inherent self-worth


Dashing a lot of well-planned plans, I slipped on some melting ice this weekend falling right on my back and down a set of stairs. I’m in pain and trying my best to move as little as possible. I will eventually have to move to see if this pain is just soreness that I can overcome with some stretching and mild painkillers.

But in lying here in immobile self-pity I am thinking about a Twitter thread I read the other day in which a woman considered how her therapist asked her how she planned to reward herself for accomplishing something the woman should have done/needed to do anyway. This tweet received a tremendous response from people saying that they struggle with the same thing – beating themselves up for achieving less than perfection rather than rewarding themselves when they’d done something (well or not), regardless of whether that something was required.

I’m conflicted about this. I think most of us are too hard on ourselves a lot of the time and don’t stop to take a breath and think, awake with a moment of self-awareness, that we’ve done something – whatever it is. I think that would be enough. Someone responded to the tweet: “It’s called inherent self-worth”. I think they may have meant that someone who has inherent self-worth will reward him/herself. But I really believe that a true sense of grounded, inherent self-worth is reward enough itself. Why are we being pushed in a direction that we should be rewarded for everything we do? This is the other side of my conflict about this. Sure, I think people should set goals and perhaps reward themselves when they reach them or hit milestones or sometimes even when they fail because they tried. But rewarding yourself for every single thing seems like a bridge too far. Where is the line? And what is a ‘reward’ anyway? (A lot of people, in fairness, did not even know what a ‘reward’ might look like.) As I said, taking a moment to identify a job well done or getting something done that I’d been putting off – living in a quiet moment of self-awareness – should be enough.

What more does a person need? Does anyone have thoughts on this?

dark grass


A Home in Dark Grass
Robert Bly

In the deep fall, the body awakes,
And we find lions on the seashore—
Nothing to fear.
The wind rises, the water is born,
Spreading white tomb-clothes on a rocky shore,
Drawing us up
From the bed of the land.

We did not come to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves like the trees,
The trees that are broken
And start again, drawing up on great roots;
Like mad poets captured by the Moors,
Men who live out
A second life.

That we should learn of poverty and rags,
That we should taste the weed of Dillinger,
And swim in the sea,
Not always walking on dry land,
And, dancing, find in the trees a saviour,
A home in the dark grass,
And nourishment in death.

Photo by HENCE THE BOOM on Unsplash