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Knowing Your Worth (Actual, Not Net)

Learning to value yourself beyond the numbers of your bank balance

When I first encountered the phrase ‘net worth’ it made me cringe. The idea of being valued according to your financial situation (your assets minus your liabilities) sickened me. I recently revisited the concept, because, until recently, I was focusing on completing my undergraduate degree, leaving my current net worth depleted. I soon realised that the negative numbers were creating negative words, and those negative words were gathering into negative thought clouds, which was dragging down my self-worth. As a Wellbeing practitioner and depression survivor, I have been reflecting on this and have decided to explore the concept of actual worth to see how I can use it to uplift myself, and perhaps others, during this challenging time.

What Am I Actually Worth?

I believe that my actual worth is who I am as a human being, before taking into account any of my physical or material assets, circumstances or external achievements. I see this concept as different from self-worth, which is what we perceive our worth to be. But how could I possibly quantify such a thing? Can it even be defined? I suddenly realised that I was striving to articulate this very subjective concept using my cognitive being – mismatch!

So I meditated….

Honouring All of Me

I am so grateful for the strategy of meditating. As a highly imaginative and contemplative person, my cognitive responses can often overshadow the other aspects of me; my heart, body and soul. Meditation has really helped me become more balanced by honouring my heart, soul and body; something I would truly encourage for a happier life. As I meditated, I began to remember that net worth is only one dimension of our world – who we are as humans is multi-dimensional, one might say even omni-dimensional. At the very least, we are hearts full of feelings and desires, we are minds full of thoughts and ideas, we are bodies full of energy and systems that create actions in the physical world, and for those who believe it, we are souls full of Divine love and light with a unique purpose to fulfil on this earth. We are even more than all that, especially when we connect with others. Our energies synergise and transform, bounce off each other and expand. How can you measure that? Furthermore, every day is a new day, with new thoughts, words and actions, so this energy is increasing exponentially, as all of our elements project more energy into the world! Meditating on this showed me that trying to define our actual worth is in fact counterproductive – it limits us, and as beings of energy, we are limitless and therefore immeasurable!

Finding A Baseline

I found this inconclusive conclusion uplifting and inspiring in a general way, which is great for times when I only need a little nudge or boost. However, for those times when the reality of the physical dimension is leading me to over-activate my mind, I need to crystallise it onto a personal level and then distil that into some key practices. It doesn’t get more personal than my mission in life:

“Every day I strive to do good for myself and for others, and to feel good and help others feel good.”

Actual Worth Practices

Focusing in on my mission helps me appreciate myself as a unique human being with amazing intentions, and I came up with these practices to embed that feeling, starting with the following credo:

“Thank you for another day of precious life – a day full of opportunities for me to do good for myself and others, to feel good and help others feel good. May my thoughts, words and actions bring blessings to everyone and everything for the Highest Good.”

Then a Self-Gratitude Meditation with any or all of the following:

Thanking myself for all my strengths and qualities and the gifts that they bring me, for example, “I am grateful for my confidence which helps me connect with people and brings me life-enhancing opportunities,” or “I am grateful for my intuition as it leads me along the best path for my inner being.”

Thanking each part of my body and the freedoms and independences it brings, for example, “I am grateful for my eyes for their unconditional service in enabling me to take care of my basic needs, and all the creative and unique ways they enable me to experience love, life and nature.” Thanking myself for all the love I send out; I may even visualise how this looks by remembering all the different ways I have given out love, whether through physical gestures, acts of service, kind words etc.

‘Cashing In’ On My Actual Worth

They say that age is just a number. Well, so is your bank balance. From now on, I am not letting mine define me, because I am undefinable and immeasurable! Times may be tough, but I have an abundant treasury of resources flowing within me, and I can direct each and every one of them towards creating a life I love. And there isn’t a number in the world that can measure that! It would be like trying to measure the light of your soul using lumens! While the light of my soul may not physically pay my bills, I am learning to tune into it and trust it more and more through meditation, and it is leading me to a life I love, starting with the job I started in August. I am so grateful for the inner resources that led me to carry out this reflective practice, as I have concluded that the mere fact that we, as humans, cannot possibly articulate our actual worth, is a reflection of our sheer pricelessness. Trying to define it only limits it, so I’m leaving the lid off this one!

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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