There is one line in a book, "6 Events" by Stephen R. Covey that really resonated with me and helped me come to this awareness... "My sense of self-worth is simply not based on other people's perceptions of me." It's such a simple but powerful thought. It's so liberating to know that other people's judgements of me have absolutely no bearing on my worth. So instead of being preoccupied with measuring up to other's expectations, or comparing myself with others, I can focus my energies on becoming who God intended me to be. I mean- praise and compliments are nice, but they don't mean as much now. I'm more concerned with what God knows about me, which is the depth of my heart, other than what other people think about me- which is superficial and constantly fluctuates.
I believe our security in life should be based on the fact that we are God's children. Each of us. We are not simply his creation, but we literally one generation away from Deity. The wonder of it!! I'm still sensitive, and aware of people's judgements, but now my sense of worth isn't as affected every time I get rejected or criticized. Also, there is no need to compare or compete with anyone else because I realize we ALL have divine worth and potential that is far beyond any human measurement.
I taught this principle in a lesson to the young women at church once, and used a powerful object lesson. This object lesson was not my idea, I found it online on sugardoodle.net. So I held up a $100 bill and said, "Who would like this $100 bill?" Of course all their hands went up. I passed it around the room, and they all oohed and awed, and when it got back to me I proceeded to crumple it up in my hand. Then I asked, "Who still wants it?" And all their hands went up. Then I said, "Ok, well, what if I do this? And I dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with my shoe. I picked it up again, it was all dirty and crumpled and I asked again, "Who still wants it?" Still their hands went up. So I said, "You girls have learned an important lesson... no matter what I did to this $100 bill, you still wanted it because it didn't decrease in value. It was still worth $100.
Sometimes in our lives we are dropped, and we feel dirty and crumpled by the mistakes we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or will happen, no matter what anyone says or does to you, you will never lose your value in your Heavenly Father's eyes. To Him you are priceless. Then we went on to talk about their divine nature, and at the end of the lesson I passed around these handouts... (in case you were wondering... the bill was fake ;))
We never lose our worth!
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
I think teenagers especially need us to affirm them of their divine potential. It's such a tough age, especially these days with all the false messages about their worth that they're bombarded with- DAILY. The world would have them believe that their worth is conditional- based on their looks, wealth, popularity, or other worldly standard. And they're so impressionable to those messages because they're developing their own identity and independence. So they need us to teach that they are unconditionally precious in His sight. Our little children need it too. They need to see our faces light up when they come into the room, and they need us to believe in them... especially when they don't deserve it.
So this understanding has been such a blessing in my life, but the best part about this change wasn't so much about the awareness I had about myself, but that I began to see everyone else in a new light. When I accepted this truth about myself, I could recognize and fully appreciate that everyone else is God's own child too... unique and precious to him, with a distinct and important mission to perform on this earth. I feel a greater love for everyone I meet, even strangers. And I have a greater desire to help people because I see them for who they really are. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to have been taught these truths from a young age, and I hope to instill them in my own children. Hopefully it won't take them over 20 years to begin to actually "get it!"
Celeste and Benny 1/07
I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I should do to live with Him someday (boom boom). ;)