How Hard Days Teach Us About Our Value
Yesterday was a hard day. I woke up feeling awful and I went to bed feeling pretty awful. The in-between was a lot of feeling awful. I felt shaky, un-motivated, un-productive. My body felt heavy and my stomach felt weird and my menstrual cramps were OUT OF THIS WORLD debilitating. So I had to be gentle with myself. I didn’t move a lot. I got a few small things done and by 3pm I just let the rest of my list go. I lay curled up in a ball on my couch for the rest of the night and then just went to bed.
All of this is to say that WE ALL HAVE BAD DAYS. Don’t feel alone if this awful day above sounds familiar. Resting when necessary is literally an essential part of processing emotions, refuelling your body, and decompressing. These days also show us how valuable the good days are. Kind of like when you are sick and you remember how awesome it is to be healthy. These bad days provide us perspective and give us gratitude. Even though they also suck. Like, a lot.
My bad day got me thinking. One of the things that has been thrown around social media a lot lately is the fact that productivity does not make us valuable. Just “being” is supposed to be enough for us to have value. I guess I started to unpack that a lot more in my head. What kind of “value” do we have when we are just “being” instead of “doing”?
Don’t get me wrong, I really do agree that every one of us has value just by existing. We have value as a human life, living on this planet. I just think we need to think hard about what that inherent value is, and what it really means. And what OTHER value do we have, besides intrinsic value?
I have value as a human, for sure. But I also have value as a partner, as a daughter, sister, friend, employee, and leader. I have value for my perspective and the help it can bring other people. I have value for the work I do and the actions I put out into the world. I have value for my vote, and my creativity, and my abilities, and my voice. The value I provide is far more than just existing.
A note that this idea of “providing” value is not to say that the value you have is all about giving to other people. Remember that YOU deserve more than just existing. YOU deserve to contribute to the world. YOU deserve to feel like a part of something bigger. Not all the time by any means, but during your lifetime you will provide value to the world in the work you do, the love you share, and the kindness you have. The more you can notice that value, in yourself and others, the more rewarding your life is.
Try this, next time you have a bad day where you don’t “do” much of anything, try taking this thought: “It’s okay. I still have value just by laying in my bed all day.” And re-framing it into this thought: “I am providing myself rest today so I can re-energize and provide more amazing value later this week, to myself and others”. It is the same idea, but instead of sitting in your inherent value, you are acknowledging even more of your value.
This is all to say that these ideas came from a bad day. And that bad days are okay. It is okay to cry or have a meltdown. Just don’t set up camp and live there. Instead, acknowledge that you have intrinsic value for just existing, but also that you have so much more value that you provide the world. Like creativity, lessons learned, hard work, and kind words.