“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them… Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.” -Michel De Montaigne
The question has been posed before, and will be posed for centuries to come. How are we to value our time spent on this earth? Do we value it in minutes, accomplishments, or the help that we provide others?
How do we form our own self-image, our idea of our own value on earth? Today I focus on the subject of individuals valuing themselves.
I propose that the way we’ve been brought up in a society with a less-than-ideal model for self-valuation. Growing up, we’re taught that openly loving oneself, valuing oneself, and appreciating oneself in front of others is a sign of Egotism and that it is selfish to think highly of yourself. We’re told that we should appreciate others more than we appreciate ourselves. To a certain extent, this is good for us growing up. We wouldn’t want children to develop an overly-superficial view of themselves, as this could lead to developmental problems in which they judge others to be below them. But at what point during our maturity, after we’ve grown and developed past our elementary days, do we take back our right to appreciate who we are as individuals? When do we as healthy adults take the time to start valuing ourselves as the indispensable people that we are?
We are worth more than anything on this earth, and yet how many people would value their lives more than a multi-million dollar mansion?
As Authentic Growth readers, I believe that we should value ourselves more than any other object in the world. We most-certainly should value our own health, and our own bodies, more than any object we can purchase. Without the proper functioning of our body and mind (which are our literal vehicle for experiencing this life) we’re not able to fully enjoy anything else. So why then is your car more important to you than your health? I propose that good health is one of the most valuable things a man can own. The cost of a good multi-vitamin, nutritional food, and healthy supplements is nothing compared to the impact that laissez faire self-care has on our ability to perceive the world positively. Lack of attention towards our own needs adds a permanent and sour haze to the lens of our world perception.
We spend years gathering, saving, spending on objects of high value to fill in the gaps left behind due to our not owning the value we have in our own existence.
I propose that there are gaps in our own wholeness, which we attempt to fill with external validation, luxury objects of different values, and brand names. What we are really looking for is the love that has been displaced from these gaps, this space needs something to fill it and we are attempting to do so with other people, with toys, and with our vices. We spend so much time working to achieve things, when inside of ourselves we have a love that has been totally ignored. When was the last time you told yourself “I Love you.” You may say it to your significant other, or your family, but to yourself? For a person raised in the United States, this seems incredibly unusual. I’m sure it’s not so common in many other parts of the world as well (and I’m also sure you can think of some exceptions). Now I bring up an important question, when you tell someone else that you love them, don’t they enjoy it? Don’t they appreciate the fact that they are loved by someone? And then how wonderful would your spirit(ego, self, etc) feel if it was loved by the individual carrying it around this earth. If you make this a consistent practice, your world opens up for you.
With a healthy mind and body, we are able to experience all of the other things that we have in life. Without it, our entire world is tainted by the color of our dysfunction.
You are what you see in the world. It has been said that Perception is Projection. What this means its that we literally see in the world what we hold in ourselves. A great quote from Goethe fits perfectly here. “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” I think if you look deep enough, you will see that this is true. How often are you mad at the person in the car in front of you, when you yourself just cut somebody off? We’re literally projecting the guilt that we felt for having done our own act OUTWARDS towards the next person we see, so as to not experience that pain ourselves. What we need to do to value ourselves more, to feel whole again, is to accept all of the things we’ve tried to distance from ourselves. All of our projections need to be owned, and with that the world gains a new, bright color for us to enjoy.
A world without projections is a world of the blank slate. It is for you to fill in the colors, the easel and paint are in your mind, and what you project onto it is how you will experience your life on earth.
I propose that the more we value ourselves, the more our world gains value. We begin to see opportunities where others would doubt themselves. We have moments of insight that may have otherwise taken years for us to come to similar conclusions. These are the results of valuing ourselves, and valuing our lives as we fill them with purpose. When we make the conscious decision to love ourselves, others, and the world around us, the world reveals a brightness in turn that allows us to enjoy it that much more. As we appreciate the things we have, we realize just how much more there is to appreciate around us.
When we value ourselves for the incredible potential that we all hold, we come to terms with the message that we have imprinted inside ourselves, that we are the creators of this world. We are the ones that are responsible, now, for the survival of all living things. We are the progress-makers, as equally as we are the destroyers of progress.
When we value ourselves at the level of our highest potential, we open a gateway to achieving those highest aspects of ourselves. Others will feel it when they come in proximity to you, you will feel revitalized, and your work will gain a new sense of meaning. Things will happen, ideas will interject themselves in your mind that your conscious self would’ve never allowed to shine through otherwise. You are the creator of your life, and the value you place on yourself is the value you will experience and attain in the world. This is the value in practicing Authentic Growth principles. Until we can value ourselves at the highest level, we will only grow to the level of value provided to us by others. As we take control of our self-image, and as we practice the art of successfully valuing oneself, we take control of our conscious, Authentic Growth.
Books For Learning To Value Yourself:
-Anthony from AuthenticGrowth.com