Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m worth. There have been some pretty major aspects of life causing me a lot of unhappiness and the message from those who care about me has been consistent: “You’re worth more than this. You deserve better.”
But who’s to say what any of us are worth; what any of us deserve? Is there a scale against which such things can be measured? It feels like the kind of quiz you’d find in a teenage girls’ magazine:
What are you worth?
Q1) Would your friends describe you as:
A) Kind and generous
B) A bit lazy
C) Deeply offensive to everyone you meet
Q2) Do you prefer:
A) Giving your time to those who need it
B) Spending money on things you don’t need
C) Kicking puppies in the head
Q3) Would you ideal job be:
Mostly As: We’re not worthy! You’re one of life’s good people and definitely deserve the best of everything.
Mostly Bs: You put yourself first a bit too often, but still deserve some good things in your life.
Mostly Cs: You’re completely worthless. You deserve for everything to go wrong and for life to be an uphill struggle.
Of course this is silly. We’re all complex and changing. We’re all capable of being “good” and “bad” and have all done things of which we are proud and things of which we are ashamed. So what do I deserve? What am I worth? And is it any different to anyone else? Surely we all deserve a life that is simply the best it can be?
And if we decide we’re “worth more”, whose job is it to make that happen? Is it enough to know we deserve better and wait for the universe to put things right? I do believe in fate (and in G-d for that matter), so maybe this idea isn’t so ridiculous. But I also believe in free will. I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves to grasp the things we deserve and to make our own life, and the the lives of others, as fantastic as it can possibly be.
My friend Debbie wrote a recent post in her own blog (http://morahmummy.blogspot.co.uk/) in which she discussed the difference between choice, destiny and luck. It was very thought-provoking and felt very relevant to me in light of changes that have been happening in my life, and it’s what inspired this post. Debbie has her own take on it which I’ll let you read for yourself.
But for me, it goes back to my core belief, and the basis of this blog: summed up by a verse from a song in Wicked that I keep quoting:
I’m through accepting limits
‘Cos someone says they’re so.
Some things I cannot change
But ’til I try I’ll never know.
So what are the things I cannot change? I cannot change luck. Or can I? “You make your own luck”, or so the saying goes. So maybe luck is more about creating the right set of circumstances for something good to happen – being in the right place at the right time, so to speak.
OK, well I cannot change destiny. Or can I? I do believe in fate, but I believe in free will more. Do I really subscribe to the notion that the person I’m meant to be, the things I’m supposed to do, the attributes I’m intended to have, are all written in stone? No, to be honest. I believe all of these things can be changed, according to the paths I choose to follow.
And what about choices? Well this is the most difficult one of all. Because choices – the big choices, I mean – are scary. So often we stay in a situation that makes us miserable because we’re frightened to make the choice to change things. What if I regret my choice? What if it makes things even worse? Until I try I’ll never know.
So, in the name of staying true to myself and my beliefs, I have made some choices recently. Some pretty bloody big ones. The months I spent agonising over them were awful, but as soon as I made them and saw them through, I knew they were right. Because no matter how you measure it, I do deserve more. And it’s up to me to make sure I get it.