Recently I realized all my favourite animals are considered pests and annoyances to many people. For example, I love raccoons, squirrels, mice, rats, possums, opossums, pigeons, bats, crows… well you get the idea. Anyway it made me think perhaps I love these animals because they remind me of myself. The animals I prefer are seen as either odd, annoying or something you have to get rid of. In some ways I suppose they’re marginalised or underappreciated. Yes, I love more popular animals too but my heart is with the animals too few people embrace. So I think this symbolises how I see myself in relation to the larger culture I inhabit each day.
I don’t mean to suggest I see myself as a rodent or pest but undervalued perhaps would be apt. Of course part of this is from me not valuing myself as highly as I ought to in spite of having better self-esteem than I used to. It would be easy to place the blame on the larger culture I live in saying I’ve internalised their messages around what is worthy and what isn’t; but I think responsibility is shared and I have to learn to see myself as more valuable than I do. Don’t get me wrong though, I have the ability to see my worth it’s just a struggle at times when I lose focus and compare myself to others. Comparing one’s self to others is one of the quickest routes to low self-esteem I can think of. Do I manage to abstain from comparisons all the time? No. But I am doing a heck of a lot better than I ever used to and that is what’s important for me. If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone it has to be yourself. If you are in a better place than you used to be that is all that matters-not where you are in relation to someone else.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others or feeling less valuable than you really are?
©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®