at some point throughout the day and that sword of injustice will probably come from a woman.

Why is it that American’s had such a hard time with Sarah Palin? Its prime example that a woman can make errors but she will expect any other woman who stands against the imperfect society that man made to be flawless. Women who choose a position of authority require a further element of commitment to your courage. You must invoke a thick skin and be tolerant of those who will judge you if you falter one moment. Leadership for a man is much easier because men realize the imperfection of each other. Leadership of a woman from a woman is so much more harshly judged. Why is that?

Again, I have an amazing boss. She’s a woman. I have amazing co-workers who are women. I have an amazing daughter. I have an amazing sister and maybe I’m just blessed, but I have a whole bunch of amazing women that I call my friends. I love them without judgment or condition and remind them of that when they begin to divulge what they think are my faults. I don’t judge. I won’t do it. I won’t for one minute begin to imagine that I don’t live in a house with glass walls, ceilings and tile or for that matter, one moment that glass wouldn’t break if I threw a stone. I’ve been every woman, and I am here to tell you that unless we all begin to realize that each of us are not the enemy we will truly begin to see each other with the love and consideration let alone tolerance that each of us should be entitled to. Before you judge today or come to that conclusion in your mind based on what you know…pause. Rethink where she is, in perspective of where you are and be a little nicer, more tolerant and look at her through the eyes of our Lord as he loves you.


A Man and a Moment

When I was a young girl, I used to hide from my mother’s rage by sitting quietly in a closet. The doors were closed and as tears ran down my face I could hear her calling for me in the distance. I can remember asking the wind why my father never rescued me. The rage that consumed filled her heart with hatred of the men who had abused or abandoned her. When she became fraught with the evilness of it, she would explode and whoever was in the surrounding area would pay the price for her outrageous behavior. She was sick then, and I was the child who lived through that sickness.

When she would call out my name through terrifying screams that sent me into a horror I can barely describe in words, she would also announce the reason to which the particular eruption occurred. It was always about a man. It was always about how a man hurt her. The blood curdling screams of painful declarations would shout, “No man is ever going to love you! No man is ever going to want to take care of you like I do! No man will care how you feel!” As you can imagine, that would go on and on and on until all the proclamations concerning men had been said or she actually found me. We won’t go there.

In my “Father’s Day” blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I did not grow up with a father. There were no men consistently in my mother’s life. She would use what men would succumb to her charms as long as she needed them and then she’d toss them aside like day old trash.

Naturally I was determined to find love. I was determined to be a great example for my kids, and to have a life that I’d only ever seen in movies. The problem with that I’ve learned is that even if you set it up that way there’s no script for you to follow. There’s no manual that tells you everything’s going to be okay, and for the most part I spend my life flying by the seat of my not so capable pants trying desperately to let those people who mean the most to me know how much I love them. That is my ultimate goal. Peace, freedom and the ability to feel the joy around people I respect and love. Who doesn’t want that?

I believe that as an adult you’re pretty much responsible for how you view your world. Your choices are your own, no matter what happened to you, and the fact that you were forced to listen to the brainwashing ranting’s of a sick woman should have no impact on your emotional wellbeing in your future relationships. That’s what I believe, and then life throws that curve ball, something goes terribly wrong and everything I know to be the truth just goes out the window. My knee-jerk reaction is to run; to survive. I have a family that needs me and that’s not an option. So what does somebody like me who struggles every day to surround myself with peace and joy do when there is anger and fury around me?

If you can imagine, in the beginning I get quiet. My memories implode without my consent. It’s my life and I lived it. So when someone becomes furious with me and my sense of injustice about it all has been triggered I find my adult self – standing there quiet, impervious, and pensive. My first thoughts are is my life threatened. Can you even believe that is my first thought? Then I try to make sense of why my injustice button was pushed. There are no words until I process through why I am angry. Then I try and talk it out. I may not come across logically or even without emotion or steam myself but for the most part I desperately try to get the offender to see my point of view. Sometimes our views clash and we can work it out through some mature dialog. But on those occasions when someone who I love dearly decides to be uncontrollably selfish and downright mean; that’s when I lose all control over my emotions. I begin to cry, because to me, there’s nothing more important that making someone feel loved; and when it doesn’t come back to me, I feel a sense of fury that’s not quite to the level of rage but I am willing to fight for what I believe. I call it shaking the sugar tree.

