Today’s post is about relational wisdom, not work, mainly because of a recent conversation that got me to reflect.

I got to catch up with a dear friend I met 5 years ago. Her friendship arrived right in time, because 5 years ago, I was in the middle of an extremely stressful and confusing pseudo-dating situation. Throughout all the stress, she let me lean on her. We’ve gone through many phases since then, losing touch and then getting back into it. So it was such a joy to get a text from her saying, “Hey, it’s been a while! I happen to be free tonight. Want to catch up?”

We had hours of catching up to do. At one point, she asked me, “How have you changed in the last 5 years?” The short answer to that was, I now know my worth.

5 Years Younger Me settled for an undefined, confusing “situationship” with blurry boundaries because I thought I was only worthy of the illusion of a relationship. Sadly, that kind of thing left me pining and striving in what was ultimately a one-sided pursuit. In other past situations, I was also willing to give up or hold back on my hopes, dreams, and ambitions that are fundamental expressions of who I am.

But what I know now is that I’m worthy of the emotional safety of a clear-cut, defined relationship (in its various phases). And I’m worthy of being pursued. And I’m worthy of being accepted as I am. Parts of me, like my race/cultural background, size, and ambitions, have all been ”problems” for guys where I live (I’m not white, blonde, thin, or docile…). But that doesn’t take away from my worthiness or value as a person. I’ve been able to own my value regardless of who recognizes it. And that has made all the difference.