Yesterday I woke to do my morning meditation. A ritual I have been doing for the last 10 months. Sometimes I don’t do it and have this deep feeling in my gut, disappointment with myself that even this simple task, no commitment, can’t even be followed.
So I looked at my insight timer app and found a talk, a TEDx talk by Dr Adia Gooden; Cultivating Unconditional Self-Worth. While my memory is fading for the detail of words she used, it has had a profound impact within my sense of knowing and sense of being.
One of the key distinctions was the new understanding of the difference between Self Esteem and Self Worth. She spoke about Self Esteem coming from the praise and recognition we get from an external source. These are the awards, achievements, praise from others and in this contemporary world, the insidious ‘likes’ of social media. It’s as if there is this false currency of ‘value’ with the numbers of ‘likes’. What I have been reflecting on is this awareness of the addictive quality I have been experiencing engaging in this space. I know I have my challenges, but as a highly educated and self-reflective individual, I feel vulnerable to share this, but I have been addicted to the seeking of praise, addicted to the feeling it gives to my self-esteem.
But here’s the hook.
The sense of Self Esteem has ZERO impact on Self Worth. At 49 years of age, I laugh at myself for never really understanding this distinction and start to find a grasp of what self-worth actually is. To be honest, I never really understood what it was. Even after hours of listening and reading the work of Brene Brown for years! (I love her work by the way!) I guess I wasn’t ready to be present to really face my disconnection to it.
I drove to work after my normal morning routine of tea and dogs and getting ready in a rush to get to work in time. I went about the usual tasks and around 10.30 I went out for my other routine of getting coffee. As I was walking back to the office with my coffee from one of my favourite haunts near work, I was thinking about Dr Adia’s talk. I was looking at the beauty around me, beauty in the simplest thinks, the light, the reflections on the cars, the glistening of leaves and colours of blooms and thought to myself that, surely this ability to see the beauty in everything is of some worth?
Then I stopped dead with the thoughts in my mind.
A new knowing lit up in my brain in that instance of self-reflection.
It matters not the skills or talents or knowing that gives me self-worth. The shear fact that I exist, that I am here, here now, in this body, in this place, by default I AM WORTHY. It’s as if a vail has lifted from my fast-moving train of thoughts to a sense of stillness in knowing; it doesn’t matter what others think or what I achieve or participate in, or the mistakes and so-called failures, I and ALWAYS WORTHY. My life’s scars and triumphs do not make me worthy; they shape the texture of my personality and enable me to experience the rollercoaster of gloriousness that is life.
I BREATHE, I AM WORTHY.
…….. A little secret Shhhh!, You, reading this. You are also WORTHY . Just as you are.