When I began to focus on my spiritual and emotional growth 25 years ago, I soon realized that a barrier to achieving the life I wanted, was feeling unworthy. On my path I’ve been to counseling, read countless books, journaled, meditated, had silent retreats and been part of a women’s circle. The cumulative effect of my regular spiritual practices, and especially the influence of positive women mentors, has given me tools to manage my sense of unworthiness.
Being fed up, was not a step on any spiritual path I’d studied, but in retrospect, it was the first indication I was improving in this area. I became fed up with intimate relationships that drained my energy instead of filling me up; fed up with worrying about money; fed up with thinking about my weight all the time. Maybe we begin to feel worthy when we no longer accept the negativity in our life, and realize we have the power to change it.
Once I felt this way, I made a decision to release some of the negative patterns in my life. This required changes in my outer and inner worlds. I had to release the thoughts that “I’m not lovable”; “I never have enough money”; “My body is ugly and undesirable”. Well, release is probably not the best word, because these thoughts occasionally still occur, but I definitely give them less attention. At the same time I made changes in my outer world, like ending an unhealthy relationship, making smart decisions with budgeting and investments, and making healthy, moderate choices with my diet and exercise. When I let go of what wasn’t serving my highest good, I created an opening, so the things I desired could enter my life. *
I’d like to say I’ve recovered from unworthiness, but that’s not the case. I am more adept though, at identifying when it’s interfering with my life. I recently dealt with this at a two day training for Reiki. While doing yoga the morning after my first day, I began to cry. I was being taught an ancient and powerful way to heal myself and others, and I felt unworthy of this power. Who was I to have access to this healing energy? Surely I wasn’t good enough, spiritual enough, intuitive enough.
In triangle pose. an epiphany came to me. I don’t have to be worthy. I have to be open. This made perfect sense. For Reiki to work, I need to be a clear channel for the healing energy. Focusing on my inadequacies only hinders its flow and my ability to help others. I went to the second day of class with this perspective and felt the energy more intensely, both in my meditations and when practicing Reiki on my classmate.
Being open, not worthy, is a succinct way of describing how I released unworthiness in the past. Nothing changed in my bank account or mirror once I began to feel more worthy. The positive changes occurred when I released the ridiculous standards I’d set for myself and was open to the good that was always there in my life. What I wanted was there all the time. What I wanted was there all the time! Even healthy, unconditional love, as that had to start within me before I could manifest it in a relationship.
I know these revelations are not new, and I read about them at some point in the past 25 years, but now I understand them with my whole being and not just my intellect. I don’t have the ultimate step by step guide to help you overcome unworthiness and open to what you want in life, but I can share what helps me.
More than ever, we need to heal ourselves, so we can turn our energy outward, and do our part to heal the world.
*I have distilled years of work into several sentences. Each of these topics improved at different times in my life, not all at once.*