Inside each of us, there's a compartment where we keep...what to call it? It's like ATP for the soul/heart, currency for one's wellbeing and sense of worth, but unlike currency it doesn't get used up, although some of it may at times be rendered invalid. This ATP for the soul is indispensable; without it you die. This is why infants who have never been held or cuddled die; they didn't get any of that very necessary commodity.
When you have a hard time, a blow to your self esteem, etc, you go to a storehouse of this stuff and use it to repair yourself inside, to reinforce the broken places. If you have a lot of this currency, you heal more easily than someone whose storage room or treasure chest of it is close to empty. The harder times are, the more you have to draw on your reserves, but like I said, it doesn't generally get used up, which is good.
Where do you get it from? Is it love? Positive self esteem? Some of it has to come from childhood or as I said above, one would have died or withered away within. Positive achievements can add to this currency, but in my opinion, the most valuable source is from the warmth of other people or living beings (so yes, animals would count). I have thought about what sort of input generates this currency and have come to the conclusion that the main requirements are that it must be believable and meaningful. For example, fake compliments ("good job!!!!!!" for small, routine accomplishments) lack power and meaning so are no good as currency. Telling a little boy that he is very good at something he doesn't appreciate is meaningless, so that also lacks value. Input from a complete stranger or someone you have no respect or feeling for similarly will lack meaningfulness, maybe pennies compared to the same input from a much loved grandmother or role model, being gold coins. It doesn't have to be a big thing either. Some of my most valued currency is made of simple things; a small gesture, knowing that I matter, a sense of solidarity, a single sentence.
Okay. So, let's say that you have a spouse and they've put lots and lots of currency in your emotional treasure chest. Then you find out that it was all a joke; they don't really care for you, they just wanted a generic person and you happened to be that person. You might as well be made of cardboard for all they care, and oh my god, that hurts, because they meant a lot to you. I had something like this happen to me once; it sucked. Eight years of meaning essentially nothing..... So what becomes of all that currency you thought you had from them? It's mostly counterfeit. Along with the agonizing pain of what has just happened and the crying, screaming need for some nourishment for the heart/soul, your storehouse has just lost a lot of what you thought it had, sort of like losing in the stock market. That's a bad place to be and it takes a lot of time to accrue more currency. Also, the people you'll accept it from in the future might be more limited due to the sucky experience you just had.
And that's kind of the position I'm in. I need the soul ATP in that treasure chest, but the list of people I'll accept it from is limited, sometimes due to trust issues but also because it often doesn't seem believable to me. Sometimes it feels like people are trying to declare some of those gold coins counterfeit; they don't feel fake to me and I cannot understand why they would want to deplete a supply that's already sort of slender. So I hide them within myself. They're mine, after all, I don't have to expose or share them or divulge how much of what kind of currency I have. Some of it could be phony, I really don't know...but all of it? No.
Meanwhile, probably I should work on generating some more, for safety's sake. And it makes me very mindful of the need to supply my children and those that I love and care for with this food for the soul. One cannot only need...and it doesn't cost anything to give it.