If you could finish this sentence, what would you say? My self-worth is defined by…Over the years I have dug deep to the answer to that question. I thought that I was doing it just for my own sake but then I came to the realization that it’s not only best for me to have a strong self-worth but me having a strong value and awareness of myself would then help me show others how I would want to be treated.

I’ve heard the saying of “you show others how you want to be treated,” however, it really started hitting home over the last few years.

What I recognized in the process of defining my self-worth and respect is the importance of creating boundaries – specifically boundaries in our relationships whether it be family, friends or lovers.

I experienced years and years of low self-worth even though I did not know it back then. I thought the dysfunctional behavior I was exhibiting was normal until the red flags started waving frantically and I became FED UP with making the same old mistakes.

I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw, so instead of mopping about it, I made the conscious effort to change it. And I made it my business to never allow anything to come in between my sanity and my self-worth, I would always put that first before anything else.

I noticed that one of my biggest problems was not putting boundaries on people. I would allow people to come into my life and do as they pleased. “Friends” would say cruel things, men would be disrespectful, controlling and out right selfish. Loved ones would pretend to care about my situation only to gossip and say hurtful things behind my back. But how could I love if I barely knew how to love myself? Life was showing me how I truly felt about myself.

Anybody ever been there before?That’s when I started to deal with people the way they are and not the way I would like them to be. As women, we can feel guilty if we ax people out of our lives or as I like to say “check them” because they are loved ones and we care about them, hoping they they will change. But honey, let me tell you this, when people show you who they are BELIEVE THEM. Do not make excuses for the behavior of others. You may not be able to control how other people act but I tell you that you can control what you allow yourself to deal with in your life.

People need to understand consequences for their actions and they need to respect the boundaries that you set in your life. It can be hurtful because sometimes you have to learn to love people from afar.

I made a promise to myself that I would NEVER allow anything to come in between me, my peace and my worth. We are all on the journey to becoming our best selves and I like who I’ve become.

If there is any chaos, unhealthy relationship or dysfunctional behavior in your life then I want you to identify what is it inside of you that thinks that this type of behavior is acceptable? Our lives are mirror images about how we feel about ourselves on the inside. The more you sow your energy into the chaos, unhealthy relationships or dysfunctional behavior then the more you’ll reap from it.

Challenge yourself to do some Spring cleaning on the inside of you. Determine what you will and will not deal with in your life and set those boundaries on people. Live your life courageously for you and not for others. You are worth having the best in this life and that includes relationships with others. Get rid of the fear that tells you that you are not worth better, you my love are priceless! You were created with intention so it’s time to live with that same intention in your life.

Don’t complain about how others treat you if you are not going to do anything about it. They key to a better life is making better choices.


Maria I. Melendez