Your worth is infinite. Understanding this one truth can make all the difference in your life. When I was a child, I remember asking my mother how much a person cost. She said that all the money in the world could not buy a person. I didn’t really comprehend this at the time, but now I understand that truly internalizing this is essential to happiness.
If you stop to think about it, every interaction we have with others causes us to evaluate our worth. We aren’t usually aware that we are doing this, but when we dig below all the layers of emotion, we are typically coming to one of two conclusions: we are either better than the other person, or worse than the other person.
Perhaps a common experience will illustrate this point. Imagine you are driving in heavy traffic. You notice that the person next to you wants to change into your lane. You slow down to let them in, and as they merge in front of you, they stare at you angrily. Though you are not a professional lip-reader, you can tell that they are swearing at you.
How do you feel? Do you become inwardly defensive and begin a conversation in your head (or out loud) addressing “that jerk” and his rudeness? Does your mouth gape open in disbelief? Do you fight the urge to tailgate this person to show them you are equally displeased with their behavior? If this is your response, then you have evaluated your worth to be greater than the person’s in the other vehicle.
On the other hand, do you feel bad about yourself, sorry that you didn’t notice he wanted to merge sooner, and hurt that a complete stranger would swear at you? If so, then you are considering your worth to be less than the person’s in the other vehicle.
Neither is true. The fact of the matter is, your worth is infinite. That means that it has no beginning and no end, and is unquantifiable. It cannot be added to nor taken from. No matter what anybody else says or does, your worth can never change. If somebody abuses you physically or emotionally, even though you may feel you are worthless, God knows the truth–you are infinitely precious to Him, and your worth has not changed!
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said, “We know from modern revelation that ‘the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.’ We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat our fellowmen.
“One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, ‘I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.’” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, You Are My Hands).
Don’t you love that? You are still worth the full amount, no matter what happens to you, or no matter what you have done, or no matter what others have done to you.
Now when I am tempted to be defensive or offended, I try to remember to say to myself, “My worth is the same, my worth is the same.” Whenever I do this, the anger or hurt immediately leaves and I feel peace.
I challenge you to remind yourself of your true worth throughout your day. Any time you start to feel bad about yourself for any reason, repeat out loud or in your mind, “My worth is the same.” Any time you start to feel annoyed or angry at others, say the same thing: “My worth is the same.” We are all equal in the eyes of God, and if we are to be truly happy, we must ever be mindful of this.
What do you do to remind yourself of your true worth? Leave your insights in the comment section below.
And remember, if you missed any previous installments in the Happiness series, you can find them all on my Happiness page.