The Fella gave me a laptop for my birthday. It's the nicest computer I've ever owned, the kind of computer that I would look at when computer shopping and dismiss immediately because there was just no way I could justify the purchase.
But now I have Fancy. (Because of course I named my computer. Doesn't everyone do that?)
When he gave Fancy to me, The Fella said, "I want you to have something really good -- I want you to have the best tools for your writing." He was earnest. He believes in me.
My first thought was, "Oh, but I'm not a real writer."
My second was, "I don't deserve this gift."
In retrospect, this is pissing me off.
Fancy lived in the box she came in until today. Today, I fitted her with a hot pink, lace printed silicon case to protect her so she can live out in the open, where I can snag her and write whenever I feel like it.
Before today, I think I opened the box maybe -- and this is a generous estimate -- fifteen times?
I could see the box from where I slept -- it's a small apartment -- and would often see it first thing in the morning. It always made me feel guilty, because there was this amazing tool that the man who loves me got me so I could do the thing that makes me happy, and I wasn't using it -- further proof, I thought, that I didn't deserve it in the first place, but I couldn't figure out how to articulate that without also confessing what a huge loser I was.
One morning I thought: he believes that I deserve this.
And then I thought: what if he's right?
It's interesting to me, the way people -- I think this is especially true of women, but I have also observed it in men -- are quick to declare themselves unworthy. "I wasn't really qualified, so I didn't apply." "I couldn't ask him out -- he's so HANDSOME and I'm so ... blah." "I really liked that dress, but ... it was for something special and I don't have anything." "My car is kind of falling apart, but ... it still runs. I shouldn't get a new one." "I couldn't audition for that role -- they wanted REAL singers."
You are real.
You are qualified and attractive and special and deserving of feeling safe and warm and happy. You also have art -- all kinds of art -- flowing through you and whatever that art is, if it is singing or dancing or painting or writing? It counts and it is REAL.
It is real and you are real and you are worthy. You are worthy of the job and the date and the fancy dress that makes you acknowledge your own beauty and the car that works and runs and auditioning for the role because you ARE a real singer.
You deserve the chance and the evening and the sparkle and the horsepower and the spotlight.
You deserve it because you are here and you are amazing and you are worthy.
You won't get everything you want. No one does. That doesn't mean you don't deserve to try. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't believe in yourself.
And you should believe in the fact that other people believe in you.
When other people believe in you, embrace their belief. You are worthy of it.
When other people offer you blessings and gifts, take them. You are worthy of them.
When other people offer you praise, take it. Thank them. Don't dismiss it. You are worthy of praise and they are allowed to praise you -- by dismissing their praise you are telling them that you don't believe they are worthy.