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You are more than the chicken soup you make

No one in my family likes to eat my chicken soup. I made a fresh batch of soup today. It is simmering on the stove right now. No one ate it except for me.



When I cook for my family, the food is like a gift. A present.

And when no one wants to eat my soup, I feel like they don’t like the present I made.  That somehow I made a mistake, or I am not a good mother. I am not a good person. I am flawed.

The first idea for the title was –  Don’t tie your self-worth to your chicken soup. But, I already started a story with “don’t” this month, and I don’t want to be bossy.

Is your self-worth tied to your chicken soup?

I know my self-worth should not tied to how much people want to eat my chicken soup. I know better. Really I do.

Why would my self-worth feel tied to the approval rating of my chicken soup? Maybe I have seen too many food commercials on television where everyone smiles and everyone wants to eat the mother’s cooking. Or maybe it is all the magazine articles I have read about perfect families. The stories where they only write about how good the mother cooks and  never about the chicken soup no one wants to eat. Or maybe I have seen too many perfect pictures of pretty soup on instagram. 

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings

And once we believe in ourselves, we can risk making chicken soup and not take it personally if no one wants to eat it. Thank you E.E. Cummings for that bit of wisdom. 


Are you trying to make perfect chicken soup?

Do we have to be perfect to be loved? Should we try to please all of the people all of the time? Does everyone have to love our  chicken soup?

“Perfectionism is a shield that we carry with a thought process that says this, ‘If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize feeling shame, blame, and judgement.”
― Brené Brown

You are more than the chicken soup you make.

Lets put down our shields. Lets put down our shields of perfection. We can be ourselves. Our self-worth does not have to be tied to our chicken soup. Embrace your life and your chicken soup. Let people make up their own minds about what they want to eat. They are liking or not liking the soup. Not you.

Believe in yourself

Your self-worth is not tied to what you make or do or say.
You are not your soup.
You are not your songs.
You are not your paintings.
You are not your cake.
You are not your pot roast.
You are valuable just as you are.

It doesn’t matter if no one wants to eat your chicken soup, or sing your songs, or look at your paintings, or eat your cake or your pot roast.

Your soup doesn’t define you. What you make doesn’t define you.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”— Lao Tzu

Believe in yourself. Soup is only soup.  And you, you are a person. A person who is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Tonight I am going to make a pot roast. And if no one wants to eat it, it doesn’t reflect on my value as a person. I am a person. And the soup is soup.

I will eat the pot roast and they can have cold cereal.

Do you tie your self-worth to the food you make? Or the songs you write? Or the art you create?

Please let me know in the comments or reply directly to this email. I love to talk to you.




About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Yes I try to make really good Chicken soup. Except i do not eat chicken .

  • rick

    Don’t do it. Not Don’t but really as so you put so graciously not to don’t but I try to reflect as I view see or interpret what is I can express. And all can see what it is they can see view interpret or enjoy. But mine enjoyment too reflect the perception. good article. thanks.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Pamela, Pamela, Pamela, you make the BEST chicken soup in the whole world, I know because I’ve eaten it. Can’t wait for your next visit, then you can make it at my house. Just talking about it makes my mouth water!!! Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior just because they don’t know how to savour your culinary skills……………Mom

  • Pat Meyers

    Hey Pamela — great article! I don’t tie my self-worth to my cooking any more. My husband loves my cooking more than anyone else’s. But my writing … that is a different story. (Ha! writing joke.) That I need to remember is not a litmus test of my worth. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hello Pat,
      Thank you! I think my husband might love my cooking more if I had more variety. I have been making the same recipe for twenty-five years.
      Your right, or write. Your writing is not a litmus test of your worth. No matter what reviews you get, you are always amazing.