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Give yourself permission to make mistakes and to learn along the way. What matters is your presence, not your perfection.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back in the mirror of another human being.”
― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

What is my worth?
Am I worthy of love?
We often wonder what our worth is.
This is a crucial question for every human being. Each of us, to a different degree, questions what our own value is. Every interaction with the outside world is an opportunity to measure our worth to ourselves and to others. We seek validation from other people. We need it. It is rare to say that anyone is above this need and that they are truly free enough not to worry about the judgement of others. This is because as humans we are social beings, identity and belonging are vitally important to us. A negative judgement implies abandonment, loneliness and ultimately death.

“In order to survive our youth, many of us became sensitized to which conditions we had to play to, to receive attention. No wonder we mistook this attention for love. We thought love came in finite quantities – it had to be competed for among siblings, or it had to be paid for with exacting dues.” — Maureen Brady

While growing up, children may not get the unconditional love they deserve. Occasionally, they may be abandoned and neglected by important people in their lives, and as a survival strategy, children may engage in behaviors subject to arbitrary conditions to gain approval and therefore love and protection. These strategies make us wear a behavioral mask, which guarantees us the affective belonging to a group that is vital to us. This mechanism becomes automatic as adults grow up to be perfectionists, hypercritical, insecure, distrustful, fragile, unhappy.

“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” — Lady Bird Johnson

“Yesterday I conformed to please the people. They cheered for me and applauded so loud that their hand claps sounded like an ocean about to consume me. But I was not happy. It felt like I had thrown away my heart to please the world. Their cheers felt empty, and the ocean was no longer beautiful. The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.”
— Rita Mae Brown

Video art by Cottonbro Studio, St Petersburg – Russia
Additional video credits: Alessio Ferrari – Italy
Video editing: GOLD MASS

Foto di Juri Gey Ronzoni, Estéban Puzzuoli, Giuseppe Flavio Pagano, Daniela Ferrari, Dafni Planta | WebDesign Ivan Ricotti