|Posted on 30 September, 2016 at 5:20|
Do you feel unworthy of love and damage your relationship/s?
To many people, being loved is such a simple thing, yet there are also many (mainly) women who feel they don’t deserve it. Or that they may be deserving if they could just….
Just usually means: losing weight, wearing different clothes, having different hair, having different emotional habits – the list goes on and on. Yet, whenever goals for weight loss etc, are reached, that feeling deep inside still bubbles away, telling you that you are still unworthy or undeserving of love.
For me, gaining a good qualification or grade, losing weight and being a superstar mum, wife, worker and general wonder woman are key factors.
Do you find yourself asking why your partner would put up with all your foibles, your mood swings, lack of confidence or/and anxiety and depression? Do you internally make deals to cook a special meal, treat your partner to something special to make up for what you see as your un-loveable traits?
You see – the thing is – your partner is with you because they want to be. They don’t see you as un-loveable or unworthy. They love you just the way you are. But even though you tell yourself that you know this already, you probably still struggle with feeling worthy of love. That struggle with your inward voice can damage your relationship with your partner, your family and friends and even more importantly, with yourself.
Now, try thinking about this: people who live with a feeling of being worthy, appear to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they are. Try and imagine that, actually letting go of the inward image you hold of how you should be, and putting your energy into who you really are. Many of my clients find this difficult, letting go undermines the ‘I’m not …’ and leaves a feeling of vulnerability – a fear of allowing ourselves to be really seen. Fear often surfaces when we are anxious about something that we cannot control. Yet, fear is also the basis of joy, creativity, belonging and love.
So let’s look at how we can embrace vulnerability in order to feel worthy.
1. To learn to believe that we are enough, reframing our thoughts into a positive.
2. To love with our whole hearts, even when there is no guarantee.
3. To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen.
4. To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, reminding ourselves that the feeling of vulnerability means we are alive and have choices.
5. To learn to be purposeful with your thoughts.
I use the word purposeful a lot. I prefer it to mindfulness. Which doesn’t mean I don’t believe in mindfulness, it’s a very important tool, yet living in a purposeful way reminds us that every thought and action that we allow is one of choice, we can make a list of purposeful thoughts and things that we want to do in a day. In fact, the list making works very well, instead of being just aware of what is going around us in the moment, we can clearly see (and keep checking and bringing ourselves back) what our purpose is for the day. The list can have things in it such as: shopping, chores, remind myself that I am worthy of everything and can in fact accomplish anything. Every time those negative internal voices start screaming that we are too fat, too poor, too unattractive – and many others – just tell them that they are just thoughts and to stop. Give your ‘inner’ voice a name, this can be really purposeful – telling it in no uncertain terms to go away, a name gives a focus and awareness of the ‘bad’ voice. Try it for a day and see. Write a note to yourself to remind you to use the name and whatever expletives works best for you.
You know that feeling, like you’re being swept away in an emotional tsunami and you grasp onto any kind of rock for support. Unfortunately, the rocks we grasp onto when we’re upset are rarely ones of logic. Instead of sitting in vulnerability with our uncertainty, we adamantly protest that we are certain. The more vulnerable we are, the more we proclaim how certain we are.
This works in obvious ways for things like politics, religious, and philosophy. But it also works in our relationships.
Instead of sitting with the uncomfortable uncertainty of a relationship, try grasping onto something that you can make certain because by grasping adamantly onto that idea as certain, you will eventually make it so. If being able to sit with uncertainty is the key to handling vulnerability, and if comfort with vulnerability is the key to feeling worthiness, then learning to find joy in uncertainty is the first step in feeling worthy of love.
There are only a few absolute certainties in any of our lives and we, on a personal level, are the only ones who are going to experience them. Finding, the changes in our thinking patterns is the key to becoming accepting of ourselves and of love from other people. Try letting yourself not waste any more time over things that have happened in your past, try the same as the suggestion above – giving a name that you can swear at – every time those thoughts start to surface, absolutely refuse to let them waste any more time affecting the current moment and the future. They weigh you down, they affect your emotions and mental health, they stop you from getting on with the stuff that you really know you want to do.
Breathe deeply whilst you are throwing out the negative voice, allow yourself to ponder on the good positive people around you and disregard the rest. Find something that you love (in my case its some ancient oak trees that I call magic trees), when that inner voice starts whispering, replace that thought with the thing that you love and makes you happy. Keep at it, it takes a while to retrain your brain but it really does work.
And please remember, that everyone, no matter who they are, perceives everything differently; this is so important to remember, it affects responses, emotions and purposeful lives. You are free and you can choose.