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Burnt peas, self-worth and being kind to yourself

I burnt the peas again. I burnt them three times this morning. The first two times, they were just a little burnt. I dumped the peas out of the pan and tried again. The last time, I burnt the bottom of the pan black. I ate my sardines with no peas.


I am worthless. I can’t do anything right. 

My self-worth is based on how well I cook peas. I continually burn my peas in the morning, therefore I am worthless.

If my friend burnt the peas I would say to them, “Hey, it’s okay to make mistakes. Let’s cook some more peas.” Or I might say to them, after I listen and help clean the pot, “Maybe you need a timer, or maybe don’t leave the room while you are cooking.”

Be kind to yourself; we need to treat ourselves like a friend. I need to talk to myself as kind as I would talk to a friend.

Crap, I burnt the peas again. Oh well. I made a mistake, now let’s try again to make peas. 

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

What are you worth?

Remember, we are not the pot of peas. We are not what we make or burn. If we look for validation as a person based on how well we perform we are trying to find stability on sand as the tide is coming in.

Stand on a rock, be whole and complete as yourself. When you burn the peas, sing a note off-key, get a bad review on a book, fall while dancing on stage, or trip while walking, remember who you are. Your value is not based on what you do.


You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I hope you have a wonderful day getting to spend time with yourself, with a friend. Now, to make another pot of peas.

Do you base your self-worth on if you can cook peas without burning them?

Click here to comment. HERE, or just scroll to the bottom of the page if you are on the web-site. I love to hear from you.

p.s. any hints on how not to burn the peas are welcome. 🙂



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

  • Thank you for this reminder to be kind to ourselves. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to ask myself what I would say to someone else in “this” situation. It’s not always easy to follow my own advice!

    My son loves Jerry Lewis and has this quote in his Facebook profile: “You might as well like yourself. Just think of all the time you’re gonna have to spend with you.”

  • Our worth. Livie showed me that our worth is based on who we are, not on what we can do. She was loved simply because she was Livie. Her daddy’s little girl. And I am loved because I am my Father’s daughter. Good reminder, Pamela.

  • La McCoy

    I love peas! We dont eat them here.

    • Hi La McCoy,
      Maybe you can make peas just for yourself. You can make them and eat them, and the rest of the family can eat green beans.
      So nice to hear from you.

      • La McCoy

        Dear Pamela,
        I do sneak in a few frozen one at least once a year.
        I will make more green beans for the choir!
        Thank you. xo.

  • EmFairley

    Good luck! I’m now at 55K and have at least another 40K still to write. I knew it would be longer than last years 67K, but have barely scratched the surface yet, so will be lucky to finish by January lol 😀

  • EmFairley

    Good afternoon, Pamela. Thanks for this. I hope that whatever you chose as an alternate to peas was as delicious as they are.

    My story is now 20 words away from 55k. While for the most part I’ve kept my inner editor at bay, I’ve let her peek out occasionally as I’ve reviewed the previous day’s chapter, but only to add words to it, not take them away. There’s still so much of the story to write and while I’m excited to get it done, I constantly battle the terror of “Am I doing the characters justice,” given that this is their second book?

    I’d hoped to have the first draft completed by Christmas, but being the epic that it is turning into (book 1 is 67K and now published as of Monday), I now realize that it will be done when it is. So in that sense it’s perhaps like peas?

    • Hello Em,
      A raw carrot with sardines isn’t as much fun as peas. I will try again tomorrow with peas after I scrub the pot.
      Wow, your story is almost finished. Are you hesitating to write the last twenty words because you don’t want to say good-bye to your characters yet?
      Hmmm, being like burnt peas, would be being discouraged by your progress. So, being kind to yourself, would be giving yourself grace when the book takes longer to write than you originally thought.
      You are a good friend to me, so you will be a good friend to yourself.

      • EmFairley

        Thanks Pamela. While my story is 20 words away from 55K, it’s still roughly only about halfway there, or maybe a little over that. Having reached 50K on November 22nd, I awarded myself by taking 6 days off, and although I didn’t write any more, I did a lot more outlining for what’s left. As a result I’m excited about what is still to be written, but have pretty much kissed goodbye to it being finished by Christmas. But as I said, I’m okay with that. I’m also only writing during the week and may take a day or so off again next week when my other half is out of town. Then again, I might not 🙂

        Hugs, my sweet friend.
        Em xoxox

  • EmFairley

    Congratulations on finishing, Felicia. If I were you, I’d wait until January to begin editing, because I always need a break between finishing the draft and starting to clear my mind a bit. That way you also look at it with fresh eyes. I hope you don’t mind me making the suggestion

  • kathunsworth

    I wish it was only peas Pamela! I am basing my self worth on a landscape painting I have been commissioned to do at the moment. Not my forte and so the inner self talk is brutal. But I am learning from all my mistakes and trying to see it through. When I just paint what comes I feel a sense or a vibe. When I paint for money the muse seems to leave me on my own. But we have to pay the bills and so I learn from the negativity. I hope you have a great day doing some art that you love and get some good peas too. Kath

    • Hello Kath,
      Oh dear. I understand about the muse leaving when the dollar sign is there. Maybe the muse is just hiding behind a tree? Whoever hired you loves you and your eyes and the way your hand goes across the paper making marks. So give them you. How you see the Landscape, and not how you think she wants to see it.
      You are enough. You are amazing and wonderful. Let your pencil dance.
      Love your art, and the hands that make it.

      • kathunsworth

        I agree the first two attempts were to please the customer, I scrapped them both because they did not feel authentic to me. New board, new attitude…. paint what I see and bring out the best in the photo. Sometimes the customer cannot see the big picture and so I will do it my way and that will be my best work. Thanks for the pep talk my fellow artist, big hugs to you xxx

  • My looks, my house, my kids, dinner, what I wear, what I think, the Christmas tree, and the cards, and the cookies……If I listed all the things I based my worth on we would be here for days! I’m so glad you see beyond those burnt peas to a place of believing who God says you are! It is such a process for me, and it’s so good to know I’m not alone 🙂

    • Hello Rebecca,
      A process to remember we are enough. Thank you for sharing your list of items you base your worth on. Life is tricky, caring what people think, and not caring. I wonder why I am often more concerned by what some one thinks about the dog hair on my carpet, than what God thinks about my heart?
      Hugs to you.

  • This is something I have to remind myself of often (not the burning peas thing, but similar stuff). I personally don’t like peas. So, I’d say, “It’s OK Pamela if you burn the peas. Try cooking something else instead like green beans.” :^)

    Or I’d say, “Cook them in the microwave. It comes with an auto timer, and if you use a microwave safe bowl, they’ll come out like you like.”

    I was told I was too expensive by a long-time client this week. After putting in all the extra time which caused me to be more expensive, it was tough.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    PS: My 25th anniversary of my business is tomorrow. So, I’m going to celebrate big time!

    • Hello Eva,
      Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of your business. How exciting! How will you celebrate?
      You work hard on a project for a client and then they tell you that you burnt the peas. That would be discouraging. I love what you said about cooking green beans instead. 🙂 Thank you for the suggestions. I will try them and let you know what happened.

  • Good Morning felicia_d,
    You are very welcome. (smile)
    Yes, you can do this. And you made it across the NaNoWriMo finish line. Congratulations! Even if it was a stumble across, you crossed. And, you didn’t fall.
    Have fun editing.