I had lunch with a friend the other day. It was great to get together and chat, but I felt a bit sheepish because of late, I haven’t felt like I’ve done anything of significance, nor as if I have any plans to do so. We touched upon my blog and my friend encouraged me to write more often, so here you go, my dearies!
When I was a teen, I used to read a lot of self-help books. They would give you a list of steps to traverse before you could reach self-realization, success, happiness, whatever it was you hoped to achieve. Most of them proved to be useless. I did, however, devour Feeling Good by David Burns. He introduced me to cognitive behavior therapy. For the uninitiated, this is about how your thoughts affect your feelings and how you can alter your thoughts to improve your mood. Say, you are feeling down, as I am now, because I am “lazy, unmotivated, have no sense of direction, and will never amount to anything.” These are all rather harsh assessments and therefore not truthful. I can instead rephrase those criticisms to “I am in a period of transition, open to answers, becoming aware of the world around me, instead of being ruled by my work day routine.” Okay, so this can initially make you feel better, but I imagine you have to do this over and over again, because the negative thoughts do not go away with one attack from the “goodies.”
All this is not exactly what I wanted to talk about in reference to Dr. Burn’s book. The thing about his book that impacted me the most was a graph that showed an individual’s lifespan in the horizontal and the level of self-worth in the vertical. The measurement was a STRAIGHT LINE. That meant that no matter what your age and ability, whether you were a tiny helpless baby or an infirmed senior, your worth as a human being is the same. Which means that no matter what I do, or whether I do nothing, my self-worth is unending. But then why is it that our society places so much emphasis on hard work? And if it isn’t about hard work, then what is there?
What is it that both a baby and an elderly individual both have that gives them self-worth along with the rest of us? They are loveable. They give and receive love. Perhaps that is what I should be striving for. Start by loving myself and then each person who crosses my path. And try not to worry about how big I’m living my life. Big or small, we all have something to give the world. And, I believe, love has everything to do with it.