I’ve heard this story many times before, but it had special poignance today as I realize just how many people I encounter in my daily work who feel like damaged goods as a result of their perception of circumstances they have faced throughout their lives. While it is true that many have been through trauma and abuse, of which I am at a loss to make sense and comfort at times. Some of the residual pain they feel that often leads to suidicidal thought and in far too many cases, multiple attempts, comes from their perception of themselves. THAT I may be able to do something about. As a writer, I am also, as friends refer to me ‘the Queen of Metaphor’, coming up with all manner of word pictures that help people reframe their experience. Not sure I can top this one.
A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants…… it……?” Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, “What if I do… this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My friends” he said, ” We have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special.
Take a look at your own life and the decisions you have made, either consciously or unconsciously about yourself, your worth and the impact you have on the world around you. I have heard my clients say that “The world is a terrible place and that society is messed up (well, some have used an edgier and less polite word to describe it).” I remind them that they too are part of society and as such, have responsibility to do something positive each day to change the mix. It’s my contention that when people are happier with themselves, they have a more healing impact on their surroundings. It is about being your authentic self. What we are, we offer out to the world. It’s as simple as that. I’m sure that you have walked into a room in which people are smiling, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. How do you feel when you enter? Do you want to stay and when you leave the room, do you carry that sweet energy with you? On the flip side, if you step into a room in which people are complaining, angry or on edge, how does THAT feel? I know I would want to escape that environment as quickly as possible and not return and I definitely would choose not to take that feeling with me. Emotional states have a contagious component to them. Think about the people with whom you spend the majority of the time..would they be more likely to be in the first room or the second room? Over the years, I have divested myself of emotional vampires who attempt to suck me dry of my energy, because they feel like that crumpled $20 bill, not recognizing their worth, so they desperately search for emotional sustenance, since they don’t know that it was within them all them time. And on the occasion that some folks in my life are on a downward spiral in conversation, reciting a litany of complaints, I stop them in their tracks, by asking them to tell me one positive thing that happened that day. They always do, because their is always treasure in the muck…you just need to keep looking until it shows up.
Our true value isn’t based on surface accomplishments, although it feels good to have them acknowleged, but rather on how we feel when we gaze at the woman or man in the mirror, know that they are loved beyond measure andthat they have given each day their best and added to the ‘love soup’. Are you ready to be that ingredient?
Rev. Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a Renaissance Woman and Bliss Mistress who delights in inviting people to live rich, full, juicy lives. Edie is an internationally recognized, sought after, colorfully creative journalist, interviewer and author, a dynamic and inspiring speaker, licensed social worker, interfaith minister, offering uniquely designed spiritual rituals. In addition, she is a PR Goddess, promoting events and transformational teachers, healers, writers and artists. She speaks on the subjects of wellness, spirituality, sexuality, creativity, time management, recovery, body image, mindfulness, self esteem, stress management, re-creating yourself, caring for the caregiver, loss and grief. She is a frequent guest on radio and TV. Edie is currently writing her first best selling book entitled The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into The Extraordinary and is offering a workshop for women who want to re-create their lives, based on those concepts. A 20 year old journalistic vision came to pass in July of 2008 when she interviewed His Holiness The Dalai Lama. It was a potent reminder to never, ever, ever give up on our dreams. Over the years, Edie has written for mainstream and transformational publications. She has interviewed hundred of notables in the transformational fields, including Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Debbie Ford, Leonard Peltier, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Beckwith, Jonathan Goldman, Gregg Braden, Neale Donald Walsch, Mary Manin Morrissey, Dan Millman, Alan Cohen, Ram Dass, Jack Canfield, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Patch Adams, Ben and Jerry, Donna DeLory, James Twyman, Elizabeth Lesser, Michael Franti and Jean Houston. Her website is http://www.liveinjoy.org
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