It can be hard to believe that we have value for just existing. And then someone reminds us in the simplest way.
Deserve. It’s such a trigger word. For the better part of my life, I’ve struggled with that word. How much do I deserve? And who says? And how proportionate is it to the work that I do in the world?
We spiritual types love to throw around the term ‘unconditional love.’ That there are no conditions on our love. That we deserve to be loved no matter what. That we deserve infinite abundance for just being ourselves. That just existing is enough.
And, in theory, that sounds great. But, in practice, really believing that ideal is tough. It goes against everything we’ve been taught as a culture. It goes against our ideals of hard work, determination, perseverance. It goes against our internal drive for ambition and worldly success.
Could just existing really be enough? And do we deserve to be rewarded heavily for that?
It’s something I’ve explored deeper and deeper in my own life. Working less hours. Spending more time relaxing. Vacationing up a storm this summer. And still allowing abundance into my life. Still feeling like I deserve every penny that’s coming to me. Still resisting the urge to do more work.
At one point, I had an emotional conversation with Garrett. I asked him if he thought I was lazy because he’d come home to see me on the couch watching a movie or going for a massage during the week. And he laughed, “Lazy? Of all people, you probably need that relaxation more than anyone. You’re the most ambitious person I’ve ever met. Why punish yourself because you can do all of your work in a few hours and still have time to rest?”
So I went further. I wanted to push him. Really, I wanted to push my own limits. “And what if I decided I wanted to stop working?”
He laughed again. “Okay, that’s fine. I mean, I know you could never not work. But, if that’s what you wanted, we’d just adapt our lifestyle a tiny bit. But I don’t really care whether you work or not. That’s not why I’m with you.”
What seemed like such a simple and obvious statement felt so jarring to me. For so long, I had believed that my value was tied to the value I could produce—whether that’s landing cover stories, making plenty of money, or writing quality content. So, to think that I have infinite value just for existing—regardless of anything I do—felt like a shock to my system.
And it’s ironic. Because for so long I’ve taught this—that being yourself isn’t just enough; it’s the most sacred thing you can do. And it never has to feel like work. That it can just be a natural unfolding of who you are.
But the deeper I go with this work—the deeper I go in working maybe a few hours a day, or not at all some days—the more I find my own blocks. My own limiting beliefs. Fears. Concerns. Doubts. The places where I don’t value myself. Where I don’t think I’m worthy of unconditional love and abundance.
And it came to a head earlier this week. Over shelves. Really expensive craft floating shelves. They were gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. And they’d go perfectly in our bedroom. I had to have them, no matter the price. But, truthfully, we could get decent shelves for a quarter of the price. It was so ridiculously impractical.
And Garrett looked at me and said, “We have to get those shelves. Because I’ve seen the way they make you smile. And, if I can have any part in making you smile like that every day, then I just have to get them.”
And I got it. I really got it. It’s why we are in awe of watching flowers bloom. It’s why our heart stops when we see a loved one sleep. It’s why, no matter how long it’s been, my sisters and I pick up the conversation right where it left off. Unconditional love. That just existing is changing the world. Just existing is bringing so much joy. And it’s okay to receive abundance for that. You deserve because you exist.
Garrett just wanted to see my smile. Everyone around you—friends, family, the Universe just wants to see you smile. No matter what you do. No matter how hard you work. It really is okay to deserve it all. And to let yourself have it.
Because you are unconditionally loved.
Originally published at bostonwellnesscoach.com.
Photo: Jason Ferrell/Flickr