Ok, so fine you say ... what's the point here and why do I want to talk about it ?
Simple answer, to be a follower of the
way, to walk the path of the Pagan, means knowing ones self,
as many of my other missives have pointed out. I noted however, I failed to cover this rather important concept,
the concept of self worth and other peoples opinions in enough detail.
Allow me to get up on a Psychological soap box for a moment and explore this concept: :)
For most of our lives, if things go
well, this issue will be something we shove into the background
as not relevant. We seldom, unless forced to it, challenge our own concept of self worth,
or what it is based on. Until whatever we have based it on, is not there.
One of the most common things people tend to base their concept of self worth on, is the job they do.
Ok fine, but what happens if you can
not do the job anymore ?
What happens when you retire ?
What happens if you become or were born, disabled, and all the "jobs" are no longer possible ?
I am all of those things, disabled, retired and no longer able to do any of the jobs I used to do.
Now, does this mean that I no longer have any self worth ?
Well, in the eyes of some people, ... I don't. But, important fact here, in my own eyes, nothing has changed.
I am still the same worthy person I was, before I lost that capacity, as my self worth doesn't depend on it.
Yet this belief is strong
among us.. example:
Is it any surprise that many don't live
long after they retire ?
With this thought running around in their head, is it any wonder ?
People just waiting to die, as their
worth as people was wrapped up in their work, and now they are not working,
and are being held by others to be lazy and good for nothing, drains on the system, etc.....
so it's not a surprise it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, and they remove themselves
from a world they feel they no longer have a place in.
This is not based on any reality, but
an opinion that to be "worthy", one must be working.
That one has worked all their life, and is now old and no longer hale of body, doesn't seem to matter.
Is this rational ? No, but is it prevalent in thought ? Unfortunately, yes.
The same holds true for persons with
disabilities, either born or acquired later in life.
Never having been or no longer hale of body and unable to work, yet the idea persists,
that if your not holding down a nine to five job, your useless and a parasite.
Most sensible persons reaction to that is horror again,
but yet the concept that self worth = work, continues.
We very often invest our self worth,
women in particular, in our families, our children, our mates..
Yet, children grow up and move away to their own lives. Or can even pass on before we do, Goddess forbid.
Marriages don't always last, as our divorce stats well prove. So what happens if we are divorced,
the kids grown or passed on, then what ?
How strong this can be? :I lived next
to a lady, who had so invested herself into her husband, that when he died,
she was completely and utterly lost. Her entire life was based on him, and when he died, it left her with nothing she thought,
she was dead within the year.
I am all of those things, a mother who
has had one child pass on before me, and one who is on the other side of
And I am several times divorced and twice a widow. So does this mean that I no longer have any self worth? No, as with
my work life that I have lost, I have not changed as a result of these things.
And no, I don't plan on checking out anytime soon either !
So what's my point ? Ones self worth does not, or should not, depend on anything or anyone, outside of yourself.
Seems easy enough to say that doesn't it, but how often is it true ?
We very often invest our idea of "worth"
in things over which we have no control.
Things that we can do, or what position in life we hold, yet all of that can change in an eye blink.
If we base who and what we are on such sand, the first wave that comes along is gonna knock
that dubious support right out from under us. Ok then, what should we base it on then ?
Reality ... the reality is, your self
worth is in your own eyes, who you really are, and what you really are.
Not what you can do for others, or what place you hold on the social scale, it's not your job, or your status, it's you ....
you as in the person you are inside that matters.
You are worthy by the simple reason
you exist, you don't have to be anything else.
You live, you breath, and as long as you do both of those things, you have the ability to use
whatever resources you have, for whatever purposes you want to.
what you do, is not as important as how you feel about yourself.
The world has a bad habit of trying
for force its members to cleave to a certain "standard" if you will,
and will push that standard, even when its not rational.
For example: I often don't get up in the morning, until about noon or so.
Now, this is due to the fact I don't
sleep most nights till about 4 or 5 in the AM, so getting up at noon or later,
is perfectly reasonable, in fact at that, I am still short a few hours sleep most nights.
But do a internal self check and see what your gut reaction was to the first statement ?
I would be willing to bet, for some of you, your first thought was "Lazy" or something on that order.
Ok, why ?
