What Both My Very Wise Grandmothers Once Told Me About Knowing Your Worth- And I Never Forgot It!

“Love is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably shit.”

~ Unknown ~

I just finished a romance novel about forbidden love. It took me back to a conversation with both my grandmothers when I was a teenager and before I even started dating. I was only fourteen, yet I was old enough to understand every word they told me.

Having both grown up during the Great Depression and been daughters of farmers, my grandmothers only had fifth-grade and seventh-grade educations, yet they were geniuses in common sense and street smarts!

As they sat together, sipping coffee and having just finished a card game, my maternal grandmother told me the story of how my grandfather cheated on her many times but only dropped the other woman in the end. She also told me how she ended up divorcing him. After she told me the story, these were her words:

“Never, ever have an affair with a married man because you only settle for second place when you do, sweetheart. You decrease your value as a woman when you go with another woman’s husband- you cheapen yourself. Wouldn’t you rather find your own husband and be his one and only?”

Naturally, my answer to that question was an emphatic “YES!”

She continued:

“When a woman dates a married man, she decreases her worth as a woman- and she does it immensely. She is reduced to the lowest common denominator. She lives on the fantasy and false promise that the man will leave his wife for her. In most cases, he doesn’t. She only waits, with bated breath, wasting her valuable time on someone who doesn’t deserve her love let alone his wife’s. Philanderers don’t change. And if he does leave his wife and marries the mistress, he’ll only eventually cheat on her too. When you have an affair with a married man, you sell yourself short. You set yourself up for a huge letdown later. You deserve to have someone who isn’t already committed and who you can call your own.”

“That’s right.” My paternal grandmother agreed. Then she began to speak.

“And never ever throw herself at a man, or worse- crawl up behind someone who doesn’t want you. I see a lot of young girls in your age group doing this and the only thing it does is make them look desperate. And the guys they chase only get an ego rush from it, them sit back with the buddies and laugh at the girl behind her back. Now, I know you haven’t begun dating yet, but I want to let you know now, so that you’ll avoid these pitfalls when you do begin to date.”

As my paternal grandmother, a widow, spoke her words, I listened attentively and my maternal grandmother nodded in agreement as she looked at me with those beautiful, wide, but serious eyes.

Now before I go on, I realize that times have changed since I was a young girl and that I may offend a few “woke”people out there who may accuse me of using stereotypical gender roles and such. However, this is the conversation we had. So, for those of you who are thinking about sending me a flamer about how “politically incorrect” this post sounds and that I should be more “gender neutral,” do not!

Don’t waste both your time and mine by trying to “school” me on the unwritten rules of identity politics because I’m not interested! This post isn’t about identity politics.

What it is about is a conversation between me and my grandmothers thirty-five years ago, and how it positively impacted me. It’s also about knowing your worth as a person and the importance of self-value, which, sadly, is in short supply in people these days.

Getting back to the subject, my grandmothers sure knew what they were talking about. They were two of the smartest and socially savviest women I knew. God rest their souls, I considered them life-geniuses! They were both masters at human nature and the hidden motivations and intentions of people!

Our little talk really made an impression on me that day.

I never forgot that conversation and continued to live by it.

The small town I lived in back then was a very Peyton place. I can’t count the stories I’ve heard of the many local people who dabbled in such relationships. No wonder the vast majority of the people in Oakley, TN were such miserable and bitter souls.

My point to the above story is that no matter what relationship you choose, heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, you should always know your worth. You should value yourself enough not to even begin a relationship with someone who’s already taken. Know that there are always better options.

I say this not to judge anyone, but to convince them to see that they’re worth so much more than they think- more than being a side-partner to some creepy toad who doesn’t value women, (or some shameless strumpet who takes men for granted).

The same goes for men who have affairs with married women or settle for fem-toads who either don’t value them or who cheat on them. You must start treating yourselves better!

When you date someone who’s already in a marriage or committed relationship, you set yourself up to play second fiddle. To be okay with lapping up someone else’s sloppy seconds? Yuck! Why would you settle for that pathetic crap?

Here’s something else I’ll bet you haven’t thought of. If you have an affair with someone else’s romantic partner, you might as well be wearing their underwear! Egads!

If you don’t learn to value and be true to yourself, how do you expect a potential partner to value and be true to you?

You value yourself by getting absolutely clear on what you will not settle for and what you won’t tolerate. You value yourself by avoiding such partners who are known for cheating on their significant others. You also value yourself by avoiding any toxic person, commanding respect, and being selective of friends and even choosier of dating and romantic partners.

Know that you deserve so much more. You deserve to be one and only in someone’s life and that should be non-negotiable. Anything less than that is unacceptable!

Loving Yourself Means Loving EVERYTHING That is You

It means loving every single part of yourself that you can do nothing about. What it doesn’t mean is loving some things about yourself and either hating or being ashamed of other parts. It means loving yourself completely- your entire self and all that you are- loving your whole being.

Whether you’re rich, poor, or middle-class, embrace it. It’s a part of who you are. Whether you’re Black, White, Hispanic, Jewish, or any other race, never be ashamed of it! Embrace it and love it because it too is a part of you.

Whether you have brown eyes, blue eyes or green; dark, red, or blonde hair; dark or light skin- love those things. Those are also a part of you.

Love your nationality, your country, your state, community, and neighborhood because they too make up the person that is you. Whether you are American or Japanese, British, or Indian, love and take pride in those things about you. Whether you’re from Texas, New York, or Nova Scotia, love those things too. Take pride in and love yourself, no matter your heritage!

Also, accept your past and be okay with it. If you grew up poor and made it out, don’t be ashamed. Be proud of it because it’s a testament to how far you’ve come. If you grew up in an abusive household, own that too because it’s proof that you survived and overcame. The same goes if you were once a drug-addict or alcoholic but now sober. Be not ashamed of those things, for those are things you’ve triumphed over. Even if you have a past of crime and imprisonment and have turned your life around, see it as evidence of how far you’ve come and use it to teach others.

Love yourself no matter your weight, height, or whether you have freckles, glasses, or braces- they too are the building blocks of you. If you’d like to change them and can change them, by all means, change them.

Lose weight if you like, get contacts if you don’t like the glasses, and look forward to beautiful teeth once those braces come off. That’s perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to become what you feel would be a better version of yourself.

But love the things you can’t change about yourself. Embrace yourself. Even better, celebrate yourself. Know that each of us is perfectly made, flaws and all!

Know that how you look, your past, your weight, height; eye, hair, and skin color; race, nationality, creed, upbringing, orientation, religion, values- each are the building blocks that make up the whole you. The only thing you should judge yourself on is your character.

So, if you know in your heart that you are a good person and have love to offer others, love yourself too. And do it for all that you are.

Remember that when it all comes down, no person is better than another. See yourself as neither superior nor inferior, but just as good as the next person. You are you and you love it!

Accept yourself

Love yourself

Believe in yourself

Take care of yourself

Know your value and your worth

Know that you are worthy of the best life has to offer!