Behind starburst eyes

Value and Worth Aren’t The Same

I’ve noticed that many people seem to be attracted to or pulled towards those that see their value. Western society seems to equate someone noticing all we could do for them with importance and therefore we crave our value being recognized by others.

What I’ve also noticed is that we seem to view our value to others as being the same as our worth. Only, I don’t see it that way. For me, my value is what I can do for another, my worth is what I bring to the table as a whole. One is about what I can do for them, the other is simply about me as a person.

For example, when Mr.N was a year old my value to him high as he needed allot of things because he was only a baby, but my worth was low because I was not viewed as an individual so much as I was the provider of food, comfort, clean diapers and security. However, now at almost 10, he can feed himself, cook basic meals, wash and dress himself and so on and so my value is lower but my worth is higher because he sees more of who I am as a person. This is a natural progression for children of course.

However, I think for many adults we still get stuck looking and evaluating people based on their value instead of their worth. Basically, we get stuck focusing on what specific dishes they bring to our table that we can consume instead of the worth they bring to our table with their presence.

While I’m sure part of this is due to a primitive survival mechanism that makes us seek out those that can help us have a better life (or thrive), I wonder if it’s something we need to consider as no longer inherently necessary.

How much better would it be if we attempted to develop relationships (platonic as well as romantic) with those who’s worth we saw instead? Would we be happier overall if we stopped focusing on what others can actively do for us and intentionally developed relationships based on the worth we saw within others instead?

I ponder these things because secretly adults that primarily view my value feel like a burden to be honest, I feel like the only reason they ask me to their table is for what I can provide that they will use/consume. I want to be invited because they see my worth as a whole person, not for what I can do for them, and I don’t view my value to another and my worth as a person to be the same thing.

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Stopping to be present

It was late morning, still too early for her usual nap time, but G was tired. Rubbing her eyes, trying to use the bottom of her dress as a blanket, by pulling it up to her head. I laughed at that one, it was adorable! So thinking only of how this meant I had a bit of time before making lunch for the boys to work on some of my stuff I picked her up to take her to bed. But as I did so, she placed her head upon my shoulder, sucked her thumb, and hummed. She was content and that made me pause and just stand there holding her, relishing in the weight and feel of her little body cuddled into mine. Her baby fine hair tickling my face as I turned to kiss her head. She hummed for a few minutes as I gently rocked her, slowly her arm went slack as the humming stopped. She had fallen asleep in my arms, and I just stood there listening to her breathing. Knowing that this precious girl has complete and utter trust in me, humbles me. It makes me profoundly grateful to be her mother, to be the one entrusted with the honor of protecting, and guiding her until she is strong and wise enough to do it for herself. All the while I shall be slowly giving her the tools to do so. If I had not paused when she put her head on my shoulder, if I’d just kept walking, focusing on my constantly full “to-do” list I would have missed that moment. I’m glad that I didn’t.

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