Usually that makes someone who is acting inappropriately calm down enough to talk things out. Rarely does it become an argument that is unwinnable. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work after a long history with someone. The process develops kinks and people take each other for granted. They want to hold on to misunderstandings of the past and they want to blame everyone for the happiness that has long been lost because they’re so worried about controlling every aspect of their lives that they cannot get to the joy that sometimes a little chaos brings. That’s been my experience.

What do you do when you’re sitting there and your Ah-ha moment tells you that it’s not going to change? You find yourself stuck in a routine of destiny that you’ve tried desperately to improve and there’s no way it’s going to change? I tell you what you do. You tell yourself, “No man is ever going to love you the way you need, no man is ever…” and it’s a slippery slope.

To me, the kind of man that I need; require, is the kind of man who is strong. I don’t mean physically. I mean a man who is capable of seeing through the dramatic emotion of a woman and narrowing it all down to what makes sense. A man who is logical in his approach, puts other’s first and always roots for the underdog. A man of character, a man of faith and a man who is so highly intellectual with opinion and fact that he can tell me something I don’t already know or inspire me to be a better person. That’s the kind of man I wanted and in all reasonableness the kind of man I married.

With all things that God created there is a balance. There is good and evil in all of us. The levels of each depend on our character and our choice to either improve or wallow in the despair of our mistakes. With my husband this rule is no different. At times I feel like I married my mother. Other times I feel like I married the most respected man in the world. Either way I have the intense understanding that he is admired, respected and loved regardless of his actions which is a skill that I have not easily learned.

I’ve grown into a strong woman. Capable and formidable and for the most part feel like my words impact lives. There are moments though, that I would love for my husband to encourage me and not give me that reality check all the time or blame when something goes horribly wrong. I’ve learned that when we argue now, breaking our pattern is to process the pain or sorrow on my own because I am no longer willing to live with the laundry list of my offenses or misunderstandings whenever we fight. Silence in my home has become the norm. It hurts too much to fight for what’s right because it’s really not ever going to change. Years of the same has finally taught me that. It hurts, but that’s a pain I guess I will have to just live with. Now, I just walk away.

The point to all this for me is that sometimes bad things happen along our path. Sometimes people point unjust fingers and are intolerant of others. Sometimes kids misbehave and people you love disappoint you beyond what you could imagine. Sometimes, relationships are cruel and unjust. But if you can stop a minute to remember that we’re all just people. We all feel exactly the same things just not at the same time. We’re all trying to earn respect and adoration from the people we place the most faith in. We’re all trying desperately to be accepted.

If you can find someone that for the majority of the time you respect them you’ve won. Give them their behavior and let them own it. Go to a movie or take yourself out of the equation. Last night I saw Snow White and the Huntsman. I loved it. It’s a great movie to see when you’re upset. The bottom line is that you have to find peace with your choices even if for a moment those choices are a little painful. Because when you get to the other side of it, the joy and the happiness that follows is a result of the time you put in to be consistent, to show your love and to respect those whom you adore. Pause, because it’s not over. Remind yourself that you have a voice, but sometimes you don’t have to use it. Sometimes your own silent process can bring you right back to seeing the great things about a man you know.


Treasured Moments

There is nothing in the world quite like a moment when you realize that you’re happy. Happiness is not a constant feeling, and for most this illusive emotion evades from daily life. I think that in the movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours” after Lucille Ball desperately tries to explain to her daughter the fundamentals of joy but fails miserably; Henry Fonda picks up the dialog by explaining that great moments arrive from putting the effort of all the drudgery and the boring is what leads to the big events! In other words, quantity no matter how mundane brings quality! You cannot have one without the other.

So imagine my surprise when I am sitting with incredible women and I realize I’m smiling! And I think “wow it’s been a long time since that’s happened!” a genuine real happy joyful smile!

