Many people struggle with feelings of unworthiness or not feeling lovable. Perhaps you are one of them. Life, particularly your childhood, gave you the message that something was wrong with you. And because of the nature of the parent/child relationship, children will accept this judgement of “inadequacy” as real. They do not, perhaps they cannot, question it.
And when you do not accept yourself as worthwhile or lovable, you must create beliefs in their stead: “I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t deserve to be loved, appreciated or have nice things.” This becomes the theme that plays through everything you do. Life becomes a lot of coping. Coping to overcome your “failings,” coping to hide your flaws, coping to have a relationship – sacrificing what you want in order to settle for what you “deserve.”
So you end up with your real self, which remains largely hidden, and a “false self” that you project out onto the world to hide your “inadequacies.” Living from the “false self,” you have something to hide your “flaws” behind. You don’t have to expose yourself and risk being found out. You will respond to situations by holding back, by being withdrawn. And you never feel quite whole. There is this nagging feeling that, “Something isn’t quite right,” and of course, that’s true. But you are having problems not because of a “defect of character,” but because of the false beliefs you hold. What needs attention is not who you are but what you believe!
Your pain plays an interesting role in this situation. As I said, when you act upon your beliefs you withdraw, withhold or in some other way create psychological distance between yourself and others in order to compensate for your “inadequacies.” That compensation leads to the creation of pain. Internal pain and pain in your relations.
Our normal response is to try and mitigate the pain – to avoid, deny, rationalize or in some other way, keep from hurting. But pain is a wake-up call that you are acting from your false self. It is The Universe’s way of urging you to change. And that warning isn’t going go away. You can expect it to get worse. When you operate from your real self, you don’t get crosswise with others or yourself and there is no pain! So although pain is undesirable, we also need to accept it for what it is – a red flag.
Ask yourself right now, “Do I deserve to be loved?” Even if most of you says, “Yes,” there will likely be a small nagging voice that disagrees. That voice is the voice of your wounded inner child. Dr. Brugh Joy made a fascinating observation about the role played by the inner child in regard to disease. He said,
”I have never encountered a patient (note: a person with disease) in whom a mature adult self is in charge at the unconscious level. Usually the self in charge is a young, vulnerable, and often very unhappy inner child. . . “
Are you in a relationship or job that does not nourish you? Ask yourself, “What am I doing there?” Some part of you didn’t feel good enough to reach for more. You chose your present situation because that’s all you thought you deserved. And as a result, you live in some level of discontent, perhaps even pain. You die a little every day. Perhaps it’s manageable situation today, but it won’t stay that way forever. That’s God’s way of insisting that you deal with this issue. As Leonard Jacobson said, “Everything that occurs in your life is part of God’s plan to wake you up.”
John Lennon wrote: “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
Successful people share one unmistakable trait – courage. In order to be successful they have all had to work incredibly hard (people often forget that) and taken on “impossible” challenges that most people wouldn’t even attempt. They can have all sorts of other psychological problems, but fear does not immobilize them. In a particularly impassioned letter to his brother Theo, Vincent Van Gogh wrote:
“If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good – many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm – and that’s a lie. . . That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity. Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.
Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas IS AFRAID of the truly passionate painter who dares – and who has once broken the spell of “you can’t.”
Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas.
But however meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, and who knows something, doesn’t let himself be fobbed off like that. He steps in and does something, and hangs on to that, in short, breaks, “violates” . . .
This business of life is not about becoming something different than you are. It is about accepting the truth about your specialness. And that means letting go of your beliefs of unworthiness – accepting the truth of who you are. And that can be a scary proposition! Making the jump to what I call the God Space means leaving the security and familiarity of your beliefs, no matter how dysfunctional they are, and entering a new space where there are no protections and nothing to hide behind. The good news is that there is also nothing to hide from!
God is aware of how much of big a step making this transition can be. That is why He/She created this process called life – to help you make the transition. Here’s how it works: in every moment you are presented with the opportunity to move to compassion – mostly toward yourself. You can either say, “Yes” to life, and embrace the moment or close down and turn away – in other words, say “No.” Then comes the next moment and you are again presented with the same opportunity. And so it goes until you get it.
If you could see what you came here to work on, you would understand the perfect relationship between your day-to-day difficulties and the lessons that God is trying to bring to you. Your day-to-day issues need to be be addressed, but until you deal with your underlying fears, they will continue to generate problems.
As Lennon said, love is essential to life. It is such a simple concept, and yet we have created this entire culture dedicated to the pursuit of money rather than happiness. That’s how afraid we are of the truth. I think John Geiger said it best:
“There is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some people will test you, some will use you, some will bring out the best in you, but everyone will teach you something about yourself. Both positive and negative relationships teach you valuable lessons. This is an incredible step toward expanding your consciousness. The road to self-discovery requires help from others. As humans we are always seeking feedback and approval from others. That is how we learn and become better as individuals. No relationship is a waste of time. The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones. Appreciate everyone that enters your life because they are contributing to your growth and happiness.”
copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016