Understanding One's Value

Since my last blog, I have been reflecting on 'Gratitude' and the role that a deep understanding of gratitude has in living a balanced, joyful, and happy life. My appreciation for actions of gratitude continue to increase daily. I welcome the day for when I live moment by moment immersed in gratitude.

In my reflections, I came to the conclusion that after gratitude, having a firm understanding of one's own value, is the second necessary component for a more balanced and joyful life. To me, this means understanding and appreciating the value of your body, your mind, your spirit, your health, talents, creative skills, character, personality, resourcefulness, and time to be alive. With such appreciation, you can value your true self, as-is, right now. By understanding your value, you can be so very precious and flawed at the same time without losing your value.

So often, I meet people who do not have an understanding of their value. Somehow through the course of living, someone else has determined their value, and that person’s label of “less than” has been intruding upon their mind each day since. That person could have been their mom or dad, a grandparent, a teacher, or childhood companion. Yet somehow that other person’s acceptance became more valuable than one’s own self-acceptance. And their external voices of criticism became louder than one’s inner voice of identity, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. The journey back to wholeness and healing and self-acceptance and love can be long.

As a psychiatrist and therapist, one of my true pleasures is seeing such a person reclaim their personal power and sense of self. This is a rare joy. Knowing this, their own value, a person can be lifted from the darkest pit of despair and placed on firm ground never to return to this pit again.

To me, one of the greatest personal powers is the power to value one’s own life. This power is not determined by money, or status, or fame, or popularity, or someone else’s opinion. Each person has this power within themselves. The power to value your life belongs to you. You do not have to wait for anyone’s permission or forgiveness to value your life. You have the power to value your life within you.

A truly happy and fulfilled life awaits you once you have attained knowledge of and really understood the value of your true self.

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson

from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


Jessica K. Hairston, MD

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