How do we value ourselves? Some people say if you don’t have much money then you obviously don’t value yourself. I don’t know where this came from. There is also a strange belief that we can create wealth by just thinking about it. I have yet to see this produce significant results. Usually it is more about opportunity, education, hard work and good decisions. Sometimes, it’s about having connections with people who want to help. But I would prefer to talk about values in the sense of how you value yourself as a person. Because that is where the magic is. Maybe you are rich in talent or knowledge or understanding. Maybe you value yourself because you overcame abuse and understand the concept of right action. Maybe you value yourself because you know you are a good friend or a great mom. Of course we need to take care of ourselves and provide. A sense of security and belonging are essential to our well-being. But the concept of abundance has become a trend for people worried about money. Abundance is so much more than that. It is an energetic concept that defies our material reality. People may want to use it that way but I feel it is dismissing its true purpose. If we want to experience the world in all of it’s rich layers of obscurity we first need to stop creating false dichotomies. For example, what does the Notre Dame fire have to do with starving children in Africa. These are two completely separate issues. Facebook is full of arguments like this. Projecting our fears and limitations on to others is in direct opposition to abundance. Does that mean we need to ignore the starving masses of the world? Of course not. But lets not get into who and what matters more. Human lives matter. Art matters, so does history. And people respond generously to natural disasters because we want to make a difference and someone is asking for help only once. Isn’t it wonderful that people want to help? Some problems feel so big that we feel powerless to make a difference. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care. Valuing ourselves and others creates abundance, naturally. In a million ways.
You love your family. You love your partner. You love your children. It’s the most natural thing in the world for a woman to share her love with others. But women also have the need to be nurtured and taken care of by others. And what can easily happen is that we aren’t. Many of these relationships entail a one sided emotional dependency. Where and how can we charge our emotional batteries y so we can still give so much to others. It’s like we aren’t supposed to need anything but we do. Women can nurture each other if they have the time and the freedom to do so. Many women in choosing to work or needing to work have the benefit of social connections outside the home and ideally more intellectual stimulation, but then have to burn the candle at both ends to maintain a household. Men are naturally valued and given more status, and because of this women often unconsciously put their female friendships last. But who really helps you? Who really listens to you? Women’s greatest challenge is first being able to take care of ourselves. Time and space, learning and creating, nurturing the people who nurture us : all these are essential to our ability to give so much to people who need us.