Being loved, appreciated and valued is something that every human soul longs for. Yet, there are many circumstances in life when we feel devalued, rejected, demeaned. Instead of remaining deflated however, we can choose to see even in the worst of setbacks new possibilities and find value and fulfilment in every circumstance. Herman Hesse said: ” I have always believed and I still believe that whatever good or bad fortune may come one’s way, we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value”.
When others devalue us and we feel downcast, despondent and struggle with a deep sense of inadequacy, it is because we believe others and subscribe to their beliefs. One way to overcome devaluation is to change our belief system and to remember that we are all unique beings and that each of us has a destiny to fulfill and that we are made in the image and likeness of God.
Desmond Tutu said: “Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value”. That is why comparisons in which we arrive at either a sense of superiority or inferiority in relation to others is not desirable.
Life needs balance and we need to let go of things that just keep us busy without adding any value to our lives.
We can give up on things and people who demean us. If you feel devalued by a boss for instance, you could choose to keep working with earnestness and ignoring the pinpricks you suffer or choose to find another job, in which you find appreciation and a sense of being valued.
Another way of adding value to life is by reaching out to others. Rachel Jones suggests that we can reach out to people who are in the same season of life as us, or those who are in a different season of life from us. When the young find support and a sense of camaraderie with other youth, it builds them up. When the young reach out to the old, disabled or the sick and find value in others, they are also adding value to their own lives.
One important way of adding value to life is to keep a gratitude journal. When we recall all the things we have to be grateful for, we are reinforcing in ourselves the strengths we possess and also remembering the many ways in which others have reached out to us and the value they possess. When we value others and the contribution they make to our lives, we almost automatically begin to value ourselves.
It is more important to build up self-esteem rather than strive continuously for success. The joy that comes through adding value to another’s life brings us a deep sense of satisfaction. So, whether it is in our relationship with God, the family, neighbours or those we come in contact with on a daily basis, or even strangers, the more love we give, the more love we get in return.
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