Last week I talked about diet culture, and how I’m convinced that the obesity epidemic facing America is actually tied to the emotional poverty in our country.
I often hear people talking about self-esteem. However, I don’t see much of a discussion about what that actually means. I don’t believe that you can artificially like yourself. I think when we deal with our emotions, the first thing that we have to evaluate is our value. As I observe the world around me, I’m struck by how poorly people often treat themselves. As a culture we are obsessed with weight loss but not health. We are drawn to the external but ignore the internal. I think if as a culture we valued human life then we would actually take care of ourselves.
However, I can rant and rave all day about what society should do. I don’t think that does any good. I think instead change starts with the individual. The question becomes, “Do you like yourself?” If your answer is no or I’m not sure, then that is where the problem starts. You will not take care of yourself if you don’t like you. As humans we do not care for things that aren’t valuable to us. Every human has an inherent value that cannot change. The individual who struggles with drug addiction is just as valuable as the kindergarten teacher down the street. We all have an intrinsic value that doesn’t change even if we make bad choices.
For example if I were to offer you a dirty $500 bill would you take it? Of course! You would take it because the money is valuable despite the condition it is in. This same thought applies to human beings. We are valuable even if we mess up. So how do we decide to value ourselves? Well that is a lesson that I am still learning. I’ll share more on this topic soon!
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