Your deep sense of value is very close to you all the time. Most people avoid it because they’re afraid of depth. They believe they’re safer if they stay on the surface of life, comparing themselves with others and trying to do what others expect of them.
But there’s no satisfaction in this. It leads to an endless search for yourself and your lost self-esteem. No one else can ever validate your existence or demonstrate your value. It’s sad that we try so hard so much of the time.
When you stop looking for who you are and what you’re worth you may feel lost, invisible or purposeless. It may feel like life has no value. You may lack motivation. Your energy level is low.
It becomes hard to value your work. You try to stimulate yourself by serving others selflessly. If you can support and enhance their value, you think, then you must be valuable yourself.
But deep inside you is the fear that you don’t really value anyone or anything. However much you do for others, and however much difference you make, and even however much other people appreciate you for your contribution to their life, you can’t escape the feeling that you don’t actually care at all.
This is so utterly soul-destroying that you push yourself back into service or survival, so you don’t have to face the ugly truth.
You notice that it’s hard to value other people’s work. People take credit for work you’ve done. They may even steal your work, betray your agreements or cheat you out of money that should be yours.
Your sense of value becomes increasingly challenged. There is an inner devastation of a life that feels close to chaos, covered over by discipline. This is the discipline of avoidance. This is what you’re willing to do to avoid falling into the depths of despair, pointlessness and helplessness.
Ironically, as is the beautiful way with life, it is in these depths that true value lies. When you become still and allow yourself to experience the deep, cool, dark inner space of your being, little by little, you come to know value.
Words may fail to describe this knowing. It’s a place where comparisons make no sense. No one can place expectations on you here. Not even you.
All you can do is stay for a while. Resist the temptation to run back into the light. Let go of the need to feel safe, on familiar ground.
This is anything but familiar.
It’s anything but safe.
And yet you feel very sure. You know this place already. It’s clear and clean. It’s cool and dark.
It’s your deep well of value. It connects to the ocean of value that lies within life itself.
Here you have no needy struggles. You’re not looking for validation. There’s nothing to prove.
Here you know the value of life – every tiny part of it. You are included. It is without question.
You can see it and you know it from the inside. Where you were before feels empty now.
Value fills out the purpose of your actions. It’s fulfilment. It’s integrity. Wholeness.
Value is deep, dark and cool like the ocean.