I’ve started sleeping with earplugs. My adorable outdoor cats love cuddling, and at night they settle for snuggling through my bedroom window pane, just behind my headboard.
And they like pillow talk:
Pirate (cat, meowing): “Tina!?!? Are you awake? I am. This is fun. Can you hear me?!?!”
Me, muttering: “Oh. Em. Gee. Why is Pirate in the window.”
Pirate: “Oh, good! You’re there. It’s weird ’cause I can’t see you. But I hear just fine. Whatcha doin? Want to pick me up? Can you hear me purring? Purrrr.”
Me: “This is so cute, and so annoying, all at the same time.”
Sputnik (dog, barking): “HEY!!! WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO!?!? You told me to go to sleep. But Pirate’s up. I want to talk.”
I’ll admit, it’s adorable and definitely got a sleepy smile from me. I’m tickled my pets are insatiable snugglers.
Anywho, all that cute pillow talk disappears with my handy purple peacemaker ear plugs. Sleep city.
This afternoon, after a peace-filled night of sleep and joyous day, I’m reflecting on a simple truth: Every second of our life is valuable. Every single life is valuable.
But we’ve warped this so much. So many things in our lives work hard to convince us that really, some lives are more valuable than others. Or maybe just some parts of life. And depending on what you do, look like, earn, say, or how you love, or how you hate, or how far you have to go… You’re not valuable at all.
The reality is, if we truly believed every single life and moment is invaluable we would show so much more care and love to ourselves and others. If we can accept that even maddeningly silly moments in life (pillow-talk, anyone) are invaluable…
We can also begin to see that if something seems pointless or worthless maybe perspective needs to shift.
Maybe just enough to show you it’s time to move on. Or maybe to help discover something you’d never seen before about yourself or a loved one.
This is the core of what it means to love each other: Value.
It’s crazy how clear people seem to be about how to treat a million dollars, compared to whether to make eye contact and say hello to a homeless person. Or how pleasant to be toward their spouses, children. Or anyone when you think no one’s watching.
And then… How that turns inward. As though we weren’t the most valuable thing in this world. Because this world ceases to exist without you, in it.
How many times have you turned on yourself, devalued yourself? That’s a lot easier to do than you think. So you have to be a lot more aggressive about lifting yourself up and remembering your own worth… That helps you remember what others are worth.
If you’ve ever said, “I shouldn’t have done that,” or
“If only I could…”
Every one of those statements says what you are, have been and will be is conditionally valuable. That’s not true. Even the things that built you up to be stronger, or more caring, or funny have value.
The extra crazy thing is, when we devalue ourselves, it’s really choosing to hold unforgiveness for something we don’t think we did our best at. It was your best.
Or you would have done different/ better/ more/etc. There’s no magical point where parts of your life are now worthy, reshaped. We just come to a place where we value, we love completely. If we don’t value, don’t love ourselves completely, how can we love someone else?
Especially when they look like a mirror image of the stuff we don’t value, don’t love about ourselves.
Take inventory. What do you love, value most about yourself?
What do you wish you could change about yourself? <–That is the stuff you don’t love, don’t value, aren’t forgiving yourself for.
Give it up.
Let it go.
Stop struggling about it, stop trying to set your own value, your own care and storage instructions. Give the stuff you value, love least to the best appraiser ever. God will tell you what it’s really worth, and what to do with it, how to care for and restore it.
Otherwise you easily end up clinging to and over valuing the wrong aspect of something, losing the most valuable part as a result. Or devaluing something by caring for it the wrong way, setting or displaying it improperly.
Understanding you are priceless, and invaluable especially with all of your history and trials and challenges… Means you can wrap your mind around how invaluable your neighbors are.
You can treat every interaction like a historic, priceless exchange between the most valuable minds, powerful spirits, influential celebrities alive.
The next time you struggle to love yourself, or the next person, remember how much you value yourself, and value them.