It seems like a simple question but it’s not one that we tend to think about often. We may think about why we can’t seem to get what we want. We may think about why we can’t seem to do what we think we “should” do. We may think about what’s standing in our way of success. But, we don’t often stop to think about how much we value ourselves and how much we can appreciate our own strengths and gifts. Ironically, as a result, we often can’t seem to find satisfying answers to the other questions.
This insight first came to me one early morning while I was walking my dog. Unfortunately, that setting led to this concept being known to me as The Dog Poop Theory [If you are the creative type and can come up with another name for it, please let me know.] Being a responsible dog owner and neighbor, I found myself one morning walking through the neighborhood carrying a bag of, you guessed it, dog poop. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I could just get rid of this dog poop. I wish I could give to someone, or leave it on the curb, or just throw it out. I’d do anything to get rid of it.” So far, not great insight, just plain old common sense. Being half awake and slightly delirious, I remember my next thought being, “I wish this was a bag of gold or jewels instead. Then, it would be really valuable. I wouldn’t even dream of getting rid of it or letting someone take it away from me. I’d probably do everything I can to protect it.”
Later on in the morning, when I was fully awake and able to reflect on what I had thought, I realized the true implications of my half-awake meditations. When we find something valuable and important, we will do whatever we can to protect it and keep it safe. We will take full responsibility of keeping it in our possession. We would be willing to fight to keep it; we would cherish it and protect it. But, if we find something worthless or even offensive, then not only are we not likely to protect it and cherish it, but we are likely to be careless with it and wish for it’s destruction.
If you find yourself valuable, you are likely to do what you can to take responsibility for your well-being and promote yourself in any way possible. You are likely to go that extra mile and even do things that aren’t easy just to protect something that you would not dream of letting anyone damage or take away from you. If you don’t value yourself, then you are likely to be reckless and careless with yourself, your body-mind-spirit, your amibitions and your dreams. Not only are you not likely to put forward effort to protect and promote yourself, you are in fact likely to actively be self-destructive.
Taking this theory one step further, if you are treating yourself with respect and courtesy, then you are sending yourself the message that you are valuable and further efforts to promote your well-being are necessary at any cost. if you are treating yourself with disrespect and doing things that you know are hurtful to yourself, then you are sending yourself the message that you are not worth protecting and, in fact, are worth destroying. You are treating yourself like dog poop.
So, the decision is yours. Are you gold or are you dog poop? Your future depends on the answer.