Looking back, without it I experienced very personal battles with anorexia nervosa, depression, suicidal tendencies, a feeling of ‘not mattering and having no right to be alive’, along with an extremely crippling ‘inner critic’. These arose out of many unresolved childhood and generational traumas that created tremendous internal suffering and self-sabotage.
All of these, I understand now, arose out of a core, false belief of being unworthy, and by extension, unlovable, shameful, ‘bad’ and painfully inferior.
Paradoxically, this false belief contributed to setting me off on the path of achievement, relentless self-improvement and helping others as compensatory ways in which I could feel good about myself. It wasn’t the only reason for setting on the path, but it turns out it was a significant one.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with achievement and helping others, of course. I developed a marvelous personal and spiritual development business consulting to thousands online and in-person. I traveled throughout Australia, the United States and Mexico to bring others my perspectives and wisdoms regarding the Global Shift in Consciousness and tools to be free of toxics beliefs from the inside-out. My point is that as I went along, I discovered I was also doing this from a rocky foundation of perceived inferiority, and trying to fill the emptiness of imagined unworthiness with external accomplishments.
So, although I actually started my overall journey with the knowing that ‘there must be more’ (yay!), what also relentlessly drove me to achieve was the desire to feel worthy so that I could free myself of the crippling, imagined unworthiness.
The Lie of Continual Improvement
At the time, in the earlier days, I did believe that the journey was about continual self-improvement and clearing this or that imbalance so that I could finally be free.
What I didn’t know was this: unconditionally and intrinsically worthy is what we are.
I came to understand that worthiness is not something that is achieved, gained, forged: it something we come to recognize as intrinsically true about each of us, and we live our lives from that truth. It is something that we ‘uncover and retrieve’, something we remember, from underneath all of the assumed, indoctrinated false beliefs that can incapacitate us. Worthy is what we are. We are worthy because we exist, because we were born.
There is no worthiness to ‘prove’. Neither to oneself nor to anyone.
For most of us, though, our experiences as we grow and move in life, tell us otherwise. Our environments (parents, schools, religions, media, careers) may in fact ‘teach us’, that we are less than, inferior and that we have to ‘jump through hoops’ and ‘please or wow others’ to prove our worth and brilliance, to be loved and accepted, and get on in life. We believe we have to keep complying with others’ standards of right behavior and action, beliefs, success, being ‘nice’, being ‘good’. It reduces us to looking to others to provide us with the feelings of whether we are worthy or not.
And we can go the opposite way, too, capitulating to the false belief, and plunging into a black hole. We can collapse, abdicate into those black holes of depression, despair, panic, and perceived powerlessness as easily as we can fight to ‘achieve’. It’s the same black hole of a false perception, and there’s no life there. YOU are not there, and that’s why it feels so empty.
We are all living with all sorts of internalized, negative judgments, standards, criticisms, self-talk and rules that keep us striving and pushing for that sense of worthiness….or running and distracting ourselves from our perceived unworthiness. Judgments, standards, criticisms, self-talk and rules that have nothing to do with who we are and that obscure our magnificence.
Without worthiness, we may be massively successful outwardly, but chronically empty inside and we may be struggling profoundly.
Without worthiness, we may work at our success in our relationships and businesses so hard, for example, as that way to compensate for, and fill up, an inner feeling of being unworthy, inferior, alone, an imposter, untalented, a fake…and still feel that we and our lives are empty and without meaning.
Without worthiness, we are challenged to feel confident, stable, secure
Without worthiness, we may feel we have to control everything and everyone to get our needs meet, be heard, be successful, be included
Without worthiness, we may feel continually stressed, chasing goals, fixing ourselves, ever-improving, running from ourselves, or engaged in addictive behaviours to avoid ourselves and feel good for a while (whilst berating ourselves all the more for the addictions)
Without worthiness, we look to others and to the outside world for that validation that we are loved, connected and that we matter.
The journey of life does uncover the falsehood of unworthiness when we are willing to look beyond and into the perceived inferiority and that quest to improve, improve, improve, or to capitulate.
It is a matter of perception, not fixing. That is, it’s about waking up and landing into the fundamental truth that you cannot be improved. Yes, you can learn this and that, you can forge this and that, you will experience this and that, but that when it comes to you personally and intrinsically, there’s nothing wrong. You are. You are who you are. You exist. The journey, in other words, reveals the lie that you need to become someone other than who you are to be successful, to fit in, be loved, be worthy, to belong. To matter at all.
As we undertake the journey to wake up from the trance of unworthiness and own the truth of our magnificent worthiness, we start to see life through fresh eyes. We start to see ourselves as unique individuals and that we don’t need to chase and perform to be loved. We don’t need to twist ourselves inside out in order to be accepted. We cease caring so much about others’ opinions in that never-ending bid to be loved and accepted. We are able to experience worthiness, love and acceptance from within ourselves and encounter life from solid foundation of these qualities. We cease losing power, vitality, creativity and lifeforce from within ourselves and we retrieve and shine off talents and perspectives that we perhaps once discarded. We forgive ourselves for having thought we were ever anything other than worthy.
Instead of fighting ourselves, we then have more energy, vitality and creativity to focus into all our life areas, and make of them successes according to our own unique dreams and desires.
Worthiness feels like… love, confidence, knowing, certainty, stability, success, fun, joy, wellbeing, abundance, cherishing, appreciation, synchronicity, empowerment, enthusiasm, world is your oyster, passion, freedom, support and many other uplifting, appreciating qualities.
Unworthiness feels like… depression, anxiety, abdication, despair, shame, failure, illness, overwhelm, worry, jealously, powerlessness, loneliness, being stuck, blame, poverty-consciousness, self-sabotage, self-doubt, self-hate, judgment, criticism, resentment and many other debilitating, depreciating qualities.
And whilst the more challenging thoughts, emotions and circumstances may indeed drive us to forge many talents, gifts and successes in many areas of our lives with great determination and persistence, we still feel empty and unfulfilled inside. We are believing the lie, the false premise about ourselves.
Let me leave you with these words from the marvelous Osho Zen Tarot Deck and what it says this for the “Comparison” card:
“Whoever told you that the bamboo is more beautiful than the oak, or the oak more valuable than the bamboo? Do you think the oak wishes it had a hollow trunk like this bamboo? Does the bamboo feel jealous of the oak because it is bigger and its leaves change color in the fall? The very idea of the two comparing themselves to each other seems ridiculous, but we humans seem to find this habit very hard to break.
“Comparison brings inferiority, superiority. When you don’t compare, all inferiority, all superiority, disappear. Then you are; you are simply there. A small bush or a big tall tree ~ it doesn’t matter; you are yourself. You are needed. A grass leaf is needed as much as the biggest star. Without the grass leaf, existence will be less than it is. This sound of the cuckoo is needed as much as any buddha; the world will be less, will be less rich if this cuckoo disappears.
“Just look around. All is needed, and everything fits together. It is an organic unity: nobody is higher and nobody is lower; nobody superior; nobody inferior. Everybody is incomparably unique.”
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