Yesterday, I was able to observe quite the exchange on facebook. A fellow intuitive and colleague, Sharon Pugh, made a post on FB letting her friends, clients and fans know that she does not give away her sessions for free. She explained that she uses her gifts to generate income to support herself, and she does not work for free. Most people go to work in order to earn a paycheck; she does too.
In my opinion, I think she was frustrated after receiving yet another request for free services by someone with a hardship story. She asked people to stop sending her these stories because she simply can’t give away her services, and she honestly feels that her fees are reasonable, and she provides her clients with more than enough value for the cost.
And let the drama and conflict ensue. . .
Yes, these statements made by Sharon created near instant reactions from others – both favorable and unfavorable.
Let’s begin with the favorable:
Several other intuitives, myself included, applauded Sharon for knowing and asserting her value. It was refreshing to see someone say “I’m worth it and I am not going to de-value myself to make you happy.”
A few clients chimed in to say that they couldn’t place a price tag on the value of the guidance they received from Sharon. I read one comment about a family who had lost a child and could only begin to heal after a reading with her.
Now for the unfavorable:
These people were far louder. They were offended. Even angry.
How dare Sharon have healthy self esteem? How dare she know and assert her value? And the icing on the cake: Sharon said that she was a “gem.”
Oh boy – evidently, saying “I’m a gem” is minimally some type of faux pas and at the max, these may well be fighting words.
I immediately thought back to similar posts I’ve seen written by male mediums and spiritual teachers. And I can honestly say, the reaction to them was mostly positive. They were praised for having confidence and displaying leadership. Afterall, if “Joe” could stand up and say “I’m very good at what I do and I am well worth every cent I charge,” then he is giving each of us permission to do the same.
So why was it different for Sharon, a female medium?
We have different standards for men and women. I really don’t even have to cite sources here. Just google the difference in pay standards between men and women and you will see that women earn about 77 cents on the dollar to her male counterpart.
A constitutional amendment (the 19th) had to be passed in order for women to have the right to vote. Our bodies are often legislated and our voices are often seen as more emotional than intelligent.
Look at politics: When a man runs for office, people discuss his ideas and platforms. When a woman runs, people discuss her face, her clothes or her family.
I recently came across this real estate agency advertisement:
One the left side is a working mom. She has her kids hanging all over her in a messy house and is obviously disheveled and pulled in many directions. Overwhelmed and Scattered.
On the right side, there are men in suits, looking professional and confident, ready to make you his sole focus.
Look, this isn’t an issue of men vs women. This is an issue of humanity and our growth and evolution. We must all work together to bring fairness and equality into our consciousness.
Why is it a trigger when a woman knows and asserts her value? Why is it okay for a man? But not a woman?
Some people may argue that they don’t think it’s okay for either gender to speak of value, but why?
Why is it objectionable?
There was one gentleman in particular that saw her post as arrogant.
Honestly, I think he should have been asking himself why he was getting triggered. He was reading things in the post that simply were not there, which pretty much means the post was a mirror, reflecting something back within himself that needs to heal. And mirroring isn’t a bad thing; it’s a gift from spirit. It happens to me all the time. (Just keep reading and you’ll see that I *did* get triggered by Sharon’s post and how I handled it.)
No, she wasn’t arrogant. Arrogant is defined as having an exaggerated sense of importance or abilities. Arrogance is often accompanied with criticizing others, in order to inflate your own ego. Arrogance would be putting others down to help lift yourself up.
Sharon wasn’t arrogant – not at all. She didn’t say “hands down people – I am the absolute best medium in the world and I’m better than x,y, and z.” She didn’t put anyone down. She didn’t compare herself. She didn’t use terms grandiose or a lot of fluffing.
What did she say? She said “I’m a gem and I’m worth my fees.”
That’s not arrogance. That’s simply knowing and stating that you know your own worth and you aren’t going to allow yourself to be devalued.
I fully admit it; when I read Sharon’s post, I was triggered. I immediately thought “I wish I could do that.”
One of my own personal struggles is knowing and expressing my value to others. I was raised in a fundamental church that created a great deal of fear in pride, ego and vanity. So I’ve always been hesitant to own my own value. In the past, I found myself constantly apologizing for charging fees and when I couldn’t justify it enough, I ended up selling myself and my work short. (While writing this blog, I even found an old blog about a similar incident when I tried to explain that I couldn’t give away free sessions either.)
Sharon’s post triggered me. . . but then it inspired me.
But then the backlash nearly made me retreat to my corner. But then I remembered that some time ago, I gave myself permission to see value in both myself and others.
I then reflected on one of my absolute favorite quotes:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So by saying “I’m a gem and I’m worth it,” Sharon was unconsciously giving us permission to do the same. And I am taking her lead.
And I ask you to do the same.
You are a magnificent spirit being. God exists within every cell in your body. Your soul is pure, divine Love and it’s about damn time you saw yourself clearly. If you’re not willing to stand up and say “I deserve happiness, health, love, and prosperity” then how will you ever receive it?
I want you to go look in the mirror and I want you to say: I’m a gem and I’m worth it! (And then Thank Sharon Pugh for the words!)
Seriously though. . .
Let’s stop pretending that downplaying our worth makes us more likeable.
Let’s stop pretending that women have to be unaware or unwilling to own their own value.
And let’s stop pretending that knowing and asserting your value makes you arrogant or uncaring.
Confidence is appealing – for everyone. Confidence is inspiring. And when you step into your power, you may very well trigger others. But what’s more important is that you may very well inspire them to step into their own.
Leslie. . . and I’m also a gem and I’m well worth it.