How can I stop feeling like a nobody?
Originally appeared online in the teen series: Q&A - August 17, 2021.
Q: How can I stop feeling like a nobody?
A: I felt like I was a nobody at my job. When I shared an idea, it seemed like no one listened—like my thoughts and opinions didn’t matter. Like no one cared.
I was the youngest one there, and to me everyone else seemed smarter, funnier, more experienced. I felt they were all better than I was, and I imagined they were even laughing at me behind my back.
I’d been studying Christian Science for a couple of years—after a friend had introduced me to it when I was in high school—and I’d learned that any situation or thought that made me feel bad about myself was one I could challenge with prayer. I wasn’t praying to become as good as everyone else, but I thought that by turning to the books that had been helping me—the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings—I could get a more spiritual view of my circumstances. And at the very least, I might feel a little better if I did.
One passage from Mrs. Eddy’s writings really helped me. She wrote, “Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70). This “niche” is a special position or role in which we can enjoy and share our unique interests and talents. And I was encouraged by that, because I had learned that Mrs. Eddy spoke from experience.
During her life, she’d often been dismissed or ignored, not only because she was a woman, divorced, and sometimes homeless but also because of her ideas. As she read the Bible, she began to see all of reality differently. Mrs. Eddy discovered that what’s real and true about each of us is that we aren’t just human beings, with limitations and flaws. We are God’s own likeness or expression—the likeness of all that is good.
Mrs. Eddy eventually wrote a now-famous book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures; healed hundreds of people; taught Christian healing; and founded a worldwide church, several magazines, and an international daily newspaper. She learned and proved that everyone is a “somebody” in God’s, divine Love’s, universe. We are Love’s own ideas! Every single one of us has something special to give. It is our unique reflection of spiritual qualities that identifies us and establishes our unchangeable worth.
God is the source of everyone’s goodness, so there was nothing to feel jealous about or intimidated by.
Believe it or not, thinking about math was also a huge help. Let’s say someone said to the number four, “You are insignificant. You don’t matter. Let’s just throw you out of the entire system.” What would happen? The whole system would collapse without the number four. That’s how essential each number is.
In the same way, each of God’s ideas is needed to make His entire creation complete, whole. God’s entire universe would collapse without you or me. That’s how needed each of us is.
This must have been why Jesus respected the worth of each person, including those who were oppressed, belittled, rejected, and abused. His understanding of everyone as God’s daughter or son helped those who thought they were nobody see themselves differently. Jesus even made special efforts to reach out to and enjoy meals with Samaritans, who were often treated disrespectfully and thought of as nobodies.
Seeing myself as a valued, distinct, spiritual idea existing in Love—instead of as a mortal limited by age, personality, and human circumstances—was a turning point for me. I began to understand that divine Love, my Father-Mother, knows me and everyone, delights in me and everyone, and approves of me and everyone. I am made of Love’s qualities, which are meant to be shared.
I realized that though my coworkers were brilliant, I could bring love, kindness, and joy to our office, which were also needed. And I began to see that the brilliance I appreciated in my coworkers came from God, too. God is the source of everyone’s goodness, so there was nothing to feel jealous about or intimidated by. From the morning I realized this, I no longer felt that I needed to compete with anyone. And my coworkers began to consider my ideas and appreciate me, too. We were able to work together with mutual respect.
This experience convinced me that being a “somebody” isn’t about having a special set of skills or being better than everyone else. Your worth, my worth, everyone’s worth, is already an established fact, because God made us to express all His wonderful qualities. And that’s why we are all somebodies—and can know it.