The Ribbon of Worth idea began late one evening in September 2012 with a day-dream. In the dream my mind was mulling over the image of a woman who had lost her worth. Who knows what caused it. Maybe she was in an abusive relationship and had grown to accept it. Or she could have lost hope for herself after losing a loved one to an illness. Perhaps she had lost a job she held dear and was emotionally run down and stuck in uncertainty, wondering if she could make a difference again. Maybe she had a troubled family dynamic that was wearing her down. There are many ways she may have lost herself. She had forgotten the inherent value she possessed in being who she was. She may have forgotten her humanity. This could happen to anyone.
This day dream planted a seed. I kept on contemplating this idea of worth and wondered, for people like this woman, where does their sense of worth go? In her case, was it gone? Was it there but unavailable or hard to uncover because of all the emotional pain and suffocation? In counseling sessions previous to this daydreaming, I faced head-on the challenge of helping people just like this, women who seemed to have lost their self-worth. The look on their faces told various stories of personal pain and loss. The loss was universal and tragic to witness.
As I surveyed the images of these people from counseling sessions in my mind, I wondered what worth would look like if it weren't invisible. I conjured a moving mental image of a woman freely telling her heartfelt story. She was feeling unworthy and confused. Worst of all, she felt like she was less-than. She deserved to feel like she was enough, even more than enough. I visualized her life story as an elegant and intricate tapestry with thousands of threads and ribbons woven around her, safely caressing her. One thing was different: a lone ribbon had unraveled and fallen away from her. It was dangling and separate, dragging on the ground under her feet. The words and realization that captured the essence of both her pain and her opportunity: this was her Ribbon of Worth! Her sense of worth had become dislodged…and it was this that needed to be recovered and brought back to the fabric of her being and be once again part of her unique and beautiful wholeness.
The Ribbon of Worth is not like the rest of the fabric and threads that hold us together; it’s the most powerful and unifying ribbon we have. While it usually is taken care of and assumed as part of us in our early lives, we often lose sight of it or simply stop taking care of it. We let it fall away from near our hearts and let it fall to the ground, never noticing what we are losing. We let others trample on it too, sometimes by mistake….sometimes on purpose. Through the years in my practice I have had a growing sense that this is a prevalent condition in many who don’t realize what has happened to them. I also have felt certain that this important ribbon, this worth, could and should be restored because it is a central component of a healthy and loving being. Sometimes all that is needed is a caring voice of support and help, to return someone’s lost worth to their core being. Combined with these fundamental elements I came to believe that supporting and restoring self-worth is a worthy calling. I could dedicate my effort at work, home, and in my life. This was my own dream awakened…and my own worth affirmed.
So, I sat up in bed that day and pulled my laptop open and began to put into words the images in my mind. The idea for the Ribbon of Worth community emerged. It is a place dedicated to making visible the erosion of self-worth. Beyond this, in every heart that has been broken, devalued, and lost to be understood, restored, and felt deeply.
This is the story of this online community and why it exists today. It is a pleasure to serve the higher purpose of remembering personal worth. Its creation is dedicated to anyone who has suffered and felt unworthy of belonging.
Thanks for sharing in our purpose and please….remember your worth!