When was the first time someone told you that you were not worthy?
Wow. It’s been almost 2 months since my last blog post and after talking to my homegirl Davia over at Redefine Enough, this question came up and we both agreed that sometimes it isn’t the first time it was said but more so the first time it was felt.
I was small, can’t remember the age, but small. I remember feeling lost and confused. Having the recent death of my beloved father and the funeral arrangements causing what seemed like chaos to me had emotions high, which was expected. Was I worthy enough to ride in the limo that took all of my dad’s kids to and from the funeral? Was I worthy enough to be accounted for in the small half dozen of children he had before he passed? I was small but I can remember that feeling of not being sure if I would be “allowed” to ride due to grown-up issues that, at that time, I did not understand. I can confidently say that at that moment I didn’t feel worthy and that it would be a trend in the years to come of me trying to prove my worth to those around me and even to myself.
Let’s take an empirical look at the word “worth”, like what does that really mean? Not from the dictionary but what does that mean in our world. Worth is something that is talked about a lot, just like self-care, and self-love. We see these words, sometimes attached to only monetary things and then we see lists on how to gain said things or achieve them. I believe I’ve said before that the journey doesn’t end; this applies to all of the above as well. Worth, based on experience, can go from knowing you are purposed to be here because you are here and that being ENOUGH. To depending on someone else or something else to provide that validation that you are purposed to be here. That feeling of seeing the finish line but having it pulled further away as you get closer due to your own “rules” and “guidelines” for being good enough, for being worthy.
My worth was always contingent on accolades. It was based on my grades, extracurricular activities, my hair, my clothes, and my achievements. I believed that in order to be worthy I had to be perfect. I had to go above and beyond, always. I had to push until my arms were weak and then use other body parts to push until I was on my knees and then I would drag myself until I was skin and bones. But then and only then would I feel worthy for just a second in time, a moment of “you did it” and then back to feeling useless.
I am not going to lie to you all but I still find myself wondering if I am worthy. I “know” I am worthy simply because God, the stars, and the universe made it so but do I “believe” I am worthy? Not all the time. It’s really a battle of the mind. A battle of that small child who remembers vividly what it FELT like to feel unworthy not when someone said that she was. I am reassured often that I am worthy but reassurance doesn’t erase the inner-work that has to be done.
I am working on giving myself my flowers, it’s a struggle but “self-praise is the best praise” and even when I give myself flowers and that “you did it” feeling arises – I sometimes can still see her, that small child, wondering if she is “worth” it. I don’t have a profound anecdote for figuring out how to combat the feeling of unworthiness. All I have are these words, my experiences, and this affirmation “I am worthy just because I exist and I will always be worthy just because I Am. ” I hope to say this when I want to push myself past where I should be, when my health isn’t the best and I need assistance on bad days, when I need to sleep instead of working, when I need to retreat, when I need to take a hiatus because life is hard. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy just because I AM.
You are worthy too, just because you are.