You are a valuable person regardless of your circumstances and challenges in life. The fact that you show up each day and persist in living your life can add greatly to the positive energy in the universe. There is nothing more powerful in the world than the force that you tap into and in turn generate, than the force that it takes to overcome your challenges in living, especially when you cope with a chronic illness.
Most people have been given messages at some time in their lives either implying or directly stating that they are of lower value than other people. These messages come from parents, teachers, peers, religion, society, co-workers, and others. There is even something called “organ inferiority.” Organ inferiority is a phenomena that was discovered by the great psychologist Alfred Adler in the early 20th century. Many people who develop a chronic illness in childhood develop a deep sense of inferiority because of their physical malfunction, whether the problem is something obvious to others or something more hidden like diabetes. Most people end up trying to compensate for their sense of inferiority by excelling in some area where they can excel. Even when a physical condition begins in adulthood, many people develop a sense of inferiority, though not as deeply as when it develops in childhood.
It is important to pay attention to anything negative that you might be telling yourself about your own value in life in relation to your physical or mental illness, or in relation to any other ways in which you perceive yourself to be different from others. You are a unique creation, with gifts and abilities, most of which you have not yet discovered; and many of which you might be currently showing to others but of which you are unaware.
Look for your abilities, anything you do well, anything that you love doing that might be adding value to others or to the environment. I have a dear life-long friend who was always comparing herself to me academically, and saying that I was so much more intelligent and therefore more valuable. I realized that she was totally unaware that she was adding much more value to the world through her cheerful, generous, fun-loving personality than I was adding in those areas. So, I repeatedly remind her of that fact.
Look for, and remind yourself daily of the ways in which you are of value. Give yourself credit for waking up each day and giving it your best effort. Remember the simple things that you can do which are of great value to others such as smiling at them, being patient, truly listening to them, and being an example of perseverance.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D., June 8, 2016