April 30, 2008

Thoughts on Self-Worth

Our dog, Carson, left about 3 weeks ago. He was only in our home for about 8 months but provided me with a number of opportunities to learn and grow. The day he left was very difficult for both Andy and myself. Andy might have shed a few tears (I'm not telling). I mentioned to him that in the 6.5 years we have known each other, that was perhaps only the second time I had seen that happen. His answer was something to the extent of, "I don't let emotions rule my life. I use rational thought." In the past, he has told me that I viewed self-sufficiency as a virtue, like that was a bad thing.

Using rational thought and self-sufficiency are wonderful virtues in their place. But are they always positive or can these virtues can be a negative in our lives? And, just when, if ever, do they become a negative.

It was a rough week after Carson left. That Wednesday, I went to group meditation at my church and decided to try working on this. Later I almost wished I had stuck with, "Breathing in, breathing out," rather than try to handle such a sensitive subject. As I was working on this, I had a light-bulb moment.

For me, being self-sufficient is a virtue and I'm okay with that. In fact, I value that about myself. It had become a negative for me when somewhere along the line, my self-worth got involved. A situation, such as Carson, caused me additional pain because I felt like such a failure for not being able to fix myself or with outside help.

What a light-bulb! I am still trying to figure out how I can put this into useful practice in my life. As with many things, we often learn to recognize these traits or habits after we perform them. Being able to recognize this is a step in the right direction.

Perhaps in time, I will be able to ask myself, "Self, is your worth wrapped up in being able to perform this task? Is that good or bad?" Until then, I just hope to be able to say, "Oh, that's what happened" and move on without beating myself up over a perceived failure.

So this is my story about self-worth. I hope your self-worth is great. But if it's not, maybe you have something that might be getting in the way. Maybe it's not avoidance of emotion or the need to be self-sufficient. Do you know what's holding you back? Is there something you could lovingly ponder within yourself? How can you help yourself? Will it provide you with the opportunity to learn and grow? You are the only one who truly knows where you are.

Love Letters to My Sons..