I am worthy

When I started creating the writing prompts for my first Gadanke journal, I was so excited. My grandma had inspired me to help women capture their stories as we quickly scrambled to record everything she could remember when she was about 90.

She had a zip-top bag of old letters she exchanged with college friends during the early years of her marriage. My dad pulled together all of her photographs. I interviewed her on NPR’s StoryCorp. And she wrote and wrote.

She wasn’t always onboard with me and my dad. In fact, she kept saying to me, “Katie, my story doesn’t matter. No one wants to hear it.”

“Grandma,” I would say. “Tell me your story. I will listen.”

my story is so beautiful

Photo by Katie Clemons

And you know what? She would start talking. This is how we learn from one other and how we inspire each other. We have this deep biological need to be heard. And unfortunately, as women, we’re not always sure our stories matter. We struggle with a sense of worthiness.

We are wives. We are homemakers. We are mothers. Cooks. Cleaners. Bill payers. Wipers of runny noses. It’s true. We are also so much more than those titles. We are fabulous givers, dreamers and doers.

Pause and celebrate that about yourself.

i am beautifulPhoto by Katie Clemons

Today, I thought I’d give you some simple gifts: a few resources to check out, plus an exercise to help you remember your worthiness. These remind me of what I learned from Grandma’s experience.

1. Look at this series of posts called “I am Enough” on Tracy Clark’s blog. All sorts of incredible women talk about how they’re tired of being remembered for the A+’s they received or feeling like their bodies are flawed. It’s beautiful!

2. Watch this TEDxTalk called “STORY MATTERS: Empowering Our Community and Lives Through Shared Narrative.” (By me!) To let ourselves be deeply be seen by others, I’ve found that we need to deeply see ourselves first. We have to start with self-love.

3. Read Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You are. She whispers to your soul here, saying pishposh to the images and messages that tell us what we need to feel worthy.

4. Pull out a sheet of paper and your favorite pen. Write your responses or reactions to these writing prompts, pulled from my She journal, which helps women focus on themselves and introspection:

  • These aren’t just daydreams.
  • Today is the day, she decided! But tomorrow would also work.
  • She finds that discovering inner beauty is a fairly complicated thing.

Know that you are not alone on those days when it seems hard to connect with your self. But remember, you have lives and stories that are worthy of being celebrated.

How do you remind yourself that your story matters?

Have a good day,
again and again.

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10 Comments

  1. Vera

    I’m a big believer in stories, and documenting our lives. I do it for both the history/memory keeping, but also because I find telling my story helps me work through whatever emotions or thoughts I need to work through to move forward. 🙂

  2. Kelli

    I love story too! I love Ted talks too! What a delight to discover your talk about story. I just love what you said. Echoes my heart and the very rich truth that everyone has a story and that “everyone’s story matters” in the words of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

  3. Lisa

    Katie, I am an avid follower and journal purchaser. You are so inspiring to me. I want to curl up with a journal and fun lovely pens right now. Yes, our stories matter. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Katie Clemons

      Oh thank you, Lisa. That means so much to me!

  4. Caroline Starr Rose

    So, so amazing you were able to be a part of StoryCorp with your grandmother! It is such a beautiful idea — to gather stories and show how every life has value and depth and meaning.

    • Katie Clemons

      I think I pinch myself regularly for that opportunity!

  5. Shelly

    In the continuing process of raising eleven children, it is enough for me to see them living life and finding their own relationship with the Lord to know that, despite my insecurities, I’ve done well.

  6. Franziska

    I love stories. I love how they can bring us closer together. How they can teach us without preaching to us. And how easy we remember those stories.
    Thank you for this beautiful post!

  7. Alissa

    This week, I have been reading some wonderful stuff on the Hebrew meaning behind Proverbs 31. Eshet Chayil! While many christian interpretations of that passage make it seem like a list of all this things a woman should/must do in order to be virtuous, the hebrew understanding is much more about celebarating the WOMEN OF VALOR that we already are… just by being who we are and doing what we do. After reading this post by Rachel Held Evans, I feel like I should be shouting “Eshet Chayil!” to all the women in my life.
    http://momastery.com/blog/2013/04/08/eshet-chayil-woman-of-valor-or-how-i-learned-the-hebrew-equivalent-of-carry-on-warrior/

    So – to you Katie: Well written. We matter. Eshet Chayil!

  8. Eva

    I’ve just started working on a blog post about this, which is a lovely coincidence. Every journal I’ve ever kept has many pages ripped out of it because of the extreme self consciousness I felt when rereading it and my family still doesn’t know that I write a (small) blog because I’m not comfortable being ‘raw’ in front of them. It’s something I’m working on 🙂

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