Saturday, March 21, 2009

Calculating your worth

In this world of crumbling financial markets, rising unemployment and uncertainty how does one calculate their worth? Well, the "calculations" start pretty young in our lives. Conditions of worth are placed upon us by family, friends, school, church, etc.
What are conditions of worth? They are pretty much like what they sound like--conditions that must be met in order for us to be loved or accepted ("worthy") by a certain person or group of people.
What about expectations? Don't we all need to be able to live up to certain basic standards in this world? Yes. That is something very different.
Expectations of being are not the same as conditions of worth. An expectation of being could be a dress code, honoring traffic laws, fulfilling job requirements, etc. Expectations of being are more about behavior and things we all need to do in order to be good citizens, good students (Setting expectations for a student to do their personal best is much different than being disappointed in your student if they do not maintain "straight 'A's'."), good family members, good employees.
Conditions of worth go deeper than that and take things to an unrealistic level. What do conditions of worth look like? I imagine that anyone out there reading this could offer a list of some conditions of worth that were placed on them growing up, as a teen, even continuing on into adult life. How about only being loved or accepted if you maintain a certain weight, hair length, wear certain type clothes or shoes, make a certain amount of money, drive a certain type of car, maintain a certain standing in the company? Does any of that sound familiar in your life? If it does then you have been experiencing being accepted or loved or judged by conditions of worth. These are damaging to our sense of self-worth and identity... often leaving individuals feeling "less than."
How do you calculate your worth? Or the worth of those in your life? Here are some thoughts
on a deeper source of worth... the experience of being loved unconditionally either by another person or by your Higher Power really is like no other in this life!

This song below touches quite effectively on this theme of conditions of worth:

"Is it any wonder
That she would feel less than real
When she reveals what is clearer
In her mirror

Take a look around her
Magazines, glamor queens
Waist-line dreams in her diary
So inspiring

Nobody told her that little girls
Don't have to have the softest curls for love

So whatever's left inside her
Is gonna smile wider, shine brighter
Until she gets pulled under
Is it any wonder?

Is it any wonder
That he's obsessed with what is best
And nothing less... he's a hero
With six zeros

Take a look around him
His wallet size and what he drives
Will symbolize how he's made it
How they'll grade it

Nobody told him that little boys
Don't have to have the fastest toys to win

So whatever's left inside him
Is gonna keep on tryin' to keep on buyin'
Until he gets pulled under
Is it any wonder?

Will somebody tell her there's a
love that can't be glamorized
Tell him there's a hope that won't be downsized
Someone tell them that the billboards lie
All the time

'Cause whatever's left inside her
Is gonna smile wider
And whatever's left inside him
Is gonna keep on tryin'
Until they get pulled under
Is it any wonder?"

Nichole Nordeman - Is It Any Wonder


The Real Gal said...

Very timely post, especially for me! Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

ambersun said...

Hi from Australia

What a lovely poem.

I often feel very unworthy and sometimes have blamed myself for having a mental illness.

I have been blessed, however, by wonderful friends, family and God throughout all my sufferings.

Here is a quote that sums up how I feel:

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
By Leo Buscaglia

All the best


Sharon WIlson said...

Wonderful poem. Sadly too many people today undervalue their worth.

ana said...

Self worth is to recognize that my life is like a diamond.
When I know who am I will value myself more. No one can play my part the way I can play it. I am a potentially powerful soul.

Jackie Champion said...

Hi there! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about family counseling in your area. I'm glad to stop by your site and know more about family counseling.
The movement received an important boost in the mid-1950s through the work of anthropologist Gregory Bateson and colleagues – Jay Haley, Donald D. Jackson, John Weakland, William Fry, and later, Virginia Satir, Paul Watzlawick and others – at Palo Alto in the United States, who introduced ideas from cybernetics and general systems theory into social psychology and psychotherapy, focusing in particular on the role of communication (see Bateson Project). This approach eschewed the traditional focus on individual psychology and historical factors – that involve so-called linear causation and content – and emphasized instead feedback and homeostatic mechanisms and “rules” in here-and-now interactions – so-called circular causation and process – that were thought to maintain or exacerbate problems, whatever the original cause(s). This group was also influenced significantly by the work of US psychiatrist, hypnotherapist, and brief therapist, Milton H. Erickson - especially his innovative use of strategies for change, such as paradoxical directives (see also Reverse psychology). The members of the Bateson Project (like the founders of a number of other schools of family therapy, including Carl Whitaker, Murray Bowen, and Ivan Böszörményi-Nagy) had a particular interest in the possible psychosocial causes and treatment of schizophrenia, especially in terms of the putative "meaning" and "function" of signs and symptoms within the family system. The research of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts Lyman Wynne and Theodore Lidz on communication deviance and roles (e.g., pseudo-mutuality, pseudo-hostility, schism and skew) in families of schizophrenics also became influential with systems-communications-oriented theorists and therapists. A related theme, applying to dysfunction and psychopathology more generally, was that of the "identified patient" or "presenting problem" as a manifestation of or surrogate for the family's, or even society's, problems. (See also double bind; family nexus.)
Most people think of therapy as involving a one-to-one relationship with a therapist. However, there are times when it is more appropriate for family therapy and marital counseling either instead of or in addition to individual therapy.

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