I am a woman who has struggled for years with self-love, self-acceptance & self worth. I could tell you countless stories of how/when the wounding happened that caused me to question my inherent value, but that would be pointless. I have no desire to hurt anyone else (or myself) by retelling a narrative that no longer serves me. What I can share is this:
Value is not determined by who your parents are, or who they are not. Worth is not based on what you can do, who you can beat or what you can offer. When you were born, you were perfect. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes, you were divine. Your eyes held the wonder of the world, and your heart was unblemished by the trials of life. You had nothing but pure love that you brought with you into this world.
Then life happened.
Someone called you a name. A parent left. A kid called you fat. A family member rejected you. Somewhere along the line, the message began pummeling your tender heart. The message was something like “not enough, never going to be loved, stupid, ugly” and so on. Those messages became your unconscious mantra and you begin doing things to counter those messages. You began to fight yourself and found the more you tried to find your way out of it, the more shame you piled upon yourself. You thought, maybe you could be good enough. Maybe getting love from that person would make you lovable. Maybe you could succeed enough to prove “them” wrong. Maybe you could be something other that who you are and somehow, that would be enough.
Until the day it wasn’t.
And that day was the day that you looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize the person that you had become. You were more than tired; you were exhausted. The weight of self-loathing, self-denial, perfection seeking, trying to silence the inner critic, wrestling with your demons and always falling short became too heavy. Suddenly, all you wanted was the burden to be gone so you looked into yourself, back to the pure part of you that somehow survived until now & began blowing gently on the embers that still burned so quietly within. Thus begins The Journey to the Center of your Soul. It’s a long road. This journey is harrowing and is not for the faint of heart. You will face your demons & learn to embrace them. You will rub up against the rough edges of yourself and will continue to do so until the jagged edges are smooth again. You will unpack the shame you’ve carried for ages & leave it on the altar to be burned away with your sorrow. Every hidden resentment will come up. Every old wound will smart. Every inch of you will want to turn back but you know that to go back will be soul suicide. So you will keep going. One day, you’ll see yourself in the mirror and be startled when you see yourself as a friend, with kindness instead of judgment. One day, the inner critic will be harder to hear as your self-love drowns it out in a soothing melody of “I love you, yes I do”. One day, you will no longer see yourself as your own worst enemy and rather as the best of friends.
I know this journey because this has also been my journey. I’ve faced myself in the fullness of who I am. I have faced the good, the bad and the ugly and have learned to love it all. Before I learned my own value, I accepted relationships that was far below what I deserved. I accepted the love I thought I deserved and it wasn’t much. Until the day that “not enough” was no longer enough for me and I chose to walk away from anyone who couldn’t meet me where I deserve to be met. This has been a life changing journey for me…I am more liberated, courageous and unwilling to settle while also loving myself and others with a new depth I didn’t know I had.
I think it’s time to stop accepting whatever scraps are offered instead of holding out for the 3 course love meal that we all deserve. In that banquet, you can have all and be all you desire but you have to be willing to get belly up to the table. Are you in?