Valuing Ourselves

what are you thinking about yourself....

How much do you value yourself?

It may seem like a strange question, but I see it as one worth asking. So many of us have been taught to put others first, as well as their opinions, and often in the process we can lose a sense of our own value…

Often everyone else seems to become more of a priority than ourself.

Not that I am endorsing narcissistic behavior but rather a realistic balance between our own needs and the needs of those around us, whether we are speaking of family, friends or our work. Try to remember that in the long run this is to everyone’s benefit who we share our lives with.

Has it been a while since you have listened to your heart’s true desire?

Is there something that you have been longing to pursue but somehow it seems to be continually postponed until you have more time…how long has this been going on? Maybe time in fact is not the real issue, but how you feel about yourself.

Often in the end we just give up on our dreams and in a way that means that we give up on our truest self. If we can’t value ourselves it is hard to imagine how someone else can and we begin to create a self fulfilling prophecy, that was based on a falsehood to start, that we really don’t matter.

My experience is that as we begin to take more steps to follow our heart, we reconnect with our true nature. Once this begins to happen there is no way that we cannot value ourselves more. We are all valuable and have something important to contribute in our lives…even if it is to be the one who says good morning to a stranger and maybe change that persons day, which just might have the power to change their life.

Here are a few inquiries to consider ….

Do you often do something other than what you really want to be doing to please someone else. This is lovely to do, but how many times do you forsake your desire?

If you were going to prepare yourself a cup of tea, coffee, a snack or a meal do you put less effort into it compared to if you were doing this for a friend, lover, family member. Why not treat yourself as well?

When you are tired, maybe even feeling exhausted, do you push yourself to “do one more thing”? Would you ask this of someone who you cared about?

Do you put undue pressure on yourself even when it is not necessary?…somehow it has  just become habitual.

Do you give far more to others than yourself? This can be in so many ways, our time and attention, our money, our compassion and care, our thoughts. I am a firm believer in the amazing gifts that come our way when we are giving and compassionate, and this is often a beneficial pathway to find more value in ourselves as well, however we can fall into a pattern of doing this at our own neglect and this is what I refer to here.

When we are more loving to ourselves it just happens that we are more loving to others.

When we are more compassionate to ourselves it just happens that we become more compassionate towards others.

As I was writing this I had an opportunity to live what I am writing about, which quite often happens. Last night I had hoped to finish this and post it on the website, but it was a bit late and I was tired. I kept writing a bit longer and then I realized that I was REALLY tired and I decided to go to bed and finish this is the morning (which is exactly what I am doing right now). Now, believe me there was a time when I would have made myself a cup tea, taken a few deep breaths outside and got myself back to writing so that this could be completed last night.

But what I realized was that it really didn’t matter if it was posted last night or this morning. Apologies if anyone out there was really disappointed when it was not in their email inbox this morning…

I let myself go to bed when I was feeling tired, wake up fresh and probably complete this more efficiently today and definitely feeling better than I would have last night. In many respects this is so obvious but the things that we do and patterns that we create often become so subtle that we don’t even think about them anymore. No wonder a lot of people are walking around angry, fearful and with so much personal discontent.

We get upset when others don’t treat us with respect, yet do we treat ourselves with that same respect we want from others?

As we begin to value ourselves more, we take better care of ourselves as well and this can only bring more good to those around us. I think that we all are aware of how depleting stress is and how harmful to our health. Some say that 90% of all illnesses are related to stress, and also one source of depression…so no amount of medication can really offer a cure if something that we are dealing with is stress related.

It may also be that something that we have done in the past to “treat” ourselves may now be creating stress and need to be re-thought. Perhaps a dinner out was a way to let go at the end of a busy day. But what if today the cost of that dinner is creating stress for you, can you really enjoy it? It may be time to spend an extra evening at home creating a beautiful, less expensive meal, reading a book or taking a long bath. What can you do in your life to relax yet not create financial pressure. A short walk may be all the medicine that you need to unwind during a hectic day.

Many of us are rediscovering, or wanting to rediscover more joy and happiness in our lives. One key element in this is listening to ourselves more so that we really have a chance to explore what truly makes us happy and joyful. This is not a subject that we often talk about, but when it comes to living in a more fulfilling way this is important to explore. More and more of us are realizing that many of those outside things are not necessarily making us feel any better, in fact often they become a burden and steal away our precious time.

This is a short story from Utne Reader about one country that is actually making their citizens’ happiness one indicator of the countries success and growth. Imagine this in the U.S., a lot would need to change but the benefits would be so far reaching to many.

We are in an exciting time right now with many changes happening all around us. The protests in Egypt and other places are one indicator that people are tired of being treated as if they do not matter, as if they have no value–there are other issues as well but in some ways this is really one of the underlying core issues in many places. We could not have homeless people or hunger if we valued every being more. We also could not destroy the Earth, or support its destruction with the things that we buy or eat, if we placed more value in what the Earth offers to us.

As with most things in life we must start with ourselves….

Ask yourself, do you value yourself and do you treat yourself as if you do?

If you answered yes – thank you for being a catalyst for others to do the same. And if you answered no, why not take a few moments right now to realize just how special you truly are and deserving to be treated with love and respect, especially by you.

Sending love and light…….

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