self-care / part 6: knowing your worth

self-care series
((part six of eight))

- your worth is beyond numbers -

each night i lay in the dark, desperate for sleep and instead of counting sheep i count calories. as the tally racks up, i berate myself for being born as a living creature who needs food for survival. 

each morning i carry my corpse to the scale, barefoot on the cold glass i watch the numbers spin. it's gone up .2 and suddenly its harder to hold myself up, as though the weight is added to a bag on my back. 

i unlock my phone and open each social media app one by one. i've dropped a follower and my photo likes are nothing compared to hers.

subconsciously i add up these numbers and feel the punch of a stamp on my chest. the total number labels me and everyone can see it glowing in the dark. 

hi i'm 325, nice to meet you. 

i catch myself, repeat the number, trying to correct myself until i'm finally able to say my name. 

this is a problem that i believe plagues every person at some time in their life. from age to weight to net worth we're surrounded by numbers. it's easy to find your worth in them. 

this is something i've struggled with ever since i can remember. as i've been working to shift my focus from self-hatred to self-care, i've become increasingly aware of my daily struggle with self-esteem. i've let the voices of the media make themselves at home in my heart. they tell me that no one will like me if i'm not thin enough, if i'm not pretty enough, if i'm not wealthy enough. and the expectation is practically unmeetable. 

as i work to capture these negative thoughts as they happen, i am trying to replace them with positive ones. i must believe in my heart that i am worth loving. and it's not easy. 

i imagine that i'm not alone in this struggle. that i'm not the only person out there who has tried to find my self-worth in these temporary things. if you're with me in this, i hope you know how wonderful you are. i hope you know that your spirit is so strong and your life holds so much more meaning than the shapes and numbers that you hold onto. you can leave a legacy of love and acceptance, but this starts with you. 

you must dig out the hurtful thoughts by the roots. don't let them back in. look in the mirror and say 'i love you.' tell yourself that you're worth is found in the lives you touch, the joy you bring to those around you, the warmth you give. these things can't be measured in numbers. tell yourself that there are galaxies within you, a unique beauty that only you can give.

it may not be easy. it may be something that we fight for every day, but i know that it'll be worth the fight.

we're in this together. 



Listening to:


  1. Thank you for sharing this and telling us we aren't alone. I've recently starting blogging, and though I try my hardest not to, I find my self judging the worth of my writing by the number of views, comments or likes. I know I shouldn't but I guess that's the world we live now. You have touched so many hearts through the beautiful work that you do. I hope you know how wonderful and inspiring you are and the find the inner peace you deserve, stay strong
    Karlena x

  2. Thank you so much for this one, Ashley. This one in particular really hit deep. So I just wanted to say how thankful I am that there are people like you in this dark world, who at least try to see the good and share it with others, even though you are constantly struggling as well. Thank you for starting this loving blog that helps so many of us and you. Thank you for being you. ♥ We're all in this together.

  3. Also I hope you're enjoying yourself in Europe! ��

  4. You know, I have (and still do) struggle with those things. Then there are expectations closer to home than the media. How family members expect us to be in order to have value. People can be cruel, and harsh words can linger for an infinite amount of time.I had to learn to measure the truth of the words spoken by the character of the ones who spoke them. I was told in these actual words that I am "the most worthless human being". And I let that sink me for a long time. But I realised that their opinion was just that. An opinion. By people I can't even respect. So I am actively working to swim out of that tar pit of self hatred. Life isn't easy. But I have found that beauty truly can be found even in the muck. I think you are so damn brave. Baring all these inner struggles take such courage. You have a bright beautiful soul.

  5. Ashley, thank you so much for this blog post. I didn't know how much I needed it until now. I've been struggling with really hating myself for a few years now. Up until the point where I don't want to wear anything nice, and never have my picture taken because I just believed I was so much uglier and chubbier than anyone else. I couldn't look in the mirror without grimacing at how I perceived myself. I didn't allow myself to love who I was, or let other people love me.
    But a few days ago, I passed a mirror and for a split second I thought "i am kinda pretty how God made me". And even though that doesn't sound like a huge step, it was for me. I'm slowly learning to love myself for who I am, and this blog post really helped me. Thank you so much.

