I have a dream!

By Anita Shehan-Nutz

On August 4, 2021
My dream is of a world where everyone knows his or her intrinsic self-worth and becomes an unconditional friend to him or herself.   Now why would that be important?

The moment we know our self-worth (not to be confounded with self-esteem, which is largely determined by external circumstances), we know how to take care of ourselves.  Knowing how to take care of ourselves begins by knowing who we really are and by embracing that person wholeheartedly. Other benefits of knowing our own worth:

  • We are less dependent on approval from others. How liberating!!!
  • We know how to set our own boundaries, both physical and emotional
  • We take time out to resource ourselves (even, or especially at stressful times)
  • We have more energy because we manage our resources better
  • We fulfill our needs.

This last point is particularly important, because as Marshall Rosenberg said “Any form of violence (toward ourselves or others) is the tragic expression of unfulfilled needs”.

While I don’t believe that we live in particularly violent times (it is the media that makes us think so), I still think that there is too much. 

And we can start with the degree of violence toward ourselves.  How often do we eat when we are not really hungry?  How about that extra glass of wine that makes us sluggish the next day? Or the extra hours of work that we put in to please our boss (not to confound with the stewardship and responsibility to make sure a job is well done)?

Of course, most of us do these from time to time. And that is not a huge problem.  It does become a problem if we consistently and against our better knowledge override the signals from our body and just charge ahead, regrets and fatigue sure to follow.

And not to speak about the verbal abuse toward ourselves.

Notice the way you talk to yourself.  Some price examples: “I am so stupid.  I will never achieve this.  I am FAT.  Nobody notices me.  I messed up again.” Now would you say such things to your best friend?  Exactly.  Then what gives you the right to insult yourself on a daily basis? 

See, I believe that we all have a spark inside, but years of conditioning (often with the best intentions) have sort of covered up that spark.  Oddly enough, others often see it before we do.  Just for fun, ask your friends and family members what qualities they see in you.  Birthdays are a great occasion to do so without sounding corny 😊

Now imagine what would happen if you started to:

  • Pay more attention to what you say to yourself
  • Question yourself why you do what you do—to please or impress others or because you know it’s the right thing to do
  • Stop trying to prove yourself

These are just a few tips that can set us on the path to greater self-worth and acceptance.  The result?  Greater freedom and energy, because we are acting from our innate nature rather based on what the world expects from us.

Give it a try and let me know what you discovered . . .

As a result of becoming more aware of my own self-worth, unconditionally befriending myself, I have

  • Stopped seeking acceptance from others
  • Uncluttered my living space
  • Set better boundaries with people who affected me in a negative way
  • Began a regular mindfulness practice
  • Began having more energy
  • Began to listen to my body and take better care of myself
  • Focused more on what is really important to me in life

 

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