Thursday, May 5, 2011

Am I worth it?

Several months ago I was on my way out of the office after a long day at work. I was about to cross the street to where my car was parked when in the gutter I saw a dirty crumpled up old $10 bill. Despite its tattered condition, I knew what the value of that piece of paper was, and needless to say I was ecstatic. I do love finding money, and I knew exactly what I wanted to buy with it... a sandwich. I must have been really hungry at the time.

When I went to the sandwich shop I handed the clerk the cash. She did not question the value even though it wasn't the prettiest bill. There was no careful examination or tests done to prove the value of the bill. She just happily accepted the money and gave me my sandwich.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the worth of an individual, especially how a childhood sexual abuse victim perceives their own worth. Thinking about this little experience reminded me of a story not too long ago.  Here it is.
The $20 Bill (Story)

Source Unknown

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, “What if I do this?”

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

“Now, who still wants it?”

Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20,” he said.

“Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.”

“But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.”

“The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE. You are special - Don’t EVER forget it.”
The $20 bill in this story, despite being dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt was still worth $20.  The dirty $10 bill I found in the gutter outside my work was still worth $10.  And you, despite life's hardships, trials, and tribulations are are worth no less than anyone else.  If you are a victim of abuse, you may feel defiled, damaged, or worthless, but you're not.  You are still YOU.  You mean everything and are worth more than anything to those that truly love and care about you.

In my life I have found myself on numerous occasions asking the question, "Am I worth it?"  For long time I didn't know the answer, but now I do.  I am worth it, and so are you!

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