It was a Sunday. I was visiting with my dad.  He was sitting in “his” chair and watching the game.  As I rose off the sofa to get a cup of coffee, he asked me to stop for a second.  This was unusual for two reasons:

1. He talked to me right in the middle of a football play (never happens) and

2. He said it softly with no demand in his voice, which was a bit unsettling.  He had something to tell me.

He began, “I don’t want to interfere in your life and I feel happy that I am able to observe as much of it as you currently allow me.  I feel that you know a lot about who you are and that you have a pretty good grasp on things.  [Yes, he truly does speak like this.]  However, I want to make sure you’re on track with… dealing with men.” [This is where I held my breath... A thousand things raced through my mind... I prayed that my dad was NOT going to talk to me about sex... I paused and looked up at him.]

He continued, “Remember what you are worth.”

The tone in my father’s voice when he said this almost caused me to cry.  He was so sincere and I could tell that this had been on his mind for awhile.  I wanted to leap across the room and hug him but I stayed put and continued to listen.

The talk continued on with my dad elaborating on his view of my “worth”.  I won’t go into the specific nuances of that and bore you, but I would rather share the basics of what he had to say because, frankly, a lot of young women forget what they’re worth and today it took my father to remind me.  So maybe he can also remind you.  Some of the finer points of his 30 minute directive.

1. Remember what makes you special and do not alter it. We each possess things that are unique.  If someone does not see it or is uncomfortable with it, do not attempt to force them to see it and do not change it.

2. If you’re busy, be busy. If you’re occupied with something or someone else, stay occupied.  If you made plans, do not change your plans for someone who has not taken the time (or showed you the respect) to make plans with you in advance.

3. A lot of men are immature. Age has nothing to do with this.  Look at the company he keeps.  If they are immature, then it is highly likely that he is also immature.  Do not expect an immature man to treat you with maturity.

4. Stay firm in your beliefs and morals. They have gotten you this far and held you together.  Remember that.

5. A person who is insecure may not be able to handle your security. Do not downplay your confidence or drive to make a man more comfortable.  Move on and find someone up for the challenge.

6. Another person’s issues/current life situation are not your responsibility. Do not make excuses for them based on this.  Everyone goes through hard times.  Compassion and empathy are beautiful things and if you have the strength to employ them and not lose yourself in the other person’s burdens, then do so.  If they begin to drag you down or show disregard for you and your life, it’s time to jump ship.

7. Demand respect. Demand it with your behavior, the way you dress, the way you speak, the way you interact with others, and know how you want to be treated.

8. If you are treated poorly by someone it is because you have let them treat you poorly. Take responsibility for the way you are treated by others.

9. The way you treat others is HOW you will be treated. Everything runs its course so make sure you influence what is coming your way in a positive direction.

10. Listen to your father. This was my favorite point.  My dad and I disagree often, but we do it because of our strong personalities {I totally inherited my nature from him} and our even stronger love for one another.  If you don’t have a father, or you have a poor relationship with your father, then at least take the advice from mine.  I’m willing to share.  I hate to admit it… but he knows what he’s talking about.

Remember: you’re worth it.

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