Revealing the “M” Word

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I think we can all agree that $100 is a fairly large sum of money. If you had $100 on you, you’d probably want to put it in your pocket, a drawer, a safe, or the bank—somewhere safer than out in the open.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago—how much we value money. How, with money, we want to keep it hidden and safe so that others cannot take it from us without our permission. We value money and we think things that cost a lot of money are valuable as well.

This may seem like an obvious statement, and I suppose it is. But after thinking about the way we treat money and how we take care of it, I started wondering about myself.

How much do I think I am worth?

I’m pretty sure I am worth more than $100. As a matter of fact, there is no way to put a price on who I am, because I am so valuable. I am priceless.

So if I am worth more than all that money I’d put in the bank if I had it in my hands, then the question I must ask myself is this: what measures do I take to protect myself like I would protect that money?

Now I don’t mean I want to go lock myself up in a safe. That would be… extreme. And creepy. And dangerous. And, well, weird.

I started thinking about who I am, and what I think I am worth. I am worth a lot. I don’t want to just give myself away. This is when I came to the realization that giving myself away starts with something very simple: the “M” word. Modesty.

I know; it’s summertime. That word is being thrown around all over the place. You’re probably sick of hearing about it. I know whenever I see that word I think “ah gosh, here we go again, someone is going to tell me how to dress. C’mon, it’s HOT out!”

I’ve been there before. I’ve worn the little tank tops and shorty shorts and skirts. Sometimes I still want to wear certain clothes that I shouldn’t wear. That’s usually when I ask my housemate what she thinks about my outfit and she will tell me honestly if it’s ok or not. Then I have to retreat and change if I don’t get the ok. Having an accountability partner to check out your clothes is a really good place to start. I know that might sound trivial, but they can see a 360 degree view of you that you can’t see in the mirror, and because they love you, they will be looking out for your best interests and giving you advice because they care about you as a person.

But why is it so important to be modest? What’s really the big deal? A lot of people will tell you that it’s not a big deal—that less is more.

Less is more. But not in the sense that our world today tells us it is.

Revealing less of you preserves more of yourself.

Someone once said this about revealing ourselves with our wardrobe:

“Dress should be revealing. It should reveal the person, in his or her sense of values, of interior worth. Dress that over-reveals the body hinders the discovery of the person, of one’s real self—if there is any real self that remains worth showing.”

If we reveal more, we give the impression we’re worth less.

What are you worth?

That is what modesty comes down to. That’s what the “M” word is really all about. It’s why we are told that modesty is important—not because we want to have a million rules and make you cover up and never show yourself to anyone—but because it relates to who you are as a person. You are a whole person, not just a sum of parts.

Immodest dress makes parts of our body objects. It disconnects pieces of us from our whole. We begin to lose sight of ourselves as whole persons who are valuable and lovely. We start to see just legs or tummies. When we wear clothes that are more revealing we often start to lose focus on what, or perhaps I should say who, exactly we are revealing. We may think we’re just accentuating a certain body part, but then that part can become the focus of those around us. It becomes the only thing that is seen. It separates a part of us from our whole.

What does modesty really tell us? Sharing too much of yourself is selling yourself short.

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ashAshley Ackerman is the daughter of two amazing parents, and older sister to two ridiculously cool siblings. She works as a high school teacher, and feels most like herself when she’s sharing her wisdom with her students. Occasionally, Ashley speaks about femininity and womanhood at various events, as well as writes super wordy blogs on her personal blog. She holds three college degrees because she couldn’t make up her mind for life at age 18, 22, or 23 (#reallifelessons). You can read more of Ashley’s blog posts by visiting her personal blog ackergirl.blogspot.com.

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