  6. Hi Ashley,
    I came across your blog randomly. I follow your brother on instagram, and have for a long time in response to being a fan of he and Tyler's work with twentyone pilots. However, I am grateful it lead me to your writing. Tonight in particular is a harder night than usual. I find demons creeping into my brain and I wasn't quite able to get them to stop until I stumbled upon the thought of your blog.

    It's all hard to wrap up my reasons why I feel the way I feel, but I am going to try for the sake of getting ride of these thoughts by typing them out.

    For the past nine months I lived in Orlando, Florida. I moved there for a college internship with the Disney company as a performer. The soul purpose of moving there was because I had never moved before. I have grown up in Scottsdale Arizona, and have lived here my entire life. It was time to reevaluate my life and make change for myself. I needed perspective on life and felt the only way to do this was by moving. I am constantly feeling as if I am one of the most self conscious people. But than I look at my life and I KNOW that I am surrounded and liked by so many people, so why do I feel this way? Moving to Florida was so good for me. I learned so much. I overcame so many of those insecurities.

    The nine months went by fast, and before I knew it, it was time to fly back to Arizona. I haven't been home since I left in August. I was scared for a few different reasons. One, I want people to recognize how much I have changed, and I am scared that they won't. I am also terrified of going back to my old ways. I have come so far with my insecurities, I can't imagine going back.

    Tonight is day three of being home In Arizona, and I didn't realize how insecure i was until coming home. All of those insecurites have flooded back to my heart, and I hate it. How do I reapply what I leanred and conquered in Florida? Was I not as insecure because of the people I met? Because I was busy? Because I had a job that so many people wanted? As I sit here alone on my bed, I am processing a lot of things. One, I still have not graduated from college. Most of my friends graduated this year, and I stayed with the Disney company just one extra semester, which made it so that I would not graduate at the same time as my other classmates. Two, I see so many people getting married, or successfully overcoming life milestones. What do I have to show for life in the past year? I worked as a performer for the last nine months at Disney, while going into the parks most days to just play. I feel as if I have done nothing. I am also insecure by the relationship of a boy I once had deep feelings for. Watching him at home, and on his way to move to New York at the end of the summer to pursue a serious career has me feeling all sorts of negative ways. It's very hard to explain this feeling, which is why I am wondering why I bother typing this all out to a stranger. But It seems easy to try to let my emotions flow out.

    I suppose through this comment I am trying to remind myself of the self love you are encouraging me to pursue after for myself. Every single person takes different paths, and it's okay that mine is different. Most people are too self centered to care what another persons path is. This boy that I am insecure about doesn't even care about me to think about how my life is going anyway, so why even bother what he thinks when he isn't thinking of me at all? And I am not a failure for not finishing school. As long as I continue to work hard, and continue toward the goals of passions, I know it will all be okay.

    I am glad to know that I am not alone. I thank you for pouring out your heart through this blog. I needed these words tonight.

    -Kristina Capra

  7. hello, i've been fighting this battle for a few years now and it's an everyday job, to me, it's so hard to even recieve a compliment, I really hope all of us can truly understand how valuable we are.

    have a nice weekend x

  8. Just coming across these. Thank you. <3

  9. Your writing is so powerful that as i was reading, i could feel each word shaking my heart so much so that tears started to run down my cheeks. I said the words, "i love you" and "you are worthy" which i've never really said out loud to myself before but it felt good. Giving myself the encouragement and love that i give to others is something i need to practice and you helped me realize this. You truly are an amazing human being and this earth is lucky to have you. Thank you Ashley <3

  10. I must say that the article is very touching and breathtaking.. I like to read such publications. Well, wish you lots of inspiration and power to continue this deal.