How Do We Find Value

By: Faith Pearce

(3 min read)

I wanted to talk about something that is playing on my mind today. Something everyone deals with. That is value. It is a huge topic and has so many aspects to it. But why do we struggle so much to define what something is worth?

One of my cats recently peed on my sofa. It was vile. The sofa had to go and was promptly evicted from my house, and the whole area was disinfected. This left me with one chair in my living room. Now, this wasn’t too bad until someone else needed a place to sit. It’s not the best solution to sit on the floor. Though it was very comfortable, it was a fabric chair, and the hair collected on it terribly. But I still struggled to let it go. My daughter has been pushing me for years to get rid of it, but I had chosen the color and fabric. It had been custom-made, and I loved it. It had taken me over three years to pay for it, and it had been part of my life for a long time. Plus, it was a cuddle chair and easy to nap on.

But the time had come, and I found a new leather suite! I didn’t want to just toss the old chair in the bin as it had lots of wear left in it. So just before the new sofa arrived, I advertised it for free. I wanted to give back to someone who maybe didn’t have anything, and maybe the chair would live on for a few more years.

It has been a while since I put anything on Facebook marketplace, and I forgot what I was getting into. The multiple messages, “Is this still available…How much is it…Can you deliver it…What are the measurements…And then, they might not show up.

It reminded me how suspicious people are when something doesn’t have a value put on it. If I had put a price on it, would people have valued it higher, been more invested, and engaged? On the other hand, because it was free, did it devalue it because it had no definition given to it. Yes, yes, I know I may be thinking it.

So, how do we define what something is worth, and how do we assign that value? Is it an emotional connection? Is it a necessity to how much we need or want it? Is it the chase of getting a good deal? Does there need to be an energy exchange in what we do?

It got me thinking about when we help someone (our time, energy, or attention), is it enough to know that we have helped? If it is one-sided, does it fill us up to feel needed? I have had friendships in the past where I enjoyed being supportive and felt like I was making a difference, but most of the friendships felt one-sided. And once I stopped putting energy into it, they disappeared and were no longer part of my life. I had to step back and say, “I want more.” If I do not set any boundaries, then people expect more and more from me and give nothing in return. I realized I have shown them what they could do or say to me because I hadn’t set my value high enough. This is not their fault. I have shown them that this is ok.

If I do not define my worth, then I am allowing others to do it for me, which may not be the same value. And most often, they will not appreciate me. Maybe this is my ego speaking, but I am not looking for others to shout about how amazing I am. But without definition, I am open to giving away everything for nothing and feeling empty.

I guess it all comes down to self-worth. Once I see my own self-worth, and put my needs first, then I will no longer be giving myself away. My expectations will be clear, and others will be more likely to see my value.

The chair incident was an excellent reminder of how we are all responsible for setting the value of things around us and of ourselves. No one else has the right to do that.

Faith Pearce 
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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