“Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable, as are all your fellow humans everywhere in the world.” –Margaret Laurence
Today’s post is a “valentine” to everyone reading this blog who has struggled with depression. It is in the first person so that, when you read it, you can really get how important you are, how much you matter. Ask someone on your support team to listen while you read this aloud to her or him. I’m not going to wish you a happy St. Valentine’s day because this day can be triggering to many with depression, especially if they are single. Instead, I am going to wish you a Happy You Matter Day!
Does my life matter? I better believe it does! How can I ask such a ridiculous question? Do I matter? Now I know I have entered the realm of the unreal. Did not the Creator make me? Just because I have depression and it feels like I’m not doing much of anything useful doesn’t mean I don’t matter. Are there not trees and birds and sky, all with their respective place and purpose in the Universe? Just because they are ubiquitous and we take them for granted does not mean they don’t matter.
Could any of us say that trees do not matter? Even a single one? What if all the trees, one by one, were eliminated from the face of the Earth? What then? The Earth would be barren and we would slowly asphyxiate from an overload of superheated carbon monoxide. On top of that, we’d have no shade in the summer or colored leaves in the fall. Of course trees matter!
And birds? Such as the mockingbird outside my window that persists in singing her own lilting song every day? She is a completely self-expressed being, a perfect example of how to be. Without birds, I would not be cheered, the insect population wouldn’t be kept down, and the trees might not exist because they probably wouldn’t get pollinated. And we all know what happens without trees! Of course the birds matter!
And the sky? Without the sky, we would have no atmosphere and this planet would not be able to support any life. Little children would not be able to ask, “Why is the sky blue?” We wouldn’t have the weather to fill up our conversations and provide jobs to thousands of meteorologists. Of course the sky matters!
And I? Do I matter? Just like the trees and birds and sky, I, too, have my crucial, unique part to play. Without me, the fabric of the Universe would unravel ever so slightly and not be quite as beautiful to behold. Every time I doubt my own worth, am not true to myself, or act as if I don’t matter or somehow am not real, then holes appear in the fabric, eventually assuming the magnitude of cosmic tears that cannot be mended. The really tragic part is, every time the fabric begins to unravel or a hole appears in it because of my I-don’t-mattering, the Universe goes into spasms of terrible, painful agony.
It’s true. Check it out: Next time you are I-don’t-mattering yourself, see how great and shiny and wonderful you feel. Not, right? You don’t think it’s painful to have someone rip you to shreds because they’re not playing their part full out, with integrity? Sure you do. You experienced it when you went through your divorce. You felt it keenly when someone you trusted lied to you. You agonized over all the times people could have genuinely shared themselves with you and didn’t. Hell, yes, it hurts! So quit doing it to yourself!
If my assertion that I matter, my life matters, is true, as indeed it is–what then? It means:
- I speak my truth, strongly and without apology, instead of manipulating through silence, resentment, and anger.
- Recognizing that I have needs and honoring them, taking care of myself in ways that bring me health, well-being, prosperity, and aliveness.
- Being true to myself and making right choices that are aligned with my inner being—and saying no to those things that hurt me.
- Sharing my essential gifts with the world through my authentic work instead of selfishly hiding them under the guise of, “I’m not important. I have nothing to offer. I don’t matter.”
- Expressing myself with a glad heart through my art, writing, singing, and dance. As I was created, so I create!
- Allowing myself to connect meaningfully to other people and refusing to hide anymore.
- I glory in my unique self by accepting every part of me and never, ever cutting myself down.
- Peeling back the layers of fear and pretense one by one until all that remains is my essence, my God-self.
All of this I choose to share with the world as a stand for harmony, healing, relatedness, and love for all human beings, creatures, and the planet. So, yes, I MATTER. MY LIFE MATTERS. AND SO DOES YOURS.
(c) 2011 by Patricia R. Henschen, M.A.