Your Most Valuable Possession

Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.


Do you ever wake up in the morning with this question booming: “Why the F^%$ are you still here?” I recognize for some of you this fundamental question has not ever entered your mind. You’ve known you have a right to be here. You have not even wondered about it. Others of us have struggled a bit.

Before we could genuinely answer questions about purpose or what we wanted to be when we grew up, we had to navigate a more treacherous path. We first had to become clear that we had a right to exist. What others experience as a solid foundation, an agreed-upon truth that they were welcomed to the human family on planet earth, occurs for others of us like a slippery slope of uncertainty. If you slip, you’ll land in quicksand and be swallowed whole. You might even believe others would celebrate your disappearance.

I don’t think that I’m alone in having this uncertainty. Significant adults in my life as a child asked, “Why are you still here?” I have spent years crafting an acceptable answer. Even today, though I have great confidence about my right to be here, I have brief moments of doubt.

What I know for certain is you did not incarnate on this planet to annoy people or occur like a threat to another person’s existence. Yet, some people experience you this way. The message comes in loud and clear: Your being here takes the focus off of me which causes me to feel very threatened, insecure, and enraged. Or there may be different circumstances which still result in your internal skepticism. This could be why you created a strategy of carrying an invisibility cloak with you. You regularly place the cloak over your entire self and become mute in a cubicle somewhere. Alternatively, you work diligently to be seen, accepted and treasured, but still experience the internal anguished doubts about your right to exist, about your inherent value. You may have external riches, yet you feel impoverished in your soul.

We don’t have to look far to discover the devastating and tragic impact this struggle can create. Individuals who doubt their right to exist, let alone their worth, can conclude that it does not matter if they live or die. They may take actions aligned with those limited beliefs and feelings.

Fear and scarcity grab each other at the core of this challenge.  It seems there’s not enough love, food, money, attention, or kindness to go around the table.

Shifting out of these limiting beliefs and anguished feelings requires a willingness to believe something else might be true, to become curious about another way, to begin to notice other possibilities. It often involves discontinuing behaviors that numb your heart which may include excessive shopping, eating, drinking, and drugging. You may need to leave a toxic relationship or break your trauma bond with another person. Instead of going to the furniture store looking for ice cream, you can pause, breathe, and recognize what you are really wanting. You can call a compassionate professional, a sponsor, a wise guide, or listen to your gut.

A willingness to expand your perceptions, to break open your heart to new realizations must happen from the inside. Others can only guide you. You must do the courageous work of placing these limiting beliefs on an examination table for dissection to reveal their lack of veracity. Cultivating the part of you that witnesses and questions your thoughts and feelings becomes invaluable to this interruption.

Mustering courage to pursue a different path takes focus and a commitment. You must be willing to have a whole series of “AHA” moments that accumulate. These become the seeds of awakening which grow into new actions.

There are many benefits of doing the internal work to thaw your heart, to grow gratitude flowers from all the poo of the past, to look in your eyes and say, “I love you. I’m proud of you. I believe in you. You are here! I value you!” Allowing others to support your new actions involves being vulnerable enough to receive their belief in you, their genuine love and encouragement.  Your faith can guide you on the fresh adventure.

Focusing outwards on what you can give to others expands with each brave act of kindness you do for yourself, with each tender word you speak to yourself, with each healthy meal you eat, with the fun ways you choose to move, meditate or create quiet in your life. Each day you take time to breathe from your diaphragm, reach out to others for meaningful connection and feel grateful for being alive, you discover that your unique and precious life has always been a wonderous miracle, your most valuable possession.

Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. I love your Story. To be honest I never questioned the why. I was raised very simple on a farm and in one of my Daddy’s short sentences he would say we are who are and we do what we do. Life seems to present me what what I do and who I am feels strongly tide to how I live my life. The only time I remembers asking what am I doing here was about a job. That being said you got me from the first sentence and it takes a great Storyteller to do that. Strong Ink My friend.

    • Thank you, Larry. I treasure what you’ve shared here about how the simplicity of farm life, the love of your dad from his short sentences helped you embrace your sense of belonging, that you mattered. And I appreciate your kind words about my writing-storytelling. Sometimes working a job that isn’t a good fit makes us ask those questions of “what am I doing here?” I appreciate you, my friend.