I never really thought about this question until a recent discussion with a couple of male friends got me wondering. Truth be told, when the question was directed at me, all I could manage was a smile and that smile haunted me for many nights because I figured I could have been more loquacious.
How much are you worth?
Pause. Think about it. This is not the time to spring from your seat like ‘Jack in the box’; it is not the time to talk about your degrees, your job, or even your possessions. It is not the time to talk to about how people treat you or how amazing your personality is.
It is not a question you can answer with words. It is not a question you can answer by quoting Maya Angelou’s phenomenal woman. It is not a question you can answer by feeling insulted that someone would even dare ask you that. It is not a question you can answer by defending yourself.
I started writing this post four years ago, and I could not finish it because I realized indeed that the many ways I listed above could not effectively answer the question. Sure, I might have been able to sell myself as an assertive woman who believed in herself; but all the words in the world could not aptly describe what I was worth.
Four years, later, it hit me as I drove down the busy highways of Johannesburg on a traffic-free day. The answer to that question is not in words; it is in actions. How much you are worth is deeply ingrained in how you treat yourself. It is deeply entrenched in what you believe about yourself, and most importantly, it is found in the core of who and what you accept into your life.
I have seen many women recite phenomenal woman over and over, and right afterward, went ahead to do and accept un-phenomenal things. I have heard people write quotes on Facebook about how they are worth the world, yet could not stop their partners from treating them like doormats. I have been that person so many times. I have been the quoter and not the doer.
But that day, when the question was thrown at me, it seemed as though the heavens opened and whispered in my ear “your words will not suffice. Your words cannot describe your worth enough”. So I smiled. Yes, I wished I’d spoken but I realize now that my heart was saying to me “Shhh. Pull back a bit and explore the deepest recesses of yourself. Pull back a bit and hear me speak.”
So if you are wondering how much you are worth, or if the question has been thrown at you before and you feel your verbal response did not do the trick, stop and listen to the silent whispers in your heart. Stop and ask yourself if you present yourself as worthy or worthless. Stop and ask yourself if you treat yourself with tender loving care. Do you treat yourself like you matter? Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself “do I place as much worth on myself as God places on me?”
Therein lies the answer to that question.
And when you answer with all the sincerity you can muster, you will find the strength to treat yourself like the gem that you are. And no one will ever feel the need to ask you how much you are worth. They will simply see you are a priceless offspring of the King of Heaven.