by Monique Muhammad It is time, Sisters. It is time that we climb out of the abyss of poor self-worth and make the trek to the top of civilization- where we belong and where we have always longed to be. It is time that we lock arms in unity (regardless of ideology and religious beliefs), and save our cousins, nieces, daughters, granddaughters, and the little girls in our neighborhoods from falling victim to the same madness that caused generations before them so much pain. It is time that we command the love, respect and honor of our men with the power of our own Divine Value, simply and profoundly being who God created us to be. It is time that we know and live our worth. On this journey, these are a few of the lessons that we must learn: 1. Physical beauty doesn’t guarantee having self-worth, but knowing and living our worth is certainly very beautiful. Some of the world’s most proclaimed “beauties” admit to having low self-esteem and very unfulfilled lives. Society has made us equate value with other people’s perception of our attractiveness. Look at some of the past and present cosmetic ads that perpetuate the lie that women are “worth it” only if they wear a certain product. Today, we must know we are valuable, not because the world thinks so, because God made it so. Finding our connection to God accentuates our natural beauty. As the scripture teaches, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) 2. We cannot find our true worth by being envious, jealous and hateful toward another woman. Imagine someone finding a buried treasure chest. When he or she opens it, the beauty contained within is awesome! There are so many jewels and precious stones! And each one is breathtaking in its own right. The diamond is not trying to outshine the pearl; the emerald is not concerned with the brilliance of the ruby. They were each fashioned a special way, and together, show forth the handiwork of a marvelous Creator. Love, respect and polish the jewel in the treasure chest with you, and know that together, we are all invaluable to God. 3. Our mistakes do not define us; God uses them to guide us on the journey to find who we are. Don’t let anyone, including self, sentence you to a life of mediocrity and misery based on your imperfections. Just as we have to learn to see God’s Plan in the most painful of experiences, we must be able to see God in ourselves even when we stumble. Our value in God’s Eyes doesn’t waver. It is consistently the same, and our assignment, our ordained journey, is to see ourselves as He does. So, you fell, and other people saw? Did they also see you get up, brush yourself off, dry the tears and keep moving? What they just witnessed was God working through you. Know your worth. I am not writing this reflection as a woman who has arrived; I am on the journey with all of my sisters. I struggle but remain determined to reach the goal. Let us make a vow to stay the course to self-worth and tell ourselves and each other every day: I am worth it, she is worth it, and we are worth it!