Because for people like me, thriving isn’t as easy as it looks. And, surprisingly, it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would...
I was sitting in the physician's assistant's office at the adult mental health center, set up much like a bachelor pad, stark and void of any style except for the lone faded ship painting that hung on the wall behind his desk when I spotted it. But I only spotted it in the moments after I let my secret slip.
You see, before my secret was completely clear to me and before the words just tumbled shamelessly from my lips, it was completely clear to my therapist.
Therapist nailed it the first time I sat on her sofa:
She'd asked me to make a list of beliefs about myself; good, bad, indifferent; all of them. Whatever it was that I believed about me. And go.
But I came up empty-handed. Because, frankly, at that point in time I had no positive beliefs about myself and I was too paralyzed from shame to state the plethora of negative ones swarming around in my head.
The most pressing belief, the biggest secret that I held on to for dear life was my worth: I don't deserve anything good because I'm not worth it.
And before I'd sat down in that physician's assistant's office, I'd placed my purse on the desk. My really swell Dooney and Burke Disneyland purse. I caught the PA's eyes as he looked at it and, feeling very self-conscious, I rather quickly let it out:
"Oh, I didn't buy that, of course! It was a gift! I would never buy something like that for myself."
He slowly sat back in his chair, smiled sheepishly, and said it: "Well I think it's cool but I'm sad to hear you don't think you're worth having nice things."
Now I was the one smiling sheepishly.
Geez, Heather, just barf your guts right out there for anyone to see. Siiiiiiggggghhhh.
He was right, though.
And I was there at the adult mental health center to get better. So I gathered myself and said very pointedly, "You're right. I don't. But I'm working on it."
And that's when I saw it. The heart in the faux wood paneling just behind the PA's desk.
You are worth it, it whispered.
Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I use #universelove quite a bit with photos I've taken of everyday objects that look like hearts. Because that's the universe's way of reminding us of our oft-forgotten worth.
And there in that moment was a two-fold reminder. From the PA and from the Universe. Because sometimes you need to be smacked in the head by words written on a 2 x 4 to finally get it.
I got it. I sat back in that office chair, warmly smiling to myself and repeated to myself "I am worth it." I repeated to myself that I do deserve good things - like the very reason I'd gotten in my car that morning and kept my commitment to face and fight and resolve and fix and heal the newly recognized bipolar disorder that has made remembering my worth that much more difficult.
I deserve to thrive. And this is how I'm going to do it.