7. Affirm Each Other

Good morning and welcome to your seventh meditation. Have you ever felt underappreciated? Taken for granted? It can be hard enough to feel convinced of our own value even when we are showered with affection and praise from others, but when that positive reinforcement from the outside is absent, the task of valuing oneself can seem impossible. The truth is, we need acknowledgement all of us. It is our affirmation from the world that we exist. It tells us that we are human, linked to other humans in a tie that is fundamental to life as we know it, social animals that we are. We cannot, however, simply expect this acknowledgement to come of its own accord. Rather we have to offer the world whatever we can in order to earn its recognition. So instead of asking yourself “What can I do to garner praise?”, consider asking “What do I have to give that could make people happier?”. This could be a skill or talent, it could be a service, it could be money, it could be emotional support or simply kindness. Remember that as social beings we don’t only rely on others for recognition, they rely on us. However often you may doubt it, you have inherent value simply by virtue of the fact that you have the ability to offer someone else the recognition that we all so require. By doing what you can to make others happier you are offering them affirmation of their humanness, of their connectedness. But this act is also affirming for you since the very happiness you give them is a testament to your value.

Now, it is important to keep in mind that it is possible to overextend yourself, to live too much strictly in the service of others while ignoring your own needs. And it is also important to acknowledge if you are in a situation where you truly are being taken for granted. Often it is not the result of any ill-intent, rather of the other person or people being too distracted, or caught up in their own concerns to show the appreciation that they really do feel for you. Only by acknowledging the problem yourself, can you then bring it to their attention and usually avoid what could otherwise be a drawn-out and harmful saga of projection and resentment. If after broaching it the problem persists, this is perhaps a sign that it’s time to reassess how integral that relationship is to you. So think, are you receiving the appreciation and acknowledgement that is your due? But equally important, are you showing others the respect and recognition that they too deserve? If you already ask yourself these questions on a regular basis, fantastic! If not, don’t worry. By listening to this podcast you have already started too! Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day!

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