The why is simple, we are trained to
think that anyone who is still in bed, when most of the world is up and
is lazy or shirking or,.... see the trend here ? Very often, for a person who has no reason to be
abed till noon, this prevalent thought, might even be true.
Now, that I have a perfectly good reason
to get up at noon, is beside the point to a lot of people however,
so for this simple thing alone, a thing I can't do a thing to change, I am considered lazy and shiftless,
in the eyes of many. If I bought into that thought myself, I might easily castrate myself with self condemnation,
over a thing that is otherwise, perfectly reasonable.
At one time I did, as I kept similar
hours years ago, but it was due to my job, which didn't end
until the wee hours of the morning, again a perfectly reasonable reason to be in bed at noon,
if you got off work at 4 am. But, back then I didn't feel it was right and dragged my tired
butt up in the Am and shorted myself on sleep for a quite a few years.
Not sensible, reasonable,
or even healthy, but I did it,
Why ? Because my self worth was invested in the hands of others.
My own inner mirror was fogged by other
peoples opinions and expectations, I was seeing myself through their view,
not mine. I had no real reason to feel badly over myself, I worked hard at my job and had every right
to a good nights sleep, but I didn't get it and didn't demand it, because I let other peoples ideas,
overshadow what I knew to be the facts about the matter.
Now, with my sleep deprivation disorder,
the problem if you will, is even worse, as back then,
some could at least see I had a reason for it. But now, now it's only my say so that I can't sleep,
as unless someone else is up at the same time and is wandering around my house,
they have no way to know I have been up all night, so the condemnation is worse.
However, now, I don't let it bother
me much, as I know I am not lazy, or shirking or anything of the sort.
I have a disorder that disrupts my sleep, end of fact, and get what sleep it will let me get,
and anyone else's thoughts on the matter... I don't honestly care. The only thing that upsets me about it,
is their persistent refusal to accept the facts of the matter, and their attempts to make me feel bad over it.
It gets tiresome after a while.
But I know reality, my inner mirror
is not fogged, and therefore I know I am none of what they claim
me to be,
not even close to it, so it does not matter what they think.
We are told, by many, that we are deluded ( the most polite) to we are downright evil and worship the devil.
Which is patently
ridiculous, as we don't even believe in the concept of a devil.
But, again how easy is it to slouch that off ?
Most of us, unless we happen to be a
lucky one and were raised Pagan, were raised in more "orthodox" households.
So we have to struggle with our own concepts of self worth yet again regarding our religion.
We are told if
we are not X faith, we are bad.
We are bombarded from all sides on the matter, from family members who can't accept our choices,
to the world at large. A world that contains many who would be perfectly happy
if they were still allowed to burn us at the stake.
But it's inside us that matters,
do we immolate
with self doubt and self condemnation,
based on our own self talk ? Very often the answer is yes ... so the inner mirror is fogged again, by negative self talk.
This self talk is most often imposed
on us from the outside, just like any other negative
opinion regarding our worth, and needs to be ignored, just like any other thought,
that does not reflect reality. We on the pathway, know that our concept of God
is just as real as anyone else's. Or we should : ) but often we struggle with that,
and our self worth and self concept can get mangled in the process.
Back to reality:
We chose the Pagan path for perfectly
sound, reasonable and rational reasons.
Our path is a good one, one that works for us, that supports us and full fills us,
if it didn't, we wouldn't be on it, plain and simple. So what does it matter what others think ?
If you find yourself basing your self
worth, your rock , your foundation of the
self, on someone else's ideas,
then you could very well have a problem. Every time you think such a thing, on any subject what-so-ever,
you really need to follow the string of that thought, and find out where it came from,
and I can just about promise you, you will find it's based on someone else's opinion on the matter,
not on fact.
And it's not right to base something
this important, on anothers opinion, it's wrong,
just as the above examples of your worth being based on your job, your family or status, are wrong.
None of that has anything thing to do with who and what you are.
We and we alone, we the individual,
decide what's true or not, what's real or not,
and what's right or not. Not anyone else.
So whatever your pathway, it's for you
and you alone to decide that. Once you have decided it,
and accept the reality behind it, then you have a clear inner mirror, your self worth is rock solid,
as it's based on your own personal thoughts, your reality of the facts,
not other peoples opinions.
have no say on what another thinks,
but we do have a choice on how we let those thoughts effect us.
May your inner mirror be bright.
over ones life
Is this possible ?
Back to the Self