You are so worth loving.
Did you know that? Did you forget it somewhere along your journey? Have you lost hope that it’s true? There have definitely been times in my life when I did not believe I was worth loving, or not as much as I used to be.
I had a few conversations this week that showed me I am not the only one who has felt this way. I was able to share and connect with some important women in my life who have also felt unworthy to be loved. I am sure men feel this way, as well, but I think this is particularly a problem for women. Particularly, around the experiences we have had that have caused SHAME, and subsequently translating into feelings of diminished worth and an overall “no-good-ness.”
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we let other people do this to us? Why do we let societal expectations, gender roles and religious norms dictate the way we feel? As logical, intelligent beings, we often realize that these thought processes are harmful, but as emotional beings, all those expectations (and failing to meet them) can be extremely hurtful and led to feelings of unworthiness.
Other people’s stories of diminished worth have been on my mind and heart and led me to reflect on times I have also allowed my own light to dim. I think about times when my SHAME has held me back from speaking up when I needed to, held me back from moving forward in relationships, career and personal growth, led me to make destructive, unhealthy choices because I was “no-good” anyways.
The time in my own life when I felt the most SHAME was after my divorce. I married far too young and was a divorcee at the age of 26. I was oh, so embarrassed that my poor choices were on display for everyone to see. I was ashamed of my lack of good judgment. I was afraid that people would think I did not hold marriage sacred. I was worried that I would never love again or be worth of love.
Slowly, I begin to heal and re-build up my worth. I learned from my mistakes and caught myself before I made them in future relationships. I got real, ugly, gut-wrenching, in-my-own-face-honest with myself about my own pitfalls and hang ups and starting working through them. I meditated, cried, journaled and continued to call myself on my own bullshit.
I realized I was still worth loving.
And, so are YOU.