A video that was played on Friday night during the session with 1 Peter community has stuck with me over the weekend. Titled “The Wild Goose”, it is part of a series with this particular segment talking specifically about our true worth.
The part that struck me the most was a beautiful analogy of each of our lives as pennies. Some of us who are lucky stay shiny for much of our lives; while others who are not so lucky get dirty, falling to the ground and being trampled under foot.
In spite of these dirty pennies having been through more than others, and turning out less shiny, it does not change their value or make their worth any less. And the markings and wordings on every penny always remains the same. And so are we.
It was a significant affirmation for me as I recently discovered that I have still been struggling with shame and fear of my past without realising. Fear that I am not good enough. Or that I ever will be.
Which is why I have been surprised that in recent times an interesting phenomenon has developed. A growing number of friends have been coming to me for advice about their work, and even about their personal lives.
There is a part of me that just cannot make sense of all this. Here I am, with no major achievements in my life. In fact if anything, I have experienced more failures and screw ups than successes, some of them major ones.
Yet when I suggested they look for someone else, perhaps role models who have lived better lives, the responses I got were similar. According to them it was precisely because I have failed so much that I was approached, because they knew they wouldn’t be judged. And because I am familiar with imperfection, they felt I have managed to learn more from first hand experience than most.
The danger for me of course, is my desire to help. It is a double-edged sword. It is this very desire to help others that has gotten me into so much trouble in the past. I’ve always taken it upon myself to solve other people’s problems or to make them just a bit happier. Yet in having this saviour complex, and shouldering this responsibility, I have actually become an obstacle preventing them from seeing their own true worth.
And because I have yet to learn to truly be still, and to listen deeply to the real voice of wisdom and authentic love, I would constantly fail and be less life-giving towards others, not allowing them the space and freedom to grow.
Because the truth is, until we stop and come to acceptance of our human condition, we cannot see clearly, we cannot listen deeply, we cannot speak truthfully. Because we have not yet encountered the only love that can help us understand our true worth.
So here’s to opening our hearts to acknowledge our insufficiencies. Here’s to realising that our real worth and value lies not in the houses we live, the cars we drive, the careers we develop, nor the people we cling desperately to for love and acceptance. For all these are fleeting and can never stand the test of time.
Here’s to becoming truly poor in spirit, that we might one day inherit the earth.