I meditate... I sit and think about my life and experiences and as I sit I leave my ears, eyes, mind and heart opened to whatever the universe brings to me. Comedic mental pictures, childhood memories, images of me ten years from now, the wise words of my elders, they all come streaming in and in those moments I find the most beautiful things. Discovering things may not be as awakening as creating things though. In my moments of reflections I create short sayings and phrases, or lessons that draw upon the things I discover and I deposit those lessons or words into some hidden place I carry deep within me. The most recent one which I shared with friends was simple: if you want to know how it feels to be cheated, let someone else determine your value. In our agencies of socialization, (school, family, church etc) we build relationships which are pivotal in our development, yet in our lifetime we will each find someone who has the potential to be pivotal in our demise. People, even without malicious intentions, can challenge the beliefs we hold about who we are and what we are worth. We let others determine how we should dress, how we should speak, what we should do with our lives, who we should love or date and even what creator we should worship. Though we need an outside perspective at times, when it comes to determining who and what we are and how much we are worth, the only person who needs to be consulted is the one we see in mirrors, clean glass windows and on the surfaces of placid lakes.
When we submit our value and self-worth to someone else's opinion we sell ourselves short and we kill a significant part of who we are as individuals. It may sound entirely cliche, but if it's been said one thousand times, then let it be said one thousand times more so that I will always know that I am not alone in my belief that we cheat ourselves when we allow others to decide how valuable we are.