I have a deck of affirmation cards I keep in my bathroom to remind me of uplifting and inspirational ideas. The one I read today said,
Decide that you are worthy.
If you say you’re worthy, you are.
If you say you’re not worthy, you’re not.
Either way, you’ll grow into your story.I’ve probably read that card twenty times over the years, but today it struck me differently. I’ve been exploring in my mind over the past few days the notion that I’m as happy as I decide to be (aka think I am or let myself be). I read something about that in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project this week while traveling back from Colombia on vacation.
When I say I’m exploring the notion of being worthy, I’m studying that concept and notion from a slightly different perspective than I feel I have before. In the past, deciding to be worthy has felt like a struggle. Effort. I have to work to be worthy. Sort of boost up my self esteem like a rooster getting ready to cockle-doodle-do.
Today, I feel like releasing the struggle. Releasing the effort to be worthy. I’m instead allowing the idea that I was born worthy to wash over me like the rain falling effortlessly from the sky. I’m giving up the idea that I wasn’t born worthy and have to somehow earn my worth through my do-ings.
I’ve read that as kids we’re taught conditional love. Our parents give us love conditionally because that’s what they were taught. They love us when we do what they ask. They show us love when we’re “good”. Because of this we strive as kids to do things our parents will appreciate so they’ll give us their love. We get sort of indoctrinated into the idea that if you want love you have to earn or strive for it from others.
Today, I’m seeing things through a slightly different lens. My heart tells me that love comes from inside. If I want to keep seeking it from others, keep striving for it to come from outside of me then I can. But that’s not where real love comes from.
I’ve felt the love of connection with my higher self, my Source. I know that this feeling of love is what I really seek to feel and find. Love from others is nice. It’s what I’ve thought I wanted for my whole life. Why I’ve strived and struggled and worked so damn hard to fit in. Be respected. Be treated special. Be worthy.
Nothing’s different today other than my perspective and I want to keep this perspective. My perspective, my lens, today tells me that all I have to do to be worthy and feel self-love is to think it and it is so.
Really? That’s it?
Kinda freeing actually. Kinda funny it could be that easy.
It is that easy.
My manifesto today is…
I am worthy.
Tomorrow I might forget how easy it can be to give myself love and acceptance. Today it’s feeling effortless, so I’m going with it. I pray with all my heart that going forward whenever I forget my self-worth, that I remember this card today and the feeling I have now that tells me it’s all up to me. It’s an inside job. My self worth comes from my mind, my heart and my soul. All I have to do is choose to be worthy and I am.
My self-worth doesn’t come from other people.
I take responsibility for being and feeling worthy from here on out.
How about you? Will you think it so? Will you say and believe you’re worthy with me?
A few additional ideas I’d like to share with you here about self-esteem and feeling worthy from this excellent post.
Self-esteem is not a constant—it is not experienced with a consistent intensity at all times. Self-esteem fluctuates, and is a matter of degree—it is not an either/or proposition.
Having self-esteem means honoring your potentials, embracing the discovery and exploration of all that is uniquely you.
Self-esteem is not based on external success and failures, it is internal. Though appreciated, people with high self-esteem do not require approval, understanding, or positive reinforcement from others.
Having high self-esteem does not make you immune to uncertainty, despair, or anxiety—it simply makes it easier to tolerate and handle them.
Truth and honesty build self-esteem. (reminds me of Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability)
Betrayal of our values, standards, and convictions leads to evasion and denial of the self, a surrender of one’s values to the value system of another. At the same time, pressure to comply to another’s standards may intensify, producing anger and resentment towards others for the imposition. This creates a split that is felt as guilt. Self-esteem means refusing to accept unwarranted guilt, and striving to correct earned guilt—if this is not accomplished with all speed, a degradation in self-esteem results.
Poor self-esteem is a feeling of being inappropriate to life—of being all wrong.
People with low self-esteem are ruled by fear—of themselves as well as others. This is because of conflicts between a value imperative and a belief in their own inadequacy. Must/should thinking collides with fantasies, wishes, and desires that contradict the imperative.
False Self-Esteem: What Self-Esteem is Not
Self-esteem is not your image; it is not a function of how others perceive you.
False Self-Esteem: “I am confident I can do this.” When your self-worth is wrapped up in how you perform, you are seeking approval from others, rather than regard from yourself.
Genuine Self-Esteem: “I trust myself to make life-affirming choices.” This applies to all areas of your existence, not just a job or task that must be done properly using particular skills.
Loving others often requires that you be able to love yourself first. However, that one may be able to love others is not evidence of self-esteem: Some may be able to love others but unable to love the self, valuing others above the self.
Most importantly, self-esteem is not an instinct. Self-esteem must be learned and cultivated. Man not only needs himself whole, but he needs to feel a part of something bigger than himself, a belongingness that at last quells his fear of insignificance. He needs to believe that his life, and his death, have a purpose. Humans need meaning. It is up to the individual to create and sustain that meaning, to generate his own purpose in life.