Measuring Our Worth

I am thrilled to have Ashley Geist-Cusick guest posting today. Ashley and I “met” through COMPEL Training.

Take it away, Ashley …

Why is it that our self-worth is sometimes so deeply and directly connected to how productive we are? I believe in hard work, sticking with something until finished and persevering to and through goals, but at what point does our attachment to achievement become toxic?

I’ve noticed that I am very hard on myself when I’m not producing.  I need to be making money, choreographing, writing, cleaning, working, or achieving some sort of goal to feel good.  None of those activities are bad, humans are designed to work, think, and improve our surroundings, but when we base our worth and self-concept on these activities, we miss the point of living and get hurt in the process.

Why do we not celebrate days spent at rest like we celebrate and applaud days spent working or accomplishing tasks? It is rare and precious to hear anyone say, “I enjoyed a refreshing day of rest. I took a nap, exercised, and read a good book; it was much needed and wonderful.” Instead, we hear, “My day was great, I got a lot done!”  or “Well, I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to, but I guess I needed to rest.” (Yes, I am frequently guilty of these last two!)

Why is it that we treat our bodies as machines and are annoyed when we need a break to recharge? Even our electronics need to recharge! I am embarrassed to say I’ve felt bad about being sick. You can wash your hands until they are raw and eat oranges until the cows come home, but we are humans. We are living beings, and the fact is that bodies get sick.

Being sick at different times in my life has shown me that our true value lies in who we are and not on our busyness or how much we can make, do, or produce in a day’s time. Our value lies within our character, our integrity, and our ability to give and receive love.

When I had the West Nile Virus and wasn’t able to accomplish much in the ways of work or expended energy, I learned that I could still be a good listener. I could still encourage. I could share love with others. I could pray. I could do the best that I could and be grateful for that much each day.

I sometimes forget those lessons and need to reflect and be reminded. I am thankful for my work, I enjoy it and do it with gladness, but the most important parts of our journey through life are the lives touched and the love given, and those two things are immeasurable.

As always, your feedback is welcome & appreciated!

Ashley is the director of a Lutheran campus ministry organization, a fine arts instructor specializing in dance and piano lessons, and the owner of her own small business as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Ashley has been blogging for about two years and enjoys world travel, service work & trips with her college students, reading, cooking, and spending lots of time with her precious family, friends, and fur babies! Check out her blog at



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