Rooting out feelings of worthlessness takes a lifetime’s work for drug addicts, alcoholics, mental health and trauma survivors. When we talk about being “in recovery” or “doing the work”, this is the basic essence of it. Daily we are attempting to live in the world as equals. We are not less than, even if we have been treated as such throughout our lives. We are not more than. Often this facade is designed to ward off the hurt associated with feelings of inferiority.
With our physical health and other areas of living we work to improve, it’s a series of small commitments. We often use words like “just” or “only” to minimize what we accomplish. Others make their accomplishments out to be bigger than what they are, or give no context to the assistance of others helping get them to where they go. Genuine humility puts us where we have never been as people who have thought so little of ourselves: on equal footing with those around us, regardless of what we do or fail to do.
Small daily strides to think better, with better actions keeps us well. We acknowledge our deficiencies and try to find new aspects of self definition. Some of us need to be built up. Often we think of our ego as being more than we are, but thinking less of ourselves is also ego at work. We lack the ability to see our inherent worth. We are valuable not in what we do or fail to do. Our value comes with being a person. Even if a twenty dollar bill is dirty or crumpled, it can never lose it’s value. So it is with us. Remembering that is priceless.