• 80th International Peace Meditation “Finding the Worth Within”

    “Finding the Worth Within”

    August 3 — Welcome to the 80th International Peace Meditation. We are a community who seeks empowerment within ourselves and for others. We are regular people who are challenged daily by the demands of living. All of us face illness, death of loved ones, births, unions, disappointments, successes, and the eventuality of our own physical mortality. But we are alive! We are alive within ourselves, and we have a mission of helping others.

    Worth within oneself is the foundation for loving others. Finding worth within oneself is perhaps life’s greatest challenge.

    Self-worth, or self-esteem, is the belief in our own worthiness. We are surrounded by messages, sometimes at home, and in the general society, that we are not worthy. We have been faced with dangers and felt that our responses, whether personal or professional, were inadequate. We know that we operate within limitations, yet we must rise above our human limitations and recognize that we are something far more valuable than simply what we do and say. We are. That is why we are important.

    Before we begin to criticize by enumerating the many misdeeds of murderers and vicious dictators, let’s accept for a moment this assumption: “We are important because we are”. This means that there is inherent within the human being something important. That before we even knowingly make decisions and act on our behalf, or the behalf of others, we are important because we exist. That means that within the human spirit, before all choices and actions are considered, we are worthy. That also means that by the very act of being alive we have inherent value. So, before we beat ourselves up once more, let us consider what having worth for simply being alive means.

    Consider for a moment the Christian concept and belief that one is worthy because Christ died for his or her sins. This gives the Christian a way of accepting both human worth and human mistakes. It gives a concrete form to an idea of worthiness. The communion liturgy speaks of human unworthiness to even take up the crumbs, but also gives the gift of worthiness through forgiveness to all who participate in this bread of life. This helps the spiritual sojourner to accept worthiness through the forgiveness of sins as a way of accepting his/her human spirit as worthy.

    Counselors frequently see a client’s lack of belief in his or her worth. Lack of feelings of self-worth is perhaps the greatest pain one can experience. As one who knows, lack of self worth can make one feel as if he/she is not worthy to be on the planet. Lack of self-esteem can lead to self-destruction through the abuse of drugs, self-deprecating speech, job performance failure, poor health habits, and the need to give put downs, be put-down, or hurt others. Even bragging or over-achieving can be symptoms of being filled with self-deprecating thoughts.

    Most of us know how it feels to lack self-esteem. Whether we would admit it to anyone else or not, most of us have moments of self-doubt. We can look at the decisions we have made, and see other preferred choices. We can see the results of our behavior, and feel ashamed. We can believe we are unworthy, and therefore fail to achieve whether in school or on the job. Later, we can often look back and realize that the ones who moved higher in our professions were not necessarily more skilled, but more confident. Of course, this is a generalization because many who have achieved have done so by making significant contributions. But many others stay on the sidelines without trying for fear of failure.

    Fear of failure is a symptom of feeling unworthy. The person fears the retribution he/she anticipates for failure. Therefore, it is safer not to try than to have to face possible failure resulting in more feelings of unworthiness. This person denies him/herself the opportunity to contribute his/her true gifts because of the need to feel safe. However, true safety is the knowledge at the end of one’s life that:
    one’s life has been well lived;
    one has contributed one’s talents and love to the world; and, as a result, others have been enriched.

    So, how can one find that sense of worthiness that is the basis for positive contribution? How can one believe in oneself so that one can require time for oneself to meditate/pray, to develop one’s unique talents, and to contribute those talents to the world? How can one be real in a world full of artificiality? How can one rise above the crowd and stand for what one believes is right? How can one have the strength of character to lead when others would follow blindly? How can one have the power to say no when much of the rest of the world is saying yes–to allowing discrimination to flourish; drug abuse and child abuse to escalate; and corporate greed to continue by those who make large sums of money on the destructive behaviors and pain of others?

    Self-worth is a decision to see oneself as part of the Universe. Whether one believes in God, Allah, Love, Christ-one begins to see oneself as worthy because one is part of, and represents, the good that is. This is separate from behavior. That is why, with children, we may criticize behavior, but never the child! The human spirit is inherently flawless, perfect, and capable of love. However, the unacceptable behaviors that are destructive to oneself and to others are never to be accepted or allowed. Thus, even for adults, it is essential to separate the human spirit from the behaviors he/she demonstrates.

