I have to pause (again) my current 4-part series, Games of Unknowledging, for this one very important thermometer on life; a happy, thriving, giving life that most doctors, therapists, and altruists would also consider a most important check-up. I promise my next post will be the conclusion. Promise!
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How we define our worth often hinges on what others around us say and do, or don’t say and don’t do, correct? Afterall, how can our own self-perception be accurate, honest, and objective if we have nothing to compare by? What constitutes worth and what exactly are those litmus tests that define it? Are they accurate? How much attention and energy should we give to our worth, its creation and its perpetuation? Peter Gabriel had something to say, or rather sing about self-worth in his 1986 hit “Big Time,” remember?
No matter how we choose to measure our own worth, there are fluctuating degrees of external feedback we seek, consciously or subconsciously, and this can be healthy and/or unhealthy.
In our modern age of booming technology, something seemingly new every month, sporting frantic paces, competition, and only 24-hours in a day to get it, manage it and finish it, sometimes at the expense of restful sleep, the insatiable beast of technological-consumerism demands ever-growing absorption. I’m not sure how aggressive it is in other countries, but in the U.S. it’s not just fierce, it has reached the intrusive levels of addiction. Tristan Harris with web-portal Big Think:
So… how do you define your self-worth? One way? Two, three or four different ways? Share your thoughts about how to define self-worth, I’d like to know them.
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always
Anyone who has had to deal with manifested psychiatric-psychological disorders like manic bipolar disorder as well as/or clinical addiction, which often go hand-in-hand, then like me you can probably relate to and empathize about why this particular song* speaks volumes to me. It captures the intensity. It covers ALL of the mental and emotional ups and downs, successes and failures, that seem to be a never-ending saga of love, hope, destruction, beauty, anger, disappointment, joy, and most of all perseverance. I sometimes wonder if staying isn’t abnormal.
I live a chemical life I’m on a mission to try You went insane for a day I’ll have to shove it away My only option is gone Smile as they break and they fall You want a simpler life You can’t erase what was mine
Even though it is human nature to often seek perfection and expect perfection, we eventually find that in seeking and expecting perfection, we find imperfection. The more perfection desired, the more imperfection found. Sounds quite insane, quite a formula for cyclical chaos doesn’t it?
[Pre-Chorus:] You must be out of your mind! This was a simple design! You fuck it up every time How could you leave me behind
Yes, there have been many times over the decades where I thought I was going out of my mind! But many times I felt denying or running from the problem(s) wouldn’t solve anything or teach me/us anything either! But everyone doesn’t think or feel like I do, so some do indeed “run”… and leave me behind. Some truly want immediate satisfaction and relief!
[Chorus:] It’s alright, it’s alright ’cause I know what you want but you’ll just have to wait If I had it to give I would give it away I’m living it up while I’m falling from grace There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away
And in my years of employment in the Psych/A&D field helping others, I eventually found that if I don’t remain disciplined with my own mental-emotional health, rest, and recreation, I too can fall from grace. I am just as human as the next and I am reminded of that, dancing that edge sometimes as I must, as long as I remain truly human insidehumanity. Make sense?
How many thousands of times I have heard this rationale and events play out…
I’m used to making it worse Made up of four letter words You wanna know what it was Now isolated and gone You fall apart at the seams I’ll never know what it means Try not to pull it apart You’re anger’s straight from the heart
There were numerous times when my patience and will were exhausted, done. All I wanted was to be selfish, left alone in solitude, or to do one of my favourite therapies: dancing. And yes, even dancing and screaming energetically angry too… at first, maybe. (wink)
It had to be the worst for me I don’t know what to say so let me be And now I find you left me behind** I don’t know what to say so nevermind!
I still belong here, there… with my human family, with my tribe, with my soul mates… through the good times and the bad. Together.
’cause I know what you want but you’ll just have to wait If I had it to give I would give it away I’m living it up while I’m falling from grace There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away
I don’t have all the answers, nor can I guarantee immediate results — you’ll just have to wait… be patient. If I had it to give, I would give it away! But in the meantime, I’ll be here with you. I might get frustrated, even angry, but I will celebrate successes just as pumped and just as excited as you do! “You’re mine.” You’re ours.
You know, maybe we don’t need such super high expectations of perfection. Since perfection always accompanies imperfection, let’s find all the beauty in imperfection and embrace it along with perfection. Let’s learn to screw up better each time! But do not fear…
There’s no way that I’m running away.
* “Simple Design” by Breaking Benjamin (2004)
** This line refers to my Dad who in July 1990 took his own life without reaching out.
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always