Dangerous Compassions

how to build self-worth

Hello, reader.  How’s life?  I’ve been thinking about how to build self-worth.

how to build self-worth

sacred and liminal

Ming and I are still mid-move, so my life is in flux.  The in-between-ness is creative: feels sacred and liminal.  It’s a good time to see what I have, consider what I want, and make intentional changes.

Healing and transforming, I need to focus on myself.  Yes, I easily get wrapped up in others and do too much for the orgs, ideals, comrades, and friends that I love.

It’s time for me to build my own self-worth in order to feel stronger and safer.  Interdependence is real– I love relying on Ming and other dear ones.  But I don’t want to rely on others for my self-worth.  I’d like to know on my own that I have value.

So I’m thinking again about how to build self-worth.  I want to be less vulnerable to the manipulation of others.  I want to need less praise / recognition from people who may or may not even understand what I’m on earth to do.

how to build self-worth

Here are the main ways.  All of this I’ve done before, but I’m renewing my vows.

define success in a way that includes me

I’m never going to accomplish what my culture tells me is important.  I don’t work for money, have no kids or grandkids, and I’m not amassing an empire.

I’m a writer, but I have no books.  You and I know that zines are amazing, and blogs can be fun.  But to a lot of people, the things I do are trivial.  My art isn’t hanging in a gallery.  The life that Ming and I share is humble.

Success can’t be quantified.  It isn’t about how much money I make or how many readers I have.  It’s more like– am I using the gifts my ancestor handed to me?  Am I telling the truth, and striving for justice?  I live according to my values, so I am successful on my terms.

This one could be considered a reframe.  In my life, it’s a constant rejection of culture’s lies about what is valuable, and a coming back to what I know in my heart is valuable.  I don’t need to be a rich cis lady with kids and a big house to feel safe and grounded.  I can be exactly who I am.

care for myself

Basics like getting enough sleep, eating delicious foods, movement, showering, washing my hair, cutting my nails, and caring for dry skin areas can help me feel more self-worth.  By caring for my body, I tell myself I have worth.

There’s physical but also mental health.  All the things I do all day to stay well are not optional.  Checking in with my temporary chosen family, gratitude journaling, art, singing, prayer and ritual, radical mental health…

I have sensory issues, so things like washing my hair can be difficult.  But there’s a good payoff for feeling ok about myself.  It’s not about how I look to others, but me telling me I’m worth some effort.


I deserve pleasure to help me know I’m worthy.

  • flowers
  • touch
  • good smells
  • tea
  • delicious foods
  • rest
  • soft clothes
  • pretty colors

I asked Spirit how to care for myself during a difficult time, and I got 9 of cups.  Yes, some pleasure, abundance, and even luxury are not wrong to want.

I’m a dirty anarchist and used to associate pleasure with bougie spoiledness.  I thought of pleasure as expensive excess and associated it with exploitation of capitalism.

I’d like to be more open to pleasure as for all of us.  Many of the good things of life are free or possible to create in our own way inexpensively.  Delicious soup can be from a restaurant or from ingredients our agile friend dumpstered.   Listening to birds chirp and frogs sing is free.  Watching sunrise is free.

surround myself by people who respect and love me

This means friends, partners, family, and the people I live with.  I teach the people around me about my worth.  But they teach me about my worth also.

People who make me feel like shit about myself–I need to stop showing up for them.  I have a friendship priorities list and know how to use it.  Glad I don’t work for money because it’s hard to have a boss who respects and loves you.

feel the love of parent Earth and my ancestors

They are supporting me and cheering for me.  But it can be easy to ignore.  When I pray and do ritual, but any time, I can remember how Parent Earth and my ancestors are caring for me.  Also the sky.

celebrate my triumphs

I tend to make light of my triumphs and accomplishments.  It feels embarrassing to toot my own horn.  But I have done some amazing things.

Ming and I celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary this spring.  I’ve been making zines for 34 years.  I have some websites I believe in that might help people like

Last year I got that certificate in Disability Justice and Accessible Design.  I learned a lot, and I was happy to follow through.

Moving is a big deal.  I’m happy to feel securely housed.

I told the truth in a difficult situation after praying / training for that for almost a year.  Doing therapy and working on my own healing is so much work.  I’m proud that I keep doing that.

Caring for my health is something I’m proud of.  I’ve survived past my life expectancy, depending on how long someone is supposed to live who is autistic with a schizoaffective diagnosis and whatever type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome I have, plus an ACE score of 9.  I’m so glad to be alive.

thank you

Thank you for caring about me and my self-worth, reader.   Do you struggle with this too?

How to build self-worth is important to me because self-worth gives me a steady base to do all the things I need to do.  Like faith, it keeps me strong to help the world.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

3 replies on “how to build self-worth”

I am working on self-worth. It is vital because I live with political, ideological, racist, anti-Asian, anti-queer, anti-climate change, anti-reproductive right, anti-intersectional feminist, ableist, saneist, lookist, ageist, classist, sexist, misogynist, colorist, pro-capitalist bigots and bullies in society on ? Turtle Island.

I spent my whole life trying to gain validation as role as employee, volunteer, girlfriend, fiance, daughter, member of associations or organizations, member of subcultures, member of cultures, member of lifestyle, member of academic institutions, member of family of origin, member of chosen family, the titles I gave myself as poet, performer, writer, artist, sole proprietor of a business, a founder of grassroots organization, event organizer, community builder, and arts organizer, book and author advocate.

The hardest is radical acceptance. Living with integrity and being. Reminding myself that I am safe. Reminding myself I am valid.

Yt cis het patriarchal capitalistic supremacy would like to show that a healthy yt man who owns property, builds and hoardes wealth and power is the epitome of success. Nope that is a colonizer and a oppressor.

My success is defined by my love, freedom, inner peace, inner strength as in fortitude, and holistic well being and the interdependence of all relations may that be habitat, it’s inhabitants, friends, colleagues, associates, peers, etc.

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