What Are You Worth?
      by Gail Carr Feldman, PhD

Do we wish to consider our worth in terms of money? Should we be concerned about how worthwhile we are in the eyes of others? Or might we reflect upon and honor our intrinsic worth as human beings? In the historical context, we recall that women have been devalued and seen as worth less than men for the past several thousand years. As we greet the next thousand years, might we at the same time reveal to ourselves what our true worth is? Could we together create a magical millennium wherein we elevate ourselves, along with our brothers and sisters and children, by a transformation of consciousness?

From this transformed perspective, we can become queen of our own hearts, clear about our value, and unswerving in our focus on the gifts we bring to the world. With the spell of limitation broken, we can prepare to accept powerful possibilities for self-rule and to encourage self-value in others. Marianne Williamson wrote in A Woman's Worth: "When a woman has owned her passionate nature, allowing love to flood her heart, her thoughts grow wild and fierce and beautiful. Her juices flow. Her heart expands. She has thrown off crutch and compromise. She has glimpsed the enchanted kingdom, the vast and magical realms of the goddess within her... When a woman conceives her true self, a miracle occurs and life around her begins again."

"We don't choose our passions. They choose us.  We have to pay attention to them so they can tell us who we are."

When we own our passionate nature, love not only floods the heart; it spills over onto everyone we meet. The key to our worth lies in opening to this true self, the authentic self, the outspoken and possibly outrageous essence of our self-expression. When we do this, we share our personal brand of creativity. We live our passion. Novelist Jack Butler wrote in Dreamer: "We don't choose our passions. They choose us. We have to pay attention to them so they can tell us who we are." Pay attention to where your heart is drawn, and know that what captures your heart defines your passion and your purpose.

Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) single-handedly founded the birth control movement in the U.S. and the world. She was the sixth of eleven children, and during her nursing career on the Lower East Side of New York City witnessed poverty and high rates of infant and maternal death due to uncontrolled fertility. She devoted her life to removing the legal barriers to the publication of facts about contraception. She was indicted, served 30 in the work house, but went on to publish numerous books, magazines and pamphlets on birth control. She organized the first World Population Conference in Switzerland (1927), and was the first president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She lived her passionate dedication to a woman's right to plan the size of her family and to protect her health, and in so doing, affirmed the worth of all women.

When we boldly and passionately live out our values, we declare our ultimate worth. Marianne Williamson expressed it this way: "It is a woman's function to mother the world by holding the idea of its possible perfection within her heart." It seems to me that's worth quite a lot.