Your worth is beyond that…You are beyond that…  

As many of you know, I am a graduate student at the University of South Florida (GO BULLS!)
My Master’s program is called Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (RMHC). The Rehabilitation side never seemed like much of an interest to me…in fact, I didn’t even realize what the “R” in RMHC really stood for when I started the program. I was thinking Rehabilitation as in trauma-rehab, not vocational and lifestyle rehabilitation. 
Anyhow, one of the classes I am currently taking is called Career and Lifestyle Assessment. The reason I give you the background is because, as we were learning career development theories, one of the perspectives in particular stood out to me. It is called Happenstance Theory. This perspective suggests that, over one’s life span, chance events can create and/or turn into opportunities for learning and exploring one’s true passion. These revolutionary sparks of opportunity are said to provide momentum for and clarity of one’s true career and lifestyle purposes.
 
Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism and risk taking. There are the five critical skills involved in allowing this perspective to become a reality. Hmmm…


I was always curious, so to speak, why I suffered the way I did. I was always curious why I had to go through the things I did. My curiosity was saying, Why me? My curiosity wanted to find out first hand what life was like when you lived in acceptance, personal acceptance.


I was persistent in my disorder for a long while. Lately, I have been persistent in finding and maintaining acceptance of my physical, emotional and cognitive attributes. Now, I am persistently pursuing a new way to label and think about my previous suffering. My persistence has allowed me to accept my suffering as meant to be because it just so happened to lead me to discovering my passion-driven purpose…


I have learned to be flexible with myself. I have learned to be flexible with my ideals of my physical, emotional and cognitive attributes. I have learned to be flexible with my life and career goals in order to adjust them to mold around my life’s experiences. I am flexibly looking at the opportunities my previous suffering has provided me with in order to think outside of the career box.


I am so optimistic. I am certain that this idea of happenstance is not without an element of fate and divinity. I am optimistic about my previous sufferings now. I am optimistic and proud of what I have been through and overcome. I am SO optimistic that I can and I WILL make a difference. I am optimistic that I will continue to touch lives as I have been told I already have. I am completely positively optimistic and excited.


I am a risk-taker, so I’ve learned… I take risks by speaking up and speaking out; it is risky speaking personally and sharing my stories and testimonies. I took that risk and here I am. I am speaking; well, I am writing and you are reading (Thank you, readers!). I am ready to take more risks. I want to take the risk of dedicating myself to writing a book. I want to take the risk and attempt to start a nation-wide speaking campaign to promote positive body image and an awareness of eating disorders. I want to take the risk as an activist against faux-media advertisements. I want to take the risk of dedicating a part of myself and my life to rid society of thee thin-ideal.


I have been curious, persistent, flexible, optimistic and a risk-taker


But, was it ever happenstance that I suffered from eating disorders and poor body image? Was it happenstance that I suffered and recovered and relapsed to recover again. Was it happenstance that I have, over the last 8-10 years discovered that, with acceptance and faith in myself, I could change. My (irrational) thoughts could change therefore my behaviors and emotions could change. 


I could change…and, change I did. This change, this growth, this self-acceptance and self-love…it could all be yours, too.


Wouldn’t you rather know the world in optimism and pride? Self-acceptance and confidence are yours for the taking. No one but you…no one but YOU can make it happen. No one but YOU can make YOUR recovery happen and stick around. 


Just remember, your weight is NOT your worth. You are entirely too intricate and dignified, transcendent and incredible, mystic and unique to be judged, labeled or defined by a number on a scale or an image in a mirror. Your worth goes way beyond what man-made items can measure or reflect. 


Your worth is beyond that… 


YOU ARE BEYOND THAT!