On Friday, I put my control-freak behaviour to the test by going for a countryside walk, armed with only a blurry map from the internet. It was meant to be a circular walk around the village of Henllan.
At one point, a farmer showed us to a remote path that should, if you follow it correctly, lead straight into Denbigh. As we’d given up on following the dubious internet map, we took the farmer’s suggestion.
It was a gorgeous walk along a mud path flanked by bluebells and wild garlic. We didn’t make it to Denbigh but did walk all the way around a crop field in search of a public footpath instead 🤣
On our way, we came to a field full of lambs and ewes.
These little creatures were content to run about, lay down or pester their mums for milk. They didn’t have a concept (at least I’m assuming) of being a lamb. They were being just whatever they were meant to be, and they had no idea that there was a human price on their heads.
I began to wonder about how value and worth are represented in society, particularly how that relates to self-value and self-worth.
The lambs in their innocence are complete. They may be perceived as only being worth whatever they can fetch at the market, but innately they are priceless, whole and unique. It’s only human perception that gives each lamb a value after it’s been judged.
Lambs don’t care if they’re worth £2 or £200 and it doesn’t influence their enjoyment of being a lamb in the present moment.
The ideas of self-value and self-worth fit very nicely into a capitalist society where everything is a commodity. We judge and compare, making something better or worse than another (or each other).
These are only opinions, which are just thoughts, and not the truth.
We even judge ourselves to be of value or of worth depending on outside criteria, and then suffer when we feel we can’t match up to these expectations.
I know I have experienced the insecurity of thinking that I was ‘less than’ because I had no money or was a single parent or did not have a professional career. I could write a list as long as my arm with all the judgements I have passed on myself for not measuring up to my own (or society’s) standards.
Depression and self-harm were my forms of punishment for judging myself as worthless.
I am more aware these days of my ego-mind. I watch for judgements about myself and others but it’s not always easy.
Only this morning as I sat with my husband by the beach with our usual Sunday morning coffees, I caught myself judging a family that sat near us.
I was forming all sorts of judgements in my mind about them based on their loudness, messiness, and general disposition. It was a great lesson because for every behaviour my ego-mind wanted to judge on, I could find a time when I had behaved in a similar way.
I wanted to believe I was judging them but in fact, I was judging myself.
It’s a form of self-attack. And, it’s so easy to miss.
Ultimately, our self-worth and self-value have nothing to do with judgements from ourselves or other people.
We might have a tonne of limiting beliefs to work through but eventually, we’ll find the truth that every single one of us is worthy and valuable. We don’t need to be super-sized, downsized or maxed out. There’s nothing you have to do, gain, or become. It is who you innately are.
Let's keep in touch
I'd love for us to remain in contact. I send out a weekly(ish) newsletter on Sunday with latest news and articles. Just put your email address in the box, hit send and you're in!