We have been wrestling with the subject of value over the last few weeks, and it is a massive issue once you pull the covers back and dive in.
We may learn the important lessons of appreciation and acknowledgement and we see quickly the great effects of looking to the highest aspects of people around us, even to the point of putting the full power of our minds behind them and their success and happiness. With practice this can become almost a habit or a default setting. But being able to profoundly acknowledge the value of another to the point that it lands, that the recipient of that valuing feels, to their core, a sense of unlimited value? That seems a little more difficult.
I recall a lesson from A Course in Miracles that basically says if you go to help another and no matter how you try you don’t succeed then you must turn your attention to yourself and look for the place within you where you believe you don’t deserve help. You have some dark story deep within for which you do not deserve redemption; that you are beyond help. It feels like the issues around a sense of value have similar dynamics.
It seems our lack of value started very early on when we felt there was nothing we could do to effect change in our world, or in our family. Even as small children our desire was the happiness of those around us and to the extent we felt unable to do that we started to believe in our lack of value. Not only do we develop a sense of valuelessness, but we also take on guilt so now we have a perfect trap of guilt on one hand that drives us towards feelings of failure and then to lack of self-value on the other.
These two forces really built our egos; in trying to repress all these feelings we set out into a world of doing, of achieving material things and positions of power and significance. We sought to hide these places where we felt we had no value by looking for power in all the wrong places. We demand respect and recognition and when we don’t get it we can have this massive over-reaction. We have all witnessed scenes at hotels or the airport check-in when something has fallen through the cracks: the loud yells of “don’t you know who I am?!” or the people around us who seem to have a massive sense of entitlement. The pain that shows up at this time is an indication of feelings of lack of value underneath.
One of the lessons of my father’s death was seeing how, as his body started to fail, the waves of valuelessness that were buried beneath started to show up, even though he had worked hard his whole life. And it is true when you feel this bad you do just want to die. Maybe it is best that I deal with my sense of lack of value before I get into the same situation or I add to the destruction of the planet by so much doing.
I recognise that each time I find this lack of value and/or the guilt I can do my healing and each time I do that, step-by-step, it gets a little better. But I also believe that there is a better way and I think it goes something like this. Many of us have created a self and a world that keeps us busy and certainly useful but it is our creation of ourselves and this is the fundamental mistake: we get to a point where we believe we created ourselves including the guilt and the lack of value.
Maybe that is just not true. We did not create ourselves but were created by something much greater than ourselves that we can call the Creator. When we know that to be true in every cell of our bodies then the guilt and the lack of value will fall away because they are products of our belief that we created ourselves.
When we know the Creator created us, and we understand that the value of the Creator must also be the value of the created, then we are going in the right direction. And we continue until we realise that the blessing of ‘rest in peace’ is a blessing for the living. This is a journey I would set my sights on and find my value and when I do I know I will be able to share that with others, which would be a joy.