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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Self-Worth

Though much of who and what we are changes as we journey through life, our inherent worth remains constant. While the term self-worth is often used interchangeably with self-esteem, the two qualities are inherently different. Self-esteem is the measure of how you feel about yourself at a given moment in time. Your worth, however, is not a product of your intelligence, your talent, your looks, your good works, or how much you have accomplished. Rather it is immeasurable and unchanging manifestation of your eternal and infinite oneness with the universe. It represents the cornerstone of the dual foundations of optimism and self-belief. Your worth cannot be taken from you or damaged by life's rigors, yet it can easily be forgotten or even actively ignored. By regularly acknowledging your self-worth, you can ensure that you never forget what an important, beloved, and special part of the universe you are.

You are born worthy-your worth is intertwined with your very being. Your concept of your own self-worth is thus reinforced by your actions. Each time you endeavor to appreciate yourself, treat yourself kindly, define your personal boundaries, be proactive in seeing that your needs are met, and broaden your horizons, you express your recognition of your innate value. During those periods when you have lost sight of your worth, you will likely feel mired in depression, insecurity, and a lack of confidence. You'll pursue a counterfeit worth based on judgment rather than the beauty that resides within. When you feel worthy, however, you will accept yourself without hesitation. It is your worth as an individual who is simultaneously interconnected with all living beings that allows you to be happy, confident, and motivated. Because your conception of your worth is not based on the fulfillment of expectations, you'll see your mistakes and failures as just another part of life's jo! urney.

Human beings are very much like drops of water in an endless ocean. Our worth comes from our role as distinct individuals as well as our role as an integral part of something larger than ourselves. Simply awakening to this concept can help you rediscover the copious and awe-inspiring worth within each and every one of us.

From the Daily Om website.

James: May we all realize our Buddhahood which is already within us. May we melt away the layers of ice that is hiding our buddhahood through the hot water of mindfulness, meditation, self-love and practicing the 8 fold path.

-Peace to all beings-

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10 comments:

theycallmemac said...

Beautiful post today, James. Self-worth is a topic I often struggle with, it is nice to realize each of us has always been and will always be "priceless".

M.D. Shellhammer said...

Wonderful James, very ACIM, I loved this post!

alison koh said...

aahhh... thank you for this post.

"James" said...

Mac:

I think many of us struggle with it. Especially those of us who are very spiritual...we tend to be very hard on ourselves. Priceless is an excellent word. We are each beautiful, exquiste gems. We all know that the Buddha was priceless and of great worth and since all things are inter-connected then we too are priceless. :)

Mark:

Yes, very ACIM from what I've read of it. I have to finish that book sometime soon.

Alison:

(bows) You're quite welcome. Thank-you for being you. Never forget your Buddha-nature!! You are apart of the wonderful, blissful big picture and that is something to rejoice in!!

briefbox said...

please find a buddha that can do more and nothing... this will do more to u than anything else. many...travellers will believe... this world will change including lamas? are lamas changing do they find new lamas... do they determin who's god in any place. will shamans, lamas, anybody who received will/chance to decide... ever leave behind history... without leaving themselves. I hope i've been to shangri-la... but wishing is still nothing until u suffer. why is anything categorised in their myths why didn't we know them? is he my saint... no gods for me... respect and wishfull thinking won't change them as it seems the don't fight for me! i am nothing but i see them as kings of suffer... lets suffer but will u change places.. they won't because they come back in case it changes... they are wondering and knowing a shangrila-that is everywhere but not for me? thanxs.. creat paradise without ur buddha! he will follow as he didn't invite u or did they? he? u? dalailama... what a young spirit everybody wants to meet once a livetime... and again? will we meet/know ... will u listen? will u search? did u help in any spirit?

stevoo

briefbox said...

please find a buddha that can do more and nothing... this will do more to u than anything else. many...travellers will believe... this world will change including lamas? are lamas changing do they find new lamas... do they determin who's god in any place. will shamans, lamas, anybody who received will/chance to decide... ever leave behind history... without leaving themselves. I hope i've been to shangri-la... but wishing is still nothing until u suffer. why is anything categorised in their myths why didn't we know them? is he my saint... no gods for me... respect and wishfull thinking won't change them as it seems the don't fight for me! i am nothing but i see them as kings of suffer... lets suffer but will u change places.. they won't because they come back in case it changes... they are wondering and knowing a shangrila-that is everywhere but not for me? thanxs.. creat paradise without ur buddha! he will follow as he didn't invite u or did they? he? u? dalailama... what a young spirit everybody wants to meet once a livetime... and again? will we meet/know ... will u listen? will u search? did u help in any spirit?

stevoo

Anonymous said...

1. why would self-worth come from interconnectedness? if we value ourselves because of connections, we don't value ourselves for being ourselves. this seems to defeat self-worth. how do we really know we're connected anyway?

2. what you say about self-worth heavily resemble what psychologists and christians say about it. so how is what you are writing buddhism? are modern american psychology, various sects of christianity, and buddhism all the same thing?

They call him James Ure said...

Anonymous:

Let me say first that I didn't write this post. It is a quote, from the Daily Om website. I only added a small comment at the end.

You said, if we value ourselves because of connections, we don't value ourselves for being ourselves.

The quote in the post speaks of self-worth coming from connections with others AND from ourselves. The coming from ourselves part I read in these following parts of the quote:

-You are born worthy-your worth is intertwined with your very being.

-Each time you endeavor to appreciate yourself, treat yourself kindly, define your personal boundaries, be proactive in seeing that your needs are met, and broaden your horizons, you express your recognition of your innate value.

But it is also intertwined with the well-being of others.

-It is your worth as an individual who is simultaneously interconnected with all living beings that allows you to be happy, confident, and motivated.

Here I believe it is speaking of the importance to understand your worth as an individual but to also realize that happiness, confidence and motivation come in part by our connections with others.

Anonymous said...

Hi James,
Thanks for your comments. I'm sorry about the brusque tone I used to ask you questions. I was in a terrible mood for unrelated reasons. I do not intend to become buddhist, but I enjoy learning about what it means to be an American buddhist from your blog entries. A few more questions.

Why would being a human give each human self-worth? What about being born makes us worthy? Is that simply a given of buddhism?

How do you know you're connected with all other beings? I am still not sure why that would provide worth.

They call him James Ure said...

Anonymous:

No worries. I understand about being in a terrible mood and please know that I didn't feel that you were being brusque. I don't mind a spirited conversation.

In the end, self-worth and being born is intrinsic to Buddhism. A given I guess as you said. People may not realize it but being human in Buddhism gives one self-worth because we are all Buddha's to be and being a Buddha is to be perfect peace and happiness.

We are also born with self worth as a Buddhist because we believe that being born in a human form is the best form to achieve liberation/Nirvana and that should give us a great feeling of worth.

As Buddhists we believe that we are interconnected through dependent co-arising. In other words, phenomena and all beings arise together in a mutually interdependent net of cause and effect. Check out the Wikipedia page on dependent co-arising for more on this topic.

I can't speak for everyone but this makes me feel worth because it says that I am just as important as anyone else as we are all apart of one, big essence according to Buddhism.

I hope that helps clarify a few things. :)

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