    Many of us are unable to see our own self-worth. We are unable to see ourselves as ambassadors of love, capable of contributing valuable time and effort to help our families and others. We need to be able to support our families, and ourselves, but sometimes we raise the standard of living so high that we use all of our time and effort to enhance our lifestyles and status.

    We are good because we are. We are worthy because we are. We are all a part of the great I AM. By whatever name we use, we are each a part of that spirit and we are all connected. Our human spirit connects us to those of other races, cultures, beliefs, lifestyles, and handicapping conditions. We are all spirit. We are all connected. When one hurts, all others are affected. That is why meditation/prayer assists in elevating the human consciousness. However, lack of meditation/prayer results in the lowering of human consciousness and subsequent increases in violence to others and self-destructive behaviors.

    For those of us who recently witnessed the homecoming of POW Jessica Lynch, we could not help but be impressed by the faith which carried the Lynch family and the community through the most trying times. That same higher consciousness was evident in the way she was received back into the community. Food was being given away, not sold. It was not an event for the community to profit. It was an outpouring of love, compassion, and gratitude for the relief from suffering for Jessica and her family. It also was evidence of wonderful generosity and caring from people who lived far away and did not even know the family. Money was given freely to assist in remodeling the house so that Jessica’s recovery could be facilitated at home. It was a time of thanksgiving, in the midst of deep loss for those who will not be coming home. It was a time to reflect on the value of human life, and the willingness of those who put their lives on the line for the freedom of people they will never even know. It was a time of love; it was a time of giving. And the people who were touched by her story and her life received a valuable contribution to their spirits. One who exemplifies love to the fullest inspires us to live our lives in contribution.

    We are worthy because we are. We are worthy because we are a part of the universal human spirit. We are worthy because the lines that divide us can never really divide us. We are learning, as our consciousness is raised, that we are connected across the human-constructed boundaries of race, religion, culture, lifestyle, or handicapping condition. We are truly one human family, and we are so because of the value of the human spirit.

    The deaths on July 22, 2003, of two who would murder and torture do not conflict with the concept of human worthiness. We have free choice. We can choose to love and support life, or we can choose to destroy it. We can believe we and others are worthy of quality healthcare, quality education, quality food, and a safe and loving environment. Or, we can say, “I got mine.” We can look the other way. We can hide behind our titles and positions while others are being denied these basic rights. Or, like Jessica, we can risk so that others might more fully live.

    We are worthy. If we accept that basic premise of the worthiness of the human spirit because it is a part of the universal human spirit; if we therefore accept ourselves as being capable of loving; and if we contribute our talents, no matter how small they may seem, toward the well being of others; we will fully live. Our gravestones will not tell how much money we made, or how many houses and cars we owned. Our gravestones will say things such as: “Father”, “Mother”, “Son”, “Daughter”, “Husband”, “Wife”, “Teacher”, “Human Rights Advocate”, “Spiritual Leader”, “Healer”, “Artist”, “Writer”, “Veteran”, “One Who Inspired Others”. Or it may reflect our life contribution made through our favorite service organization. These descriptions represent some of the ways we contribute our lives that lend meaning and value to the lives of others.

    Thank you for being part of the human empowerment community. Please forward this message to all on your e-mail list, with your own personal message to them of how much you value them and how important they are to your life. Lift someone’s self-perception today by sharing this empowering message with him or her. Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of August 3, 2002, and again on the first Sunday of every month, for the International Peace Meditation.

    We hope you will visit our web site at www.humanempowerment.org and participate in this important mission to bring empowering messages and beliefs to everyone.

    And, only if you are able, please consider contributing to the mission of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. Please give so that others might more fully live.

    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

    Please send contributions to:

    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York 12203 USA

    Please make checks or money orders out to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a 501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491
    sueshipe@humanempowerment.org
    www.humanempowerment.org

    Please write and let us know how we can better serve you.

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