Out of an abundance of caution for all during this COVID-19 Pandemic, I am conducting psychotherapy and life coaching sessions through secured online video.

This week’s subject is adapted from a blog I wrote some time ago, because I think it’s such an important topic and worthy of at least one repeat…

It’s so easy to keep us quiet – all we have to do is want something badly and believe that we aren’t worthy of it, somehow.

If you hurt someone and can’t forgive yourself. Or were sure of yourself until you made a big mistake. Or are afraid of letting your parents down by failing in some way.

This deep-down feeling of unworthiness might show up as perfectionism, or it might show up as hiding, or of being cowed down. I’ve felt it: I let a bully dictate terms to me for a number of years, after making a big mistake and having to start over. I’d been so sure of myself before that, then had the bad luck of letting someone who didn’t respect me dictate terms. It cowed me.

Then, when I came to appreciate what happened, it took a while to come to terms with the loss – of years, and joy, and even health.

You might be a perfectionist, or in hiding, or even cowed. It isn’t because you made a mistake – mistakes are part of learning. It’s because you learned to feel unworthy, deep-down. And that has to go.

If any of what I’ve written speaks to you, if it’s even a little familiar, then you might be feeling embarrassed and ashamed. That’s what kept me quiet. But it’s false. Here’s what you can do to shake off that false feeling – the feeling that’s been holding you hostage:

  • Its a lie. It’s a lie that you’re unworthy, and anyone helping you feel that way is the one who is already feeling unworthy. Acknowledge the truth instead of the lie – that you are worthy and always have been.
  • Feel the rage. It is unjust to be treated as being ‘wrong’ in some fundamental way. Once you recognize the lie, and the truth, you will feel rage. And along with that rage, you will begin to reclaim your truth.
  • Question and confront. Question anyone who suggests, implies, or even acts like you are unworthy; anyone who demands something of you that isn’t actually worthy of you. Begin to know and appreciate your own worth, and from a stable and grounded place inside you, confront and challenge. This might look something like: “Please don’t speak to me that way; find some other way to say what you mean”. Or: “This is the best I can do right now”, without apology.
  • Be ready. Be ready to leave a situation or person that won’t acknowledge you as an equal. This can seem hard. But once you claim your own worthiness, it’ll be a lot easier than you think.

 

Listening to shame

Quote of the Week 

“Shame is a soul-eating emotion..”
– Carl Jung

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Maryanne

 

 

 

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