By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)
One of my cousins, a lovely lady in her early 80s, who still has every marble she ever had and a heart as big as a wash tub, sent me the following story in an e mail. I had heard the story years ago, but hadn’t read it in a long time, but today when I read it, I thought about how the psychopathic experience makes this a very valuable analogy.
A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He … proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it …?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do … this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are Special—Don’t EVER forget it.”
Count your blessings, not your problems.
The experience with a psychopathic abuser or any person who is abusive, manipulative, dishonest, hateful, malicious and lacks compassion, empathy or love crumples us, tears out feelings, and sometimes our very fibers, grinds us down … and yet, we do not lose our worth any more than the mutilated piece of currency does.
The media we see, read, and hear continually tells us that being young, beautiful, rich, stylishly dressed, cool, hip (or whatever today’s word is!) is what makes us valuable and pounds that message into our heads continually. This media message is however, not true! Let me repeat that, “This media message is not true!”
Our worth comes not from what the media says, not from what our neighbors think, or even from what our family and friends think, our value comes from what we are, who we are and what we think of ourselves. If we examine ourselves and find ourselves less than we wish we were, we can be whatever we want to be in terms of the kind of person we want to be. Now, I’m not going to tell you that if you want to be an NBA star and you’re 50 years old and 5 feet 1 inch tall that you can become an NBA star, but if you are less honest than you want to be, less happy than you want to be, you can change that. You can improve yourself in so many ways to reach whatever emotional goals you set for yourself, but your basic worth can never be lost by what someone else does to you!