I’ve recently been having deep conversations with my husband Michael, close friends and clients about feeling worthy — or not worthy, actually.
All of these conversations quickly culminate in all the ways we don’t feel enough: not smart enough; not healthy enough; not skillfull enough; not successful enough; not beautiful enough; not giving enough.
The list goes on.
And the emotions that go along with all this “not enough” that we carry like a backpack full of stones are also many: sad, frustrated, trapped, angry, depressed. It’s a heavy load — all these beliefs of how we’re not enough to live the life our heart desires or the life we imagined for ourselves when we were young, innocent and full of possibility.
How did we get to this place where so many of us are feeling this way? Afflicted by this unworthy epidemic?
Well, Western, capitalistic society is pretty good at marketing the ways we humans are imperfect and deficient, using it to motivate us to buy this or that to fix whatever isn’t “up to par.” This brainwashing has affected our families and communities for generations, unconsciously reinforced and then passed down to us. And to add further injury, many of our religious and political institutions have and continue to reinforce these dubious messages of all the ways we are broken, sinful, not good enough and unworthy.
From every angle, our society has become steeped in these made-up, unrealistic, harmful beliefs about what it takes to be worthy. How can we help but be penetrated and pushed down by the ill, unconscious, collective ego-machine?!
What can we do to help and heal ourselves of this unworthy affliction? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Learn to be kind, compassionate and patient with our humanness.
2. Understand that none of us are perfect — no matter what we see and hear.
3. Learn tools that support us in loving ourselves.
4. Celebrate every small (or big) thing that feels good for us in our life.
It’s about imprinting love and “good enough” through one action, one thought at a time. And so, I offer this simple practice that a valued therapist shared with me some 20 years ago: Find a safe place for a moment alone, take a deep breath in and out and then another breath into your heart and out. And with the next breath into your heart say these words to yourself: “Great Spirit/God/Universe (your name for the Mystery of Life), please show me how you love me.” Then notice what you feel.
It may be very subtle or strongly undeniable. For me, I know that feeling loved in this unconditional way became the elixir to so much pain that plagued me for too long.
Love does heal.
Read more of the Oct. 11-17, 2023 issue.