How do you measure your worth?

Here’s the latest from professional sorcerer and teacher, Inominandum:

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

Yesterday I asked a question of some of my students:”How do you measure your worth?”

I got a some good answers. Some kind of pat answers (ie: happiness). And a few objections – STRONG objections – to the idea of even measuring worth.Some objections because the question was interpreted as “how do you measure up to societies expectations” even though that wasn’t the question at all. Others were simply a kneejerk avoidance of “judgement”. Others objected were because even questioning worth seemed to attacking a persons intrinsic value as a human being.

I agree with the Kantian idea that we all have intrinsic value and that no one is worthless. But because we ALL have intrinsic value it is kind of pointless to discuss unless we hold a lot of pain and toxic experience from having our intrinsic value questioned and attacked. Other than stand in support of people who have had this kind of abuse, I cannot comment further.  When it comes to intrinsic value we all have it.

But that doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as Extrinsic value, and yes, like it or not every single person evaluates themselves based on this. It may not (and I would argue should not) be confused or conflated or even effect ones intrinsic value, but it is still a metric that we use.

I asked the question the way I did because its a question I ave asked myself twice before in my life and came up short. In my mid-teens and again in my mid 30’s  I looked at my life and what I was doing and took an honest look in the mirror and realized I was not worth what I wanted to be by any measure that really mattered as far as how I wanted my life to go. More importantly. I also realized I was using ever accepting-relativist spirituality to force myself to “feel better” about who I was, already rather than actually do something to “be better“.

Both times forced me to action. I embraced discomfort willingly and knowingly. I did things I was afraid to do. I reinvented myself and measured myself, not against a metric imposed by society but against my own. I did in fact look at other people, not to find myself superior, but to see what was possible. I also had to accept that whether I wanted to incorporate the accomplishments of others into my metrics or not, I was going to do it anyway, so I may as well embrace it and use it.

If have been abused and called worthless, and have pain around the idea of worth: ignore this inquiry. here is no such thing as an approach that is universally good for everyone.

If however you are simply asking this question and feeling defensive, like you are being attacked by the question: ask yourself why? What is triggering this? What are you afraid of? What role is Sorcery playing in this?

Sorcery takes the light of spirit and reflects it out into the world. The world of loves, and money, and service, and body, and passion, and creativity.. Are you using spirituality to beef up your confidence and feel better? Or are you using it to build up your competence and be better? 

Its a question that can lead to some major changes.

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