What’s even better is that they were smiling and we were sharing openly and honestly and real and laughing until we couldn’t stand it anymore. Each of us had issues and extreme stories to share and opinions and comments… It was human compassion in motion! A connection stronger than time and distance full of passion and empathy and we were all there wishing that happy moments could just last a whole lot longer!

We worked together in one of the worst jobs that I have ever had! Not because of the work but because of the dictator suppression of a power motivated woman who I believe if possible would actually blow fire up someone’s butt to get them to do her bidding! We came out close friends and none of us work there anymore. The strife gave us the blessing of forming a unity against the unjust but it’s not anything we dwell on anymore. It was the basic foundation of friendship that’s been tested over time and matured into life long confidential bonding that all women wish they had! I honestly regard myself blessed!

Today you’re going to have to finish the audit paperwork and financial matters and clean the house, make the dinner, and tend to the animals, but stop right now and schedule that spa or dinner with the gals! 1. Because you sure as hell deserve it and 2. Because believe it or not it’s been too long between your ultimate moments of “happy!”

I highly recommend time to fill up your cup be because when you do…it runneth over!


World Traveler Anyone?

Many times, my husband has asked me to have more of a “wanderlust” view of living our life together. I’ve moved so much that when I find friends who actually want to spend time with me, I love it!  To me, that spending quality time simply means, “roots!” It means everything, so when I feel change coming; it causes a certain discontent.

He’s very good at tapping into my need for constant growth.  Yes, I am addicted to learning new things. I read all the time, I pay attention to politics (not that I will discuss it here) and am fairly read well in several subjects including a few passions of mine.

I’m not a “traditional” girl. I know that! I don’t know why, but it takes getting on a plane or jumping in a car to reignite my sense of adventure which if I were even more honest with myself is the one genuine unique thing about me that makes the daily drudge of getting up to go to a meaningless job to make money for a house I could do without so that my kids can go to a school the love; all worth doing! Without my adventure all this life wouldn’t have imagination and thrills and joy and love! I highly recommend finding your bliss as I have found my renewed sense of adventure.

My proclamation doesn’t mean my friends mean less to me! Actually quite the opposite. They mean everything and I am blessed the want to be my intimate confidants! I pray that never changes and that after my journeys have ended that the happiness and joys I’ve found along my path will illuminate future generations everywhere along with the stories only my friends here. That is this is your only shot. If travel is your bliss, or change or growth, what the hell are you waiting for?!


Let Go of Resentment

Today’s Prayer
Dear God, Calm my spirit today. Please forgive me of gossip or worry about the people and circumstances that surround me. Please replace anger with peace. Please help me to keep my focus on Jesus, author and finisher of my faith. Please help me to focus on what I need to accomplish today, and what You want me to do. Put away all wrong thoughts and keep me from wrong actions. I want to be a steady, stable, godly person who is a pleasure to be around and a loving witness of your mercy and glory. May I be an instrument that produces a sweet, soothing sound, uplifting spirits and pleasing the Master Conductor, My Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God” (Ps. 55:12-14).

I never thought that people would intentionally cause harm to other people. Believe it or not, I always believed that given the opportunity, people would surprise you and be kind.  At my age I have found that isn’t the case. Some people hurt and that pain gets lodged in the discontent of their heart.  In turn that feeds on the seven deadliest sins.

What happens is people turn inward. They became irrational in their self-pity, their unwillingness to compromise, and they feel as though the world has somehow done them a terrible injustice. If we were all honest we have been these people from time to time.  Life can never be free of the whispers that cloud our judgments.

However, when we take ownership of the sins we made, and the people those actions hurt, we begin to understand that like us, the ones who have offended us need forgiveness too.  If we are not without sin, how can we hold another human being born of sin to withstand their own?

Forgiveness is often given when resolution happens, but what happens when there is no closure?  That’s the hardest emotion to wrestle with. We’ve been betrayed. Usually by someone we trusted, and now they hold this sadness, and this undeniable disappointment that we carry.

The only way to free yourself from the bonds of all that is un-Holy from your being and begin to see the joy again is to forgive.  To let go and take the power of your emotions back under your control. Choose not to give one moment of time in thought to that which you cannot change.  Choose you today.  Choose your happiness. I pray that you can.