I remember the day well . . . November 11, 2010. Marie Osmond was a guest on the Oprah Today show. It was her first interview since the tragic death of her 18-year old son, Michael.
Marie described her son’s feelings of loneliness, isolation and despair. I was intimately familiar with all these feelings during the last 6-7 years of my marriage. I had found out that my husband had been unfaithful during the entire marriage in addition to taking part in many other dishonorable actions. Because of the depth of betrayal, I found myself lonely, isolated, in despair and found I had no self-worth.
At the end of it all, I vividly remember thinking, however erroneously, that people would be better off without me and had actually entertained the thought of suicide. But then thoughts of my daughter flooded my mind and heart and I stopped from acting on that impulse.
Thinking of my lost marriage and where I was at the time, I tried not to think about the “what ifs”. “What if I had . . . . ? What if he had . . . ?” In life we always have the “what ifs”. I chose NOT think about the “what ifs” because if I did, I knew I would stop living. Instead I decided to put everything in God’s capable hands. There were many times I put on a brave face, but privately, I was walking through a much tougher struggle than I let on.
This was my second marriage and I now acknowledge I should have been more careful when I made the decision to remarry. Then, “BAM” . . . Marie said something in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that grabbed my attention. Marie Osmond’s 20-year marriage was also ending and she shared that when she made the choice to marry a second time she was very “tired”. She then looked straight into the camera and said:
“YOU MARRY AT THE LEVEL OF YOUR SELF ESTEEM.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SELF WORTH!”
The truth hit me right between the eyes. You see, I didn’t think very much of myself on that day. Nor had I thought much of myself the last 6-7 years of my marriage. I had lost my way. Because of the degree of unfaithfulness in my marriage, I ended up feeling that a woman’s worth came from how she looked . . . everything shown on the exterior from a woman’s breast size, to her figure, to her hair, to her make-up, to her age, etc., etc. I had forgotten my inner qualities of truth, character, integrity, justice, loyalty, kindness, compassion, generosity and faithfulness.
Then, I was reminded of this scripture:
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV
Incorruptible beauty? Do you know what “incorruptible” means? According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, it means “Incapable of corruption.” “Not subject to decay or dissolution.” “Incapable of being bribed or morally corrupted.”
I then realized that I indeed had a tremendous amount of worth . . . and beauty! I had simply forgotten! You see, the inner qualities I possess are those which money cannot buy!
Knowing I was “worth it”, I started dating again!
You see, we date and/or marry at the level of our self-esteem. Our relationships are a direct reflection of our own self-love and self-worth!
I have spoken to many individuals who say they are in a relationship (dating or marriage) with someone who they really care about and/or love, but they are not getting their needs met. They keep asking me what they need to change about themselves to keep the relationship going.
Let me be clear – the only way we should have to change is to be more authentically ourselves. We cannot become someone we are not. Of course we can compromise, but don’t abandon who you really are! You are, as my friend Shirley Bridwell says, a “DESIGNER ORIGINAL”! The truth is, you are you. Wherever you go, there you are!
Many people, men and women alike, are terrified of being alone. I understand. I don’t like being alone either. The truth is, if you are in a relationship and your needs aren’t being met, it’s not the other person’s fault. The responsibility is on YOU to communicate your needs and to choose someone who honors you, cherishes you and loves you!
If you or I want a healthy relationship, we must get comfortable with the unknown and let go of toxic relationships. We must trust the Lord with the desires of our heart!
Ask yourself this question: “If I REALLY loved myself, what would I do and what kind of person do I really want to be with?”
Let me know.