How Does Self-Worth Work?
I spent the day yesterday beating my head against the financial wall of the mundane. I discovered that my trustee in my bankruptcy case is an asshole and will not allow me to call in to a meeting at which he and I are likely to be the only ones present. So, I will be driving two days out and two days back to go to this useless meeting. The good news is that Ann and I will be attending the Aerosmith concert after all. I’ll also be coming home for a visit. The meeting is the 26th of August (a Monday), so I will probably try to come up for Saturday evening so I have Sunday available to visit. Stay tuned on this one; I may have a couple of other surprises in store as well. Would someone be willing to plan a gathering at their house for all those who would like to see me?
But now, back to the story. I was on my way to the temp agency when I made this call. I got to the temp agency and the woman informed me that she had a position for me which had just been made moot by the fact that I would have to be gone for a week in the middle of the assignment. So, no job for me right now.
Not that I’m that upset, mind you. She also informed me that I could expect to be paid about $8/hr in this area. Talk about a waste of time. I already felt grossly underpaid at $10 and $12/hr. Funny how we set our sense of worth in the marketplace. Anyway, I have other feelers out to do some workshops, and I have a place to do readings, so hopefully, this will not be a problem.
But this got me thinking about how I think about employment and money. (Once more around the spiral, please.) I realize that I get frustrated that I’m not being paid “what I’m worth.” That’s an odd sentiment. I realize that the universe is doing a terrific job of taking care of me here. I have about $400 in the bank (more than I’ve had a lot of the time in the last 4 years). I have a roof over my head, food in the refrigerator, and gas in my car. And my bills are paid current. What is my concern? None, really. In the past, I would have been freaking out that I had no foreseeable source of income. Now I’m just trying to do the “responsible” thing and think enough ahead to make sure I keep a nice buffer in the event that extra expenses (like having to drive back up to MA) come up and so that I have enough to get me to the next step in the journey (as though the universe wouldn’t think to provide for that). I’m realizing though that in trying to do the “responsible” thing, I’m investing in the scarcity thinking that has always brought me down. It’s when I get wrapped in the idea that i don’t have any money that I shut down the energy and the flow stops. I know that if I’m patient and I go out and do things, the universe will provide the cash I need.
So we’re back to the question of being paid “what I’m worth.” What am I worth? I think a definition is in order here.
Worth: my value or desireability
Value: what I add to another person’s life or to my own in the case of my value to myself
Desireability: how much a person wants to have me in their life – also goes to value
So how does this apply back to worth and jobs? I do not feel a job is worth my time unless they can appreciate what I add to their lives. Hmmm, that implies that my worth is based on their acknowledgement of my contribution. Not good. But isn’t cash a form of acknowledgement? Regardless of how the definition works (and I know there’s work to do on this one), we equate pay with worth. Which means that in accepting these low-paying jobs, I’m accepting that I’m worth less than I think I am.
I’m beginning to believe that worth is like respect, where if you don’t respect yourself no one else will. Thus, if you don’t value yourself, no one else will either. This sounds like a “duh” now that it’s written. I know there’s something deeper than this, but I’m having a hard time getting to it.
Let’s take it from another angle. I’m also frustrated that in the past I haven’t been able to make a living doing my reading/counseling work. I’m conflicted again as I sit here. I’m saying that I never really applied myself to it, doing business cards and the like. But then again, I’ve always felt that those were the wrong approach for this sort of work. You can’t take a physical approach to spiritual work and expect to have it remain intact.
So this is the age-old question of how to have a wealth of spirit and a wealth of cash at the same time. I know they aren’t diametrically opposed, just the approaches typically taken to them are. It doesn’t mean those are the only approaches available. So I will take the spiritual approach to obtaining the cash. Witness for me now. If I am not going to take the physical approach, then I must take a different one or nothing will be forthcoming. I have a regular income of more than enough cash to do whatever I need and want to do in my life. A minimum of $1000/mo every month of my journey. I have $400 already this month, that means that $600 is somewhere out there waiting for me. I am on the lookout and will recognize it when it comes.
I’ve got to tell you that there’s a lot of constriction in my chest right now. A lot of thought telling me to reduce the amount, you don’t need that much, etc. Fear that I will call this forth and you will find me to be a fraud when it doesn’t happen. Fear that you will abandon me when I’m discovered to be a fraud. I acknowledge the fear. Now I’m going to ignore it.
I have $1000/mo every month of my journey. It already exists. I see it in the ethers. This money comes to me every month while I still maintain a sense of freedom, value, and security. It comes to me with plenty of time to spare for me to do my work on this journey, both for myself and for others. So mote it be.
*2013 Update: It’s interesting to see that this question was coming up for me as early as 2002. I know it was an issue (although I called it “respect” at the time) as far back as my early 20s. But this is an exploration of value at a new level for me at the time. Looking back, I see that my thinking was in the right direction, but on the wrong dimensional level. The energetic I was engaging at the time wasn’t conducive to getting to an inner place of worth – that required engaging self-love which I didn’t have any concept of yet.
Also, it’s interesting to note that I didn’t make $1,000 any month in my walkabout. And it didn’t matter. I had everything I needed regardless.
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.