I believe strongly that each human being comes into this life with an inherent worth and dignity. This worth and dignity express themselves in many varied ways from person to person.
Some people (and I have been one myself) react to this notion–that there is something inherently abundant and rich about who they are. They look out on a world of creative, gifted, privileged people and conclude that they have been left out of it all.
Nature itself holds so many examples of inherent giftedness. Mary Oliver captures it in these lines of hers:
But I am going to spend my life wisely. I’m going to be happy,
and frivolous, and useful. Every morning, in the dark, I gather
a few acorns and imagine, inside of them, the pale oak trees.*
Can you take time today to walk outside? If it’s cold, just put on a heavy coat. Stroll for a little while near some trees. Gather up, frivolously, some acorns, or sweetgum balls, or fallen leaves. Hold them in your hands. Take them inside and place them in the center of your table or meditation space. See in them all the strength, shade, oxygen, water, and beauty the trees have provided you this past year. See in them the promise of a spring time to come. These gifts are inherent in the trees that make these leaves and nuts and seeds.
Finally, as you hold one of these items close to your heart, allow it to recognize in you your own inherent worth and dignity–all the good you have provided others and yourself this past year. Hold that with gratitude and gentleness, and see, for a moment, the future of your own gifts unfolding. You are, yourself, a storehouse of goodness, blessing, and compassion.
*”Fletcher Oak” by Mary Oliver
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