Do you place as much value on your own opinions as you do the opinions of others? When someone criticizes you, do you immediately get all huffy and puffy and try to defend yourself? Actually, if you have to go to the extreme of defending yourself, then you might have some issues deep down with your own value. I know that sounds strange, but if you really think about it, you don’t really have to defend yourself against attacks or differences of opinions… if you are secure with who you are, then who cares what anyone else thinks or says? It matters more of what YOU think and feel about YOURSELF. Can you look at yourself in a mirror and say, “I have value” or do you have to qualify it… perhaps, “I maybe, perhaps, sorta have value” or “I have value in my …….. skills” (fill in the blank with anything you know you are good at: cooking, athletics, computer skills, artistic talent, healing, etc.). The only one that really counts here is the one where you can look at yourself and say, “I have value”… period.
It is easier to talk about the values… with an s… that you have. Values are so important because they fundamentally shape our relationships, our behaviors, our choices, and who we are, but we usually forget about the one person we should “value” — ourselves. It is really difficult for a person to conjure up self-worth/esteem/value by yourselves. Real self-worth is entirely internal. It’s realizing the true source of your usefulness and value. This doesn’t by any means say we shouldn’t value others… but, you shouldn’t put a greater value on others than you do yourself. I keep remembering a saying someone told me years ago… “God didn’t make junk.” He/she/it didn’t create an inequality and make any of us lesser…
Some would say that having self respect and being humble are closely related. Humility means that you are caring and unselfish. Having self respect means that you value yourself. It does not mean that you are arrogant or conceited. For this reason, you can have self respect and still be humble. People who have self respect value themselves as a part of a community and appreciate their own contributions to the community and to life in general. They don’t enjoy overpowering others but embrace their natural abilities as meaningful and worthwhile. They like themselves just as they are.
I have had great difficulty in the past with this issue… How are you doing? Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I value me.”? “I have value.”? Try it, see how you do. So far, I have to qualify it; but the qualification list is getting shorter. Think after I have some coffee, I will go practice. (And keep saying, “God didn’t make junk, God didn’t make junk, God didn’t make junk.)
Tomorrow? ” Ok, You have value – do you act like you do?”