You can change the message you tell yourself, and the world.
Here is a test to see if you are worthy. Just check the answer that applies to you.
Do you exist?
Did you check YES? Then you are worthy. No matter where you fall on the spirituality spectrum, from devotee of a religion to agnostic, you are not an accident and you are good, just the way you are.
Of course all of us, in our flawlessness, are flawed. The Dalai Lama is flawed and glad to admit it. And each one of us is on a journey to find our authentic self and live in alignment with it. Along the way, as we labor up and down that road, we are WORTHY. Worthy of love and joy and fulfillment.
Being worthy does not mean we feel love, joy, and fulfillment at every moment, but we sure need to accept them when they come. Too many people miss their chance at those things because they push them away, knowingly or not, believing they do not deserve them.
Those feelings of unworthiness block you from living your life wide open and receiving all the blessings and desires you so richly deserve.
Feeling worthy is an inner game.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to “become” worthy. As I pointed out, you already are worthy. You may not feel it, but you are. Thus, no matter what you do to “earn” worthiness is an exercise in futility. Imagine not realizing you are a human being, so you spend all your life trying to earn the right to be …what you were, all along.
The following will NOT create your worthiness:
• Buying just enough perfect things for you, your home, your mom, your dog
• Working such long hours that you’re no use to anyone
• Exercising until your body is hard as a rock and you have no life
• Influencing the right people to talk to the right people to create a reality that was in your hands all along
• Saying or doing the perfect thing at the perfect moment with the perfect results
• Anything else you might try
For the duration of this blog, let’s agree to agree: you are worthy. And so am I and so is your annoying coworker and your creepy Uncle Max. But why is it that so many — so very, very many — of us do not feel our own worthiness?
Where does my unworthy feeling come from?
The story is probably a sad one, but remember that we can always change our story. We can’t change what was, but we can change how we live with it, and how we tell it to ourselves and the world.
Three very common reasons for feeling unworthy as an adult are:
• Conditional love.
When we are born, what will help us love ourselves and form healthy attachments is unconditional love. Sometimes we don’t get that. When love is doled out only when we are or behave or look a certain way …. let’s put it this way. It’s a rough way to start. There is a lot of “undoing” that needs to happen to feel as worthy as you are, despite the fact that your parents were a bit clueless.
• Toxic relationships.
The primary attachment relationship with parents is the foundation. Beyond conditional love, sometimes that connection is toxic. When there is excessive criticism, or emotional, mental, or physical abuse, it is very hard to grow up feeling great about yourself. This treatment of a child is, in my opinion, a crime against humanity, but even that can be overcome with some “undoing.” Other toxic foundational relationships, with partners or family members, can have the effect of undermining your feelings of worthiness.
• Social norms.
I should say “ridiculous and over-the-top social norms” because the daily bombardment of impossible-to-achieve “shoulds” in the media is criminal. Every billboard and movie and commercial and news story seems to contain judgments of us, what we do, how we look, what we wear, what we say. UGH. It is very hard to swim against that current, but it is not impossible.
How can I start to realize I AM WORTHY?
Try a few simple things every day. They may seem so tiny as to be silly, but the effect can, and will, accumulate if you let it.
• Tell yourself.
Literally repeat your worthiness to yourself. Know that it comes from inside you and that no one can grant it to you, or take it away.
• Write it down.
Make a list of your good qualities. If you can’t think of a single one, it’s because you are not used to liking yourself. So write down a good quality your best friend or boss or neighbor would say if I asked him or her. As the days and months go by, add to that list. It will get easier. Just watch.
• Challenge your limiting beliefs.
Although I don’t want you focusing on those limiting beliefs, you have to identify them, in order to recognize them when they show up, and challenge them. It’s not always important to know where or why they originated, just what they are. Once you have identified them, be aware of when those negative or shameful thoughts pop up. Stay in the present moment and reframe (and you can literally rewrite) those beliefs that hold you back. Create beliefs that serve you better. Example: “I am too shy to make friends” becomes “I am worth the effort.” Read more about reframing your beliefs here.
• Take the risk.
Sometimes being your authentic self feels like a big scary risk. Many people are in one closet or another without realizing it—trying to present a “socially acceptable” version of themselves rather than living honestly. A client of mine, a middle-aged Jewish woman who had raised her family, worked as a magazine writer, and been deeply involved in local causes, finally “came out” as a clairvoyant. She had known most of her life that she had these remarkable psychic gifts but she’d hidden them from everyone for decades, fearing judgment, rejection, disapproval. When her children were grown and out of the house, she allowed herself to practice her gifts and she is ecstatically happy now, and in a new relationship with a supportive man who admires her courage and talent.
I have known clients who literally decided to change jobs and move cities in order to step out into the world as their true selves. Not all shifts are that dramatic, but making the shifts is important so that you eventually feel aligned with your soul. And you definitely do NOT need others’ approval.
• Be patient.
With yourself and the process. Self-compassion is one of the keys to knowing your worthiness.
When we meditate, we are in touch with the simplest of truths, and with ourselves. Finding that unsullied connection with self will show you what you need to know: that you are, in fact, oh-so-worthy.
• Speak up.
Be righteous as hell just as you would for a friend or loved one who was wronged. Only this time, it’s for yourself. Speak up for you. “I am worthy! Anyone who disagrees has me to answer to!”
• Reclaim your inner beautiful self.
You are more than enough … because you are.
The universe itself has a plan and your worthiness is vital to it. The Dalai Lama says, “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” So realize that by getting in touch with your own true worth, you are doing good not only for you, but for everyone who loves you, everyone you meet, and in fact, everyone.
Previously published on BeFreetoLove.com
Photo: Getty Images