What Are You Worth? Part I

by Ross Bishop

It’s an interesting question. We are never sure about our worth, but the doubt of our worthiness is always lurking about in the shadows. And feeling unworthy is a measure of the state of our consciousness. I have said before that the purpose of life is to find out who we are.

In God’s eyes our worth is beyond measure. In ours, we are not so sure. After all, we see all of our “flaws”up close. And if I have doubts about who I am, I will naturally doubt my worth and then I will act accordingly. And as long as I am engaged in not knowing, doubts about my worthiness will influence everything I do. 

When you finally realize who you are, questions about your worth become irrelevant. But in the meantime, feeling unworthy plays a unique role in our lives. As I said, you are already worthy, but you do not know it. In the first place, who can you prove your worthiness to? God already knows! As a result, we have created a society where people run around trying to prove their worth, with the hope that somehow, somewhere it will make a difference! And it does, but not for those reasons.

For most people, life becomes sort of a giant game where we struggle trying to do good things to boost our sense of worth, while minimizing the screw-ups that we assume detract from our worthiness “score.” The myth is that if we accumulate enough points then we will win the game and get to go home. Until then, we struggle. And so we go through our days, focused on our deficiencies, never being really sure where we are on the worthiness scoreboard.

In an interesting twist, we end up measuring our worthiness at the temple of Power and Greed, believing that he who has the most gold coins at the end will win. We have come full circle, where we now worship the Golden Calf from Exodus. But all that has left us with are a handful of really rich people and a wrecked planet. Interestingly enough, although we have plenty of guidance about how to do otherwise (The Ten Commandments, The Vedas, Christ’s teachings, etc.) we ignore those. 

Let’s take a look at how this works: When you incarnate, you are placed in a family environment that is a perfect match for what you need in terms of your spiritual development. Perhaps you didn’t need to do as much work this time, so you were put with a family that matches your needs. On the other hand, maybe you decided to take on more of a challenge, so you were put with a family and social circumstances that would push you. And in those cases, that means that things won’t go well. 

Johann von Goethe said that, “There are two gifts we should give our children; one is roots, and the other is wings.” And although in the ideal, a child’s world should be one of unconditional love, play, fantasy and joy, many children’s worlds are unfortunately filled with pain, disappointment, judgment, criticism, emotional abandonment and rejection. And for a few others, there lives will be pure hell.

Maybe mom meant well, but was too young or inexperienced or unsure of herself. Maybe she was threatened by the responsibility of having children or for some other reason was closed emotionally. And in the extreme, what if she was depressed or even worse, maybe drug addicted? 

What if your father was aloof, an alcoholic or not even there? Worse yet, what if he was sexually abusive? And what if social conditions were a far cry from the ideal suburban environment of tv sitcoms? Kids growing up in environments like this will be troubled and as a group they will range from having very little self esteem to being seriously deficient.

The point is that you end up with a group of kids who are all over the map in terms of their sense of self-worth. Some, with loving and supportive families, will do great. Others will just sort of break-even. Then there are the kids who really struggle.

The break-even kids feel mostly OK, but their parents are unable to give them the kind of unconditional love and support that they really need. These children struggle with being unsure of who they are and are secretly afraid that the negative messages they received while growing up were actually true. 

And then there are those who really suffer with serious self worth issues from lousy parenting, seriously dysfunctional family environments, sexual abuse, a dysfunctional culture, gang influence, violence, drugs, etc. – the whole nine yards.

So we end up with a mish-mash of kids with various levels of self-worth. And then we dump them all into a challenging social environment known as school. In school, the kids with good elf esteem will do petty well. Feeling good about themselves, they will grow from the school experience. Their healthy self images allow them to handle the ups and downs of the educational challenges and school social environment in stride. It doesn’t dramatically effect their sense of self – because for them, a strong self image has already been established. They know they are loved and lovable.

The break-even group will be a mixed bag. Some will take the bumps of school in stride and grow from their experiences. Others will take the knocks as challenges to their character, confirming that they are not OK. They will come out of the school experience still confused about who they are. As a group, they will hover just above and below the break-even point.

The kids who come in with serious self-worth deficits will really struggle. Without strong role models and already convinced that they are less than the other kids, every challenge will become a formidable obstacle. Failures of any kind will be a confirmation of their unworthiness. Many will just simply drop out emotionally or become passively aggressive in a system they feel is unfair and stacked against them, just like things are at home. 

Unless you actually live in the ghetto, it is very difficult to comprehend what life is like in parts of Dallas, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, East LA or South Chicago. For most of the people who live in those environments what they experience are dysfunctional home environments, lousy schools, gang violence, few job prospects that all point to a very limited future – other than substance addiction or criminal activity.

Their level of personal toxicity, rebelliousness and violence will be off the charts. Many will join gangs, seeking a sense of family that they cannot find at home. A few will rise above their situation and their social conditioning, but there will be far too few of them.

At some point they will all go out into the larger world. They will largely repeat the patterns established at home and in school. As before, those with a decent self image will do OK and will pass along what they have learned to their children. 

As for the the break-even group, most will struggle against their negative self images. For them life has become contentious. They will stumble along, their existence marked with job difficulties, divorces and getting by, doing everything they can to keep their heads above water. They too, will pass along what they have learned and what they believe to their children.

A few will turn their struggles into lessons and grow from their experiences. They will upset the odds and having learned from their earlier experiences, turn themselves into good parents and be a real contribution to the society. They may not necessarily have a lot in worldly terms, but their sense of self-worth will be extraordinary. 

Amongst those who are really struggling, some will get by, others will become substance abusers and a few will end up homeless. Some others will go totally down the rathole and become career criminals, drug dealers, gang members, pimps, etc. – turning their rage and frustration back on the community that raised and shaped them, sucking money from the community to try and fill their bottomless sense of personal deficiency. 

In time we come to realize that worthiness is not a external thing, a competition with our fellow beings, as it were. Worthiness is measured on the inside by our genuine feelings about ourselves. And this is where The Vedas and Ten Commandments and Christ’s teachings do come into play. If we live our lives according to those precepts, we cannot help but feel good about who we are, irregardless of how many gold coins we don’t have.

If you can step out of the human context for a moment, consider things from God’s perspective. As I said, God knows your worth, so the exercise in unworthiness is totally problematic. The human measuring stick of worth is a false one. You can’t lose at this game because there is no game. BUT in the process you will learn some very important things about yourself – primarily that you are worthy! And knowing that at a deep inner place is invaluable! 

Knowing that you are worthy brings you that much closer to living from the Truth. And it allows your natural compassion to surface and express itself. The bumps you encounter on the way are of your own creation (your fears, etc.) and although they make the trip uncomfortable, dealing with them is an invaluable part of the journey.

copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2019

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