By Carolyn Shields, late night at a cafe
How much one's time is worth has been on my mind a lot lately. How does one measure her worth? In tea cups? By the sound waves of her music, her heart's echoes? The inches and miles of trails she's left across the continent? In her home town?
Our worth and value comes from God alone, but objective reality can be measured...I think. This cup of coffee has more intrinsic value than this crumpled napkin before me. His heart weighs heavier in mine than a pound of dying flowers. Twin Fork's value holds greater gravity in my writing than TSwift's 1989. But can nothing be something? If we have nothing, can we understand our worth even more?
When I peaked up at him at another concert, and we're standing in 'our spot' on the balcony, I doubted that I am worth it. For him. Because if I'm honest in saying he is the sweetest and most beautiful man I've come to know, how could I ever think I'm worthy of him? Wait here while I kick myself off my pedestal. As I drift to sleep, naturally my last thoughts before slumber conjure images of his face, and I too often shock myself by the interior monotone: "You aren't worthy of him."
But womenfolk, at moments like that, who are we comparing ourselves to? To other women or the totally illusioned thoughts in his head that we can only guess at? Take a step back and remember who we should imitate: the Blessed Mother. And she let Him go. The worth of her Son was magnified the moment she nodded her head at Cana for Him to perform his first miracle. When she let go of the reigns.
Last night I found myself on the warm hood of my car again, bundled up, and blanketed over because our Holy knows I'm a damn romantic, and He knows He can easily seduce me with the moon in order to spend time with me.
And that's what was on my mind all weekend. Time & Worth. That's what I reflected on as I tried to decipher the path of the satellites, wondered if I was staring at planets, and unsure if the powder between the broken branches above me was the Milky Way.
We are worth it all, every second. But sometimes it means letting go of our analogies, ratios, comparisons in order to realize that. Sometimes it means emptying our pockets of its fool's gold in order to fill it with petals. It took this Man with shaggy hair and a beard to hang naked on a cross to get His point across, and yet we still struggle with that naked truth. That our deepest love is not clinging & clasping on, but opening our arms wide and leaving it all behind.
You ARE worth it. But you are not entitled to his love.
For months I've been saying I'm not letting go but simply moving on. I wrote an article on this exactly a year ago, titled P.S I Still Kind of Love You, and I smile because it was totally about another man than this one. But maybe they really are the same thing. Maybe the most efficient way of sailing on is by letting go. I want someone to argue about this to me, but again, I can't help but look to the cross for the answer and it's there. Fully exposed.
Though we can grow in virtue through happiness and not always trial, don't sink because of your own anchors. Don't strangle yourself from the twisting of your sheets of restless nights. Don't let your heart become a puppet, and have him pull the strings. Life is too short for all of that nonsense.
As Patrice Fagnant-Macarthur wrote, "Yes, I am an imperfect person living in an imperfect world, trying to rely on God and make sense of it all as I go along. My worth, as does the worth of every human being, comes from God, not from any thing or any person on this earth."
But you are always, always worth it. At your darkest. At your fullest. You are worth the stars.