Self-worth and self-esteem are much-used terms these days. There is an abundance of practitioners, healers, therapists, coaches and the like available to assist you in finding your self-worth and improving your self-esteem.
But why is it that we need such assistance? Why is self-worth and/or self-esteem something we have to struggle to find, own and hold on to? Why is it that your value can be so easily erroded or controlled by outside influences?
It is interesting this society we have created and currently live in, where one person’s existence is more highly valued than another. Certainly, there is the need for a portion of the population to take the lead, make decisions and establish some order. But, does that make the person at the top, running the show a better person or more valuable than you?
In physical terms, we live within a hierarchy based upon the survival of the fittest. Those with superior genetics, intelligence, position in society become the self-proclaimed best of the best.
As in a pride of lions, there is only one king….. until a lion bold enough to challenge the king’s strength, power and authority comes along – and then there is a new king.
However, we are more than just the physical body we inhabit. In spiritual terms, there is no such hierarchy. What’s that I hear? How can I say that when there are clearly spiritual leaders among us with a direct line to God – priests, bishops, popes, imams, etc?
Even those seeking enlightenment who choose a path of spiritual learning and growth sometimes fall into the trap of believing their guru, spiritual teacher or channeled being to be superior.
This simply doesn’t ring true to me.
There are certainly a wide range of souls incarnated on this planet – some older than others. But does that mean their value is greater than yours?
Self-worth is something that is found within your own universe – inside you. It is not something someone else can give you nor is it something you have to prove or justify.
If we forget, fail to recognize or deny our spiritual nature and our unique personal connection to and participation in this universe, we simply lose our sense of self. Without our own reference points, we have no other way to find our value than by comparing ourselves to others.
This is a no win situation! Your self-worth doesn’t stand a chance – either you have none or it is only available when given to you by someone else.
There are always going to be people more capable than you in some area of life – better artists, providers, mathematicians, politicians, athletes, etc. But again, does this mean they have more value or worth than you?
And what of those people who are put on a pedestal by society and believed to be superior by those around them? How do they maintain a sense of self within those accolades, when they are elevated to super-hero status?
We are constantly being challenged to find balance within the polar opposites – the forces of positive and negative. It is this inner struggle that can add to the challenge of owning your self-worth. Are you able to find balance within those opposites, or is your attention and focus pulled to one end of the spectrum or the other?
A good friend of mine forwarded me an email story the other day entitled “Two Wolves” which illustrated this challenge simply, clearly and beautifully:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
When you are able to recognize your own self-worth, it is simpler to find and feed joy, peace, love, etc.
However, if your find it difficult to recognize your self-worth and/or self-esteem, you may find yourself feeding anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, etc.
Try this exercise. Find a quiet place to sit away from distractions where you can close your eyes. Say hello to yourself, the inner you – not the voices or judgments you initially hear and not the ego – simply YOU. Take a deep breath and recognize your own unique individual nature. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, nor are you the same as anyone else on this earth. Recognize your worth as a unique spirit in a body.
Now open your eyes and go about your life – REPEAT DAILY!
Photos courtesy of flickr & stock.xchng.