Isn’t it interesting how we feel valuable around some people while around others we feel so cheap, invisible, small, and unworthy? Why is that? Some of us let our value be determined by those around us, when the truth is, we just are valuable!
I’ve been thinking about that and noticing my reactions to different people I interact with in my life. For example, this morning I was running along a forest path, and a guy passed me. He must have been running intervals because a ways up he stopped and started walking. As I kept on steadily running, I gained on him quickly and was thinking about if I would have to pass him.
I’ve had this weird worry (that I’m learning to not give into), but it is that I can’t pass someone twice without feeling strange, so my first impulse was to turn around before I would have to pass that guy. What happened next is a breakthrough in my thinking: I realized how sometimes I put my value on how another person responds to me and I don’t have to do that anymore!
Letting my value be determined by other’s reactions is a shaky and nerve-wracking way to live life. I now understand why sometimes I would feel more peaceful when I was by myself. But what happened this morning was I became aware of what I have been doing. Especially if I would get around guys, I would let them determine my value: It was like I was holding out the baton of my value to him, and if he took it, I would feel valuable for a while, but then the value would fade. Today I received the picture of pulling that baton of value into myself, and it just resting there. I’m just valuable, and I can be confident and rest in that! I can let people react to me in whatever way they choose, but it doesn’t influence my value.
People value something that is important to them. Our culture emphasizes that value comes from education, accomplishments, family… Advertising twists around our desire to be valuable in order to make money off of it. Where do humans get their value? I believe that God gives us value when He created us and that means we are valuable whether other humans think we are or not. Knowing our value frees us from having to do things in order to receive value; it frees us so we can love unconditionally.
What happened with that guy running in front of me? First of all, I relaxed, and then he turned around and passed me. Then I had the wide, woodsy path stretching ahead of me where I ran along and even leapt once or twice.