A Powerful Lesson: Do We Cut Ourselves Short?


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amazingTo cut ourselves short means to settle for something less. Essentially it states that we should always strive for the best. While this can have a good meaning to it, it can also keep us striving for things outside of ourselves in an attempt to find joy and peace. I don’t intend to over complicate a simple concept, but instead would like to explore how this concept can create a lot of suffering. I think we have all seen this happen or felt it ourselves many times. In the end the intention is that this might help you find more peace in your life.

If we think about the concept deeply for a moment, is it really possible to cut ourselves short? In order to believe the idea that we can, we must also believe that we and various experiences have value. I’m not saying we don’t have value, but rather how could you define ones value? Do certain people have more value? Do certain experiences have more value? If so how do we define that? What is the best? As we are quickly noticing, there is a lot of mind work going on here. Definitions, value systems, ideals, collective beliefs etc. This is a clear sign that we are playing with a mind made concept. In fact, we could never truly ‘cut ourselves short’ because our value is all equal, making the value scales and the need to strive for our best unnecessary.

In theory some of what this saying represents could be quite empowering, but how often is this saying truly used correctly without any mind stories and beliefs getting involved to taint it? Can you say you have not learned what the best is from someone else or something else in the world? Maybe what society deems is the best or most valuable? SO often our dreams are defined by external sources and we make them our own because of what they represent on the outside.

Let me use an example to explain what I mean.

Growing up I loved baseball, it was by far the best thing I could ever do and I felt more alive doing it than when doing anything else. As I got older I saw the potential of where baseball could take me, and I of course had the same dreams many kids did; to play in the MLB one day. But one day it all changed. I quit baseball and didn’t even really know why. It just was time to move on I guess. For the first year I didn’t even feel the difference, but as time went on I felt more and more regret filled as I believed I had thrown something away. The more I pondered my choices and rattled myself about how my current life was nothing in comparison to what it could have been, I started to get lost in the idea of ‘cutting myself short.’ Intermittently throughout the last few years I felt as though I had achieved nothing in life because I didn’t pursue my dreams to play in the MLB. What I noticed however, was that most of the times I felt regret and the idea of ‘cutting myself short’, I was not feeling so good about myself and my life for whatever reason. When I didn’t have peace in my life, when I wasn’t in my joy, my mind created stories of how I wasn’t of value and that I hadn’t achieved anything because I did not pursue baseball. Of course we can all realize by this point that all of my feelings about my life and choices are noting more than my mind judging what paths I chose. There is no real truth to it.

What do I know now? I love baseball and it shouldn’t matter where I play or what I do so long as I am engaging in whatever amount of it I feel is good for me. I’m no better or worse for my decisions either.

The ties between my experience and the saying ‘don’t cut yourself short’ should be clear, especially if you can relate with an experience of your own. The truth is we often define ourselves by what we do. We give ourselves value and feel we are better for having done something in particular ,when the truth is we are already as valuable as can be. Nothing we do will ever make us more valuable or better than anyone else. I’m not telling you to set your dreams aside, I’m simply saying don’t let them define you and don’t make the end result so important. The journey of it all is what we are here for, enjoy that and let the end results be what they are. Funny thing is, the more you detach from the need to accomplish something to give you value, the more you realize what your true dreams are.

  • Allow your dreams to be pure.
  • Remember that what you are doing in life now is a unique experience on its own and you are having it because you have something to learn from it.
  • Keep the mind and all of it’s ideas of value and cutting yourself short aside. This will save you a lot of unnecessary suffering.
  • Be you.
  • You are already amazing.
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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Isaiah Lippert

    This is truly a fascinating topic. As I read through, it really was clear to me how much thought was put into it. With this being said, there were a few things written,(that weren’t necessarily wrong,) but that seemed to be missing something. I don’t pretend that I have all the answers, but here are some of my thoughts.
    It is stated that we are all of equal value…. This is 100% true.
    However, I think it’s important to look at (1) WHY, and (2) WHO we are of value to.
    Because you can say that we are all worth the same… but worth the same by who’s standards?
    (1) WHY? Why are we all of equal value? Is it simply because it’s fair? Because that way there’s no fighting? Like it was stated above, nobody completely agrees on matters of morals and values, so it is apparent that our actions cannot define our worth. But what or (2) WHO does? My answer is one that many people probably disagree with, but I believe the answer is God. In God’s eyes all men are equal, whether poor or rich. He doesn’t love anyone more or less because of what they’ve done. As children of God, I believe we are called to see others in the same way. So when it comes to “cutting ourselves short,” (if you are talking about falling short of God’s love,) you are correct….. There is no cutting short, because he loves us too much. :)

    However, if “cutting yourself short” means that you can never make a mistake… Then I would say that you are wrong. We as people are not perfect, and no-one can pretend that they are. (Myself included)
    Cutting yourself short, (although not decreasing your worth in God’s eyes) I feel could simply mean… Not doing your best. Which is possible, because again, we are not perfect.
    This is getting super long, so I guess I’ll finish up by addressing one final thing… :D

    “The journey of it all is what we are here for, enjoy that and let the end results be what they are.”

    This statement I found really interesting. I think there is some truth behind it, but I would like to say a few things about it. Life IS a journey. Indeed. But if you think about it, why do we start journeys. When we leave on a road trip or vacation, what is our goal? Why do we start on a path?
    Wouldn’t it be… To reach our destination?
    Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not about living for the future, or focusing on the end of everything. That can end up with you not appreciating and living your life to the fullest.
    However as it was written above… You don’t need to accomplish something to give yourself value or purpose. But I believe that we were put on earth to accomplish many things, and we all can find our true purpose as human beings, in doing the will of God.
    So if this is true, (I still don’t know if you agree with me, or if I even make sense right now ;) then couldn’t it be possible to “cut ourselves short?” To settle for things less important than God?
    As I say this however, God is with us in every aspect of our lives. If you indeed like baseball, it does not mean you love God any less. You can praise God through baseball, you can praise Him through prayer, you can praise Him through community service, you can praise Him through weaving, cooking, lifting weights, conversation, and silence. Thus, I think to live our lives for God, (in whatever things He calls us to do) means simply…. to never cut yourself short.
    If you actually read this whole thing, I applaud you. Thank-you for taking time to read this, and thank-you Mr. Martino for your thought-provoking words!

  2. Stephen

    Bingo. Value, like love; strength; and other virtues, are innate qualities of essence, or soul. When we attach these qualities to outside sources, we give up parts of our true selves. For as long as we continue to attach our innate qualities to outer conditions, we will never feel whole. We will only try to fill the hole we have created in ourselves with more from the outside, and begin to identify with the negative feelings that arise from these aparant deficiencies. You are Value. You are Strength. You are Love. Express them in all that you do, and share yourself with all.

  3. Diego

    I often felt like this. Less and less as time has passed however. I too realized it the was the ego feeding itself with those made up stories to get stronger and stronger. One should not identify with that impostor because he’s not the real self.

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