YOUR _ IS NOT YOUR IDENTITY

The only permanent thing in this world is change. Nothing will stay the way it is and that is okay. What is not okay is fixating your self-value on transient things such as good looks, money, and status. One day those things will be gone, then what is left for you to derive joy from? Although it is good to acknowledge and be grateful for good things that have passed, there is usually a sense of loss when these good things actually do pass.

For a woman, the importance of maximizing the potential of one’s youth and attractiveness cannot be stressed enough. We live in a visual world that rewards above-average attractiveness. It may be tempting to have our self-worth revolve on how young and pretty or voluptuous we are, but we must remind ourselves that our youth and good looks are the most transient and most delicate asset we have. Our outward appearance is a tool to increase our odds of success at this point in life and we need to capitalize on it while we are able to. Although there are ways to prolong the life of this asset, we will lose it faster than we would like to. Let us acknowledge it as a tool rather than the center of our self-worth. Having pride in one’s appearance is still important, and it is shown by putting ourselves together in the most appropriate and dignified of manners.

The downfall of having one’s self-worth and identity tied to being “the hot/pretty one” is being miserable once the years take their toll on our bodies. We become bitter and resentful of others. We fail to cultivate our personality and interests because we have relied so heavily on our good looks to carry us through. And now that we no longer have it to do our bidding, we see how far we fall behind.

Money is a tool just like attractiveness is a tool. It puts food on the table, a home over our heads, etc. For most people, money is hard-earned but oh so easily lost/spent. Even the wisest of investors can lose it with a series of unlucky moves. Those who build their identity on the money they have and how much stuff they have tend to do the same as those who build their identity on their attractiveness. They fail to cultivate themselves outside of their value-based identities. They become shallow and use money or attractiveness as proxies for an actual personality. This is why when the money unexpectedly runs out, they resort to less-than-ethical aka illegal ways to make money, run up credit to sustain their unsustainable lifestyles, or fall off the deep end with drugs/depression. Having a healthy relationship with money by recognizing it can do good things and that we must not base our identities on having lots of it is key to being resilient in times of difficulty.

Money is greatly tied with status, although one can achieve elevated status without having a lot of money. Status is the perception of one’s high standing in society. One must not confuse it with respect or admiration. If one is used to being kowtowed to and being surrounded by “yes men,” it then becomes difficult to grow as a person. When our mistakes never get acknowledged and are swept under the rug and our achievements perpetually highlighted, we tend to have an inflated sense of self that is not coherent with reality. Some also find treating others with kindness as an afterthought since kindness or cruelty yield the same response from others. In short, we become the emperor with no clothes.

If we cannot base our identities on what we look like, how much money we have, what we do for work, all these physical signs of a good life, what then should we focus on? The answer: strong morals and kindness for others. These two things are very difficult to embody, let alone practice, but these two things you can take to your grave. These two things nobody can take from you unless you let them, and these two things you decide when to give up. Strong morals and kindness for others also bring about other good things in your life such as good spouses, good friends, good family relations. Although people are also transient beings, the time you spend with them will be worth remembering although these memories will also be gone one day.

In summary, value that which is not transient. Value that which is under your will to keep. Value that which is difficult to uphold but easy to lose. Doing so will help us weather difficult times and come out a moral and kind person.

This we manifest.

Elle.

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