“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I suspect that most people are victims of hate. Wars happen because of hate. Your mental, emotional, and even physical balance is lost because of hate. Hate destroys joy and happiness.
Think about the last time you felt intense emotions of hate—for another person, for a group of people, or even for yourself. Just thinking about it will make you feel not so nice. Now, as you think about those feelings of hate, simply observe yourself.…
“I have inherent worth. It cannot be raised by my strengths or lowered by my weaknesses or defects of character.” ~Pia Melody
Perhaps you’ll resonate with the way I am feeling as of late: I tell myself I am enough. I have always been enough, just as I am, without doing anything at all. But I struggle to accept this truth without feeling like I have to earn it. Like I have to take a zillion steps for self-care, accomplish a certain number of goals, or do enough things to win validation from other people.
I believe at the core of my being that I am born to be of service. I am a generator, here to bring love and beauty. I am a Capricorn sun—worker bee; Virgo rising—organizer; Cancer moon—deep feeler. All of that makes sense to me. The fact that I am worthy without any of these aspects, that is the part I have a hard time wrapping my mind around.
My entire life I’ve believed that we should be constantly striving to evolve and do better and feel more and be better. That makes sense. Even checking the box of “work on giving yourself grace” makes sense. What does NOT feel actionable, and perhaps feels even a bit unattainable, is the fact that I am supposed to feel completely worthy just for being alive. For existing. What!?
All of my astrology charts and tarot readings and apps and friends tell me I should work on living in my worth, and my initial response is “I’m TRYING! I am doing all the things and trying to get there!” I completely miss the fact that it’s not the doing that’s going to get me there, but the knowing, the believing, and the subconscious agreement that I am worthy.
My current goal (or maybe not a goal, since it is more of a daily practice) is “knowing, embodying, embracing, and LIVING IN my worth.” So, as of now, I am going to work on not working on this. “The Work” is actually more about rest. Forgiveness. Play. Pleasure. Softness and release and acceptance. That doesn’t sound like something I can make a checklist out of, but okay, challenge accepted.
“I have nothing to prove” is my motto for this next year, or chapter of my life. In every moment that I feel unworthiness, competition, or judgment, I am choosing to repeat to myself, “I have nothing to prove.” How powerful is that? I have nothing to prove!
Everything that needs to be proven by my soul expression is proven already just by my existence. Just by being alive, I have proven myself, and so have you. In fact, my only real goal is to truly believe I am worthy, just as I am.
But, if that’s it, then what? Is all of life pointless if that is my only goal? If I believe I am worthy just as I am, what will I lose? Will my drive and purpose escape me? No, of course not; in fact, the opposite is true, and I will be able to continue doing what matters to me with more space, joy, and enthusiasm.
I’ll be able to honor my top values, the things I truly cherish—freedom, creation, growth, and connection—without feeling pulled to do things I believe will bring me praise.
I’ll be able live a life that feels in alignment with me, live a fuller expression of who I am at my core, and redefine how I view and implement self-love, self-care, and self-worth.
Yet, it can be incredibly scary to let go of who you have always been, and I have always strived for the gold stars, the “good girls,” and validation from any and every source, in any and every form.
It’s been exhausting, and I so badly want to put down the weight of needing these unachievable levels of approval, yet I am still learning how. Maybe I will always be learning how, but with each expectation I release, I feel a bit lighter. Each time I choose myself, I open myself up to better things, like bigger love and more peace.
I embrace the “let them” theory when it comes to other people’s perceptions of me. They think you are mean? Let them. They don’t like you? Let them. Everyone will have their own truth and story, and if they aren’t interested in hearing your side or do not want to understand your perspective, do not spend your time and energy on what they are doing any longer. It is safe to let it go.
Focusing on yourself and implementing the “let them” theory is much easier when you remember you are worthy no matter what. When we are living in our worth, we are also much less likely to act in ways that are destructive to ourselves and others.
The times in my life when I made the biggest mistakes or hurt others were times when I felt unworthy or was struggling with self-worth. This does not excuse poor behavior but can be a reminder of why living in our worth is important not only for ourselves, but for the good we want to do in the world.
I have slowly made the shift from external to internal validation, yet even that does not feel like true self-worth. Yes, I might have let go (to an extent) of what others think, but I still am telling myself “gold star IF you work out every day this week,” or “good job IF you keep your house perfectly clean,” or “you are an incredible mom IF you make sure to work on these specific skills with your toddler at least three times a day consistently.”
I tell myself this is better than external validation because the goals and approval are coming from myself, but unfortunately, they are not coming from me at all but from my ego—that part of my humanity that still thinks I need to do and achieve, or be a certain way or look a certain way or show up a certain amount in order to earn my worth.
So there is another shift I must learn to make. If I have made the shift from external to internal validation, I can make the next shift too. The next shift is believing in my inherent worth regardless of what else I do in life and who approves of me.
This is the part where I tell you I have no clear-cut formula for doing this. But I do have an idea of what I need to do that is becoming less vague every day. I am focusing on letting go of limiting beliefs, dreaming in authenticity, and becoming who I believe I am meant to be. Beyond that, I don’t know how yet, and that’s okay.
I will end by leaving you with these questions: Is there really nothing to DO to become worthy? I just AM, and that’s that? Okay. It is a valid pursuit. I will let you all know how it goes.
About Brianna Thompson
Bri is an author, social worker, yoga instructor, single mama, and cat mom. Her blog is Eclectic Purpose. The intention behind Eclectic Purpose is to empower us all to explore extensions of our unique gifts; become more intimate with our emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies; improve our relationships with ourselves and others; discover everyday practices and rituals that feel supportive; and to contribute if we feel called. All while still being 100% human.