What is the one thing that we are most constantly reliant on to survive?
Oxygen. There are many other things we constantly need, however, the most basic of them all, is oxygen. You can survive for a few days without water, food and shelter. You cannot survive more than a few minutes without oxygen. Not only is it important to alway a great s have access to oxygen, it’s important to breathe in clean oxygen. We can survive on polluted oxygen but we often pay a hefty price for it. It shows up in a significant slack in our performance, affecting our focus, energy and sharpness. It also leads to all different forms of illness.
While this is all true for the survival of our body, our emotional and spiritual wellbeing is also constantly reliant on another form of oxygen. What is the one thing that our emotional and spiritual wellbeing is constantly reliant on? Our knowing that we are worthy, that we are invaluable and indispensable. This knowledge is oxygen to our wellbeing. The clearer we are that our individual existence if for a purpose which cannot be fulfilled by another, demonstrating our inherent worthiness, the better we can step into our responsibility in fulfilling this purpose. The less clear we are about our inherent worthiness, the weaker we are, affecting our determination, resilience, drive and purpose. A lack of clarity is similar to polluted air. It leaves us weak in our performance, affecting our focus, energy and sharpness. It also leads to all different forms of emotional unhealthiness which I’ll explain in future episodes.
There are two ways which we can seek out awareness of our worthiness. The path we choose to take has enormous implications on our life. We can seek our worthiness from within or we can seek our worthiness from without. When we seek our worthiness from within and become aware of our inherent value, we become emotionally and spiritually healthy and strong. We become more focused on our purpose. We become centered and the creator of our destiny. When we seek worthiness from without, we depend on the people, things and circumstances around us to tell us that we are worthy. We become dependent on them all. We worship them like false Gods, hoping that they will provide us with the oxygen that we desperately crave. As the great American poet, Robert Frost, wrote in his famous poem, The Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Here are the facts:
Just as we must have oxygen, as our survival depends on it, so we must feel a sense of worthiness because our emotional and spiritual survival depend on it.
Just as the quality of the oxygen we breathe has a direct effect on our physical health, so it is with the quality of our spiritual oxygen. The more our worthiness comes from a healthy place which is within, the healthier we become. The more our worthiness comes from an unhealthy place which is without, the more polluted our oxygen is and the more unhealthy we become.
So what’s the most important question we can ask ourselves now? Where do I get my self-worth from? Sometimes we have a hard time determining where we are at? We are biased because it’s simply not possible for anyone to self-introspect with bias. Once easy way of assessing where we get our self-worth from is by observing our actions, our words and even our thoughts. I would recommend beginning with your actions. In fact, let’s focus on the very word action. Is more of my life acting or reacting? Do I spend more time responding to email or sending my own email? When I’m part of a group discussion do I put out my opinion or do I react to others opinions? These are simple expressions of someone who lives in response to everything around them with no center vs. someone who acts because they are not the effect of everything and everyone around them.
I was heard it told of man who was brilliant. Anything someone would share him he would always argue was always the opposite. They say that when he died his soul stood before the A-lmighty. The A-lmighty turn to him and said, “On earth you were known to be a brilliant intellect. Why don’t you share a brilliant idea and show us what you achieved?” The man responded, “G-d, why don’t you share a brilliant idea and I’ll refute it?”
It’s a cute story that really demonstrates the tragedy of a person who never owns the very place G-d created for them and rather plays life safely by always living in reaction instead of action, living from without instead of beginning within.