Effortless is Not Worthless

I’ve had this idea in my mind that if something is effortless for me it’s not valuable. Because if it’s effortless, than anyone can do it and it’s cheapened – we all know it’s only when something is rare, like gold, that it becomes valuable. For me, the things that come naturally are writing, being loving, and acting as a counselor.

I’ve held the notion that because I wrote and published a book myself, it’s not a big deal. Anyone can do it; it’s not such an achievement because it’s not like I sold my book to Random House, or Penguin, or any of the top publishers. It’s not really a triumph. And being loving, sending love to everyone, doesn’t make much of a difference, it’s not like I invented a cure for cancer or something. And so what if people call me up when they’re having a rough time? Because it’s easy for me, because I’m a natural at all these things, they don’t hold much value. In my mind, only if something is difficult does it have worth.

Me meditating
What I love about this picture of me meditating is just looking at it I can *feel* the good vibes I'm emanating.

I’m sure my friend Amal, who’s big into astrology, would say this is my Capricorn rising rearing its ugly head. The sentiment for Capricorns is to find satisfaction in hard work. My lifecoach and I explored this concept of something being valuable only if it’s difficult. We pretended I was a debt collector and played out how I would feel about it (horrible) and how I would be of service to the world (I wouldn’t be). We also pretended I was a math professor – I’m not bad at math, but it’s definitely a subject I struggle with and have to make an effort if I want to succeed. What would I contribute to the world if I was a math professor? Nothing, considering how much work it takes for me to grasp basic concepts.

What I’m getting at here, what I’m coming to understand, is we were all given certain gifts for a reason. We were imbued with our talents not so we could squander them, but so we can use them, so we can make a difference in the world with what comes naturally to us. Our gifts are not worthless because they’re easy, they’re precious because they’re gifts. This has become very clear to me in the physical realm because I lost an earring my sister got me from Prague. I’m not upset the earring itself is missing; I’m upset because it is an irreplaceable gift from my sister. Similarly, the gifts we’ve been given are from the universe/God/Brahma/the divine and are irreplaceable.

What I’m saying here is who I am and what I have to offer are valuable. My gifts are precious. They may be easy for me, but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. It’s important to be me, to use my talents, to serve with them. My gifts have been given to me for a reason. Just like Rosie gave me earrings to wear, the divine gave me words to write, a big heart to love, and a sound ear to listen. My lifecoach wrote to me, “You don’t get to make up that not being you is somehow serving you anymore.” Nor is it serving anyone else.

I dream of a world where we realize just because something is easy doesn’t mean it has no value. A world where we hold dear the gifts that have been given to us and we use them. A world where we let ourselves be who we are, understanding there’s nothing more precious than our gifts.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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2 comments… add one
  • Erika Jul 17, 2013, 6:41 pm

    Seems like we are in a similar place! This really resonates with me. About a week or so ago, I wrote about "The Unintentional Life" — about how I started to feel bad that things came easily to me, that I didn't "work" for them. I started to realize, though, that just because I enjoyed them didn't mean that it wasn't work and that it also didn't mean it was wrong. Like you said, I had this concept in my mind that effortless = worthless… that I obviously wasn't adding anything of worth or value because I wasn't STRUGGLING. 

    It's too easy sometimes to undervalue our gifts in favor of someone else's. I think that with the hard sciences all the time… I used to think: "Why can't I be good at anything useful? Anything that people really need and want?" I put off going to grad school or applying for programs I was interested in because I felt like it would be useless — the world didn't have need for my gifts. The world was oversaturated with people who did what I wanted to do — and better. 

    I feel a bit detached from that thinking because I'm not in that place anymore, but I know there are still traces of it left. But you're right — we are US for a reason… and we have a unique gift (or gifts) to give to the world and a part to play in the big picture. If we don't do it, no one else will because it was made just for us. And it doesn't have to be a struggle… 

    Thank you for this!

    • Rebekah Jul 20, 2013, 4:52 pm

      Glad to hear this! And you're welcome!

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