Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Measure of Our Worth

I've been struggling lately with, well, a lot of things. But mostly stemming from money. And because of that I find myself in a different kind of struggle. The kind of internal struggle between what I know to be true and what I keep feeling to be true. More and more, I find myself measuring my worth on one criteria: the amount of money I have (or, more appropriately, don't have).

It's a trap I have done my best to avoid. But it's getting harder and harder after a year of stressing over money on a regular basis. A year of not really even making the ends meet anymore. It's a situation that is both frustrating and just plain tiring. I've come to the point where I am feeling so low about money, that I literally have to remind myself of how many other things I have going for me in order to keep me going at all.

And, unfortunately, it's a trap a lot of us find ourselves caught in from time to time. Money might not always be the issue. But, too often, we let ourselves be defined by one thing, instead of tallying all the pieces and parts of us to come up with our net worth. Sometimes there's one thing that seems to weigh so heavily that it somehow winds up becoming 90% of the score when, in reality, it might not even be worth counting at all.

For me, at this moment, the big issue is money. I'm so busy anymore worrying about how I'm going to pay for this, that or the other, that I can hardly focus on anything else. And because this issue is taking up so much of my time and my thoughts, it's becoming more and more difficult to not equate myself with the problem. In other words, because I don't have enough money, I also feel like I'm not enough.

It is so horribly unfortunate that we do this kind of thing to ourselves. People do it all the time. Maybe they feel they aren't worthy of love because they don't think they are attractive enough: they don't have the right body image or hairstyle or facial features. Or maybe they judge themselves as stupid because they are poor test takers and fail tests often in school. We define ourselves as fat or dumb, uptight or timid. The list of negative descriptions goes on and on. And, typically, we define ourselves in these negative ways because of one single thing that we don't like about ourselves or our lives.

What we tend to forget in moments like these, when we are feeling low about one part of our life or our personality, is that we are complex individuals. We are so much more than the amount of money we make or the car we drive. We count for more than our test scores and our accolades. Our worth as people should not be defined by the kind of work we do but, rather, by the quality. We should never feel unworthy because of a physical trait we don't like about ourselves. Because we are so much more than that one thing we don't like about ourselves or that one thing we find lacking. That single, glaring problem we focus way too much of our energy on is NOT what should define us. We each have so much in our lives, in our personalities, besides these negative things, so much to offer others and so much to offer ourselves, if only we try to focus on ourselves as a whole package. And not forget that we are not the same as the problem. We need to remember that our lives our so much bigger than one little thing, no matter how much stress that thing may cause us. I know I certainly needed the reminder today.

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