Self Worth By Number

Measuring our value by numbers

Photo by Amirhossein Azandarian Malayeri on Unsplash

We are often measured by various counts and numbers. Our height, our weight, our age, our income, our IQ, level of education, where we may have gone to school, the zip code where we live. The list goes on. 

To name those things is not harmful in and of itself, but have you noticed the value that may get assigned to each number?

If a man is 6’0, that’s in the plus category. If he is 5’0, not so much.

If a woman weighs 125, that’s seen as pretty good. 190? Not so much.

If someone is 25 years old, there is value seen. 75? Maybe not so much.

If an income is 6 figure, positive. $20,000 or even less? Not so much.

If a woman measures 36–24–36, positive. 45–45–45? Not so much.

 If a woman has C or D cups bra size, positive. A cups? Not so much. 

Insert measurements of men’s penises here. You know the drill.

I agree that structuring and categorizing things helps us bring some order and less chaos to our perception of the world. But, when it comes to human worth, that’s where the line is crossed. We are not numbers. Our worth cannot be measured quantitatively. We are so much more than that.

We are human beings, with such a variety and richness to us. And each of us has something unique to bring to the table. 

If we are constantly trying to measure up to some ideal of perfection, then we cannot appreciate who we are and all that we have to offer. We lose the beauty of each of our imperfections and how we can understand each other’s pain and struggles. We can get lost in our comparisons and forget to touch and connect more with each other along the way. We measure ourselves as less than, as not good enough, and we can then quietly isolate ourselves out of sight so as to try and reduce the judgments (not realizing the most painful of these comes from ourselves and the standards that we have internalized). 

I have done this in my life. And I tire of it. I have had enough. And I am enough, just the way that I am. That does not mean that I do not work on trying to be the best that I can be, but that is not a condition for self love and self acceptance. It is not a prerequisite to be able to live the fullest life possible, to love to the utmost, to inhabit our bodies fully and our lives passionately and completely. To be 100% alive. That is the number to live by. That is measurement enough. 

6 thoughts on “Self Worth By Number

  1. Jo, as always, you so hit the mark! Unlike you perhaps, I’ve been a ‘quant’ all my life. I was good at math in school, went on to become an engineer, a teacher, then later a tax expert, investment advisor and whatnot. During school, I always measured my success by grades. Didn’t matter if I learned anything or not. Grades and test scores were EVERYTHING! It seems my life, my success in life, my self worth or lack thereof, has always been measured and determined by numbers. Even now it still is to a large extent. Do I have enough money to live through old age? Would I be happier or feel safer if I had more? What does my Quicken spreadsheet say? How is the stock market doing today? Is the market letting me be happy today? Or making me depressed because I didn’t make better choices like Warren Buffet would? So yeah. Body image numbers maybe not so much. Men and women differ greatly in that regard, obviously a subject for further discussion! But numbers, all the same! Numbers can and do rule us! I am the poster boy for that one. You are figuring out a way for them not to do that, and so I must congratulate you for pointing the way and teaching others like me! Maybe I’ll get there one day! Meanwhile, thanks for posting such a thoughtful piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you related to what I wrote, Steve. Your examples are perfect examples as well of what I was writing about. Numbers everywhere to measure ourselves by.
      As always, I very much appreciate your feedback, encouragement and support!
      These numbers that we have learned to measure our worth and happiness by…. It’s quite the challenge to displace them from their position of power. But try we must!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo, I just love your blog and feel so privileged to be able to comment on it. You so deeply express what it means to be human, and how each of us must constantly strive to keep that in focus in order to live our lives 100%, er..Fully! LOL


    1. Again, thank you, Steve. I’m honored to have you read my blog. And I’m so glad that my writing touches you. I mean that100%…. Er…. Fully! Lol…. It is so very important to keep laughing, in between all the tears that are such a part of life. Bittersweet. Happy/sad. Life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Touched.. Yes, definitely! But I also know that writing can be painful. Expressing oneself so deeply as you do can be very draining. It can bring tears. So please, please! Give yourself a break if and when you need! You deserve to be happy! As in upper case H-A-P-P-Y! No matter what else!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Steve. It is indeed very emotional to write, and vulnerable, and therapeutic. All of the above! And so rewarding when people relate to things that I write. Like you! Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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