Emerging from the Fog of Unworthiness

I’m here today to tell you that we are all confused.

Somewhere along the way, we learned that we aren’t good enough.  That there is something wrong with us.  That everyone else has it together so much better.

That love is earned.  That we do not belong unless we are good enough.  Respect and dignity are privileges, not rights.

We must set the standard, and we must strive, strive for it.  Because right now we’re flawed.  We’re different.  We’re incomplete, unwhole.

This feeling of unworthiness–which is something that all of humanity faces, to some degree–is probably one of the most complicated aspects of the human condition.  I’ve struggled with it.  And I’ve allowed you to see my struggle, although not in its entirety.  My feelings of worthlessness have at times taken me to some of the darkest and most lonely places possible.

I thought that I was alone in my struggles, and inferior for facing them.  Inferior, because my struggles were so persistent, with so much backsliding.  Inferior, because at times I needed to lean on others for help and support.  Inferior, because I was “unstable,” while everyone else had it figured out, had it all together.  What on earth was wrong with me?

You’re agreeing, because we all face that, although to varying degrees.  We all feel not good enough.  We all think that regrets do anything at all to serve us, and we misunderstand our own nature, believing that ruminating on our mistakes will prevent us from making them again.

Yes, I said “misunderstand.”  Because the whole concept of unworthiness is nothing more than a misunderstanding.

The whole experience of life is amazing, and the world, the universe, is far more complex and wonderful than any of us can possibly understand.  All of our journey is necessary, including our “flaws” and the habits and tendencies that we will later outgrow.

We should never wish to change anything, because our “mistakes” could possibly have far-reaching positive effects in ways we do not understand. 

There is nothing wrong with us.  There is nothing wrong with you.  We all struggle, and our struggles are actually beautiful, because they allow us to learn and grow.  You are not bad; you are not unstable.  You just face the same fears as everyone else, and you are still learning and growing.

But, at the core, we are all good, and capable of doing amazing things.  It’s only our self-doubts, the limits we place on ourselves, that stand in our way.  We are all just fine, in our wholeness, and we should not shy away from the challenges set before us.  We should not hide our light.

For me, perceived unworthiness was a fear-based and fear-inducing cloud that limited all of my experience.  It is only within the past few days that I have truly begun to emerge from this cloud, and see the beauty in all of life and all of experience.

Dare to look beyond the fog that surrounds you.  Dare to believe in your own power.  Dare to see yourself with love, as one who is good enough.

Because you are.

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Note: I have notified all of the winners, of my Advent Calendar.  However, you still have plenty of time to order yours, for $1.99.  We’re hoping that you will join us, in simplifying and finding peace during the countdown to Christmas!

27 thoughts on “Emerging from the Fog of Unworthiness

  1. Bethany, this sounds so familiar and something I too have lived through. I am glad to see you are seeing through the fog and coming out of the abyss. It’s a lovely place on the other side.

  2. Lately, your stuff hits way too close to home. I’ve responded to your previous posts at least ten different times and then deleted them. In an effort to not do that again, I’ll simply say thank you for putting yourself out there. I appreciate you and your journey.

  3. You’ve express so well what so many of us are going through. Coming out the other side takes a lot of time and energy but well worth the trip. For many of us, unworthiness was a birthday gift that was given over and over until it was ingrained in our DNA. I’ve been doing the same work and have been told that my healing depends on releasing those feelings of unworthiness. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for writing this for us.

  4. Beautifully put: our sense of unworthiness is a misunderstanding.

    A recent favorite quote:
    “Shame drives two big tapes: ‘never good enough’ and, if you can talk it out of that one, ‘who do you think you are?'”
    Brenee Brown
    TED talk
    March 2012

    • I just watched that TED talk a couple of weeks ago. My first thought was, “how did this lady get into my head?” Then it occurred to me that maybe…just maybe…I wasn’t the only one who faced these things.

  5. Learning from this and what it is has been a life-long process for me, Bethany, and many others I’m sure.

    For me, I’ve finally found a book that’s been invaluable and extremely helpful to process this. If you’re interested, let me know, and I can tell you more about it.

  6. Such an insightful post, Bethany. I spent so much of my teenage and college years feeling “less than” everyone else. I wasn’t as smart, as pretty, as popular, etc. The ways in which I compared myself to others were endless. I’ve let go of so much of that over the years and really come to accept myself more and more, and to love myself, quirks and all! I’ve often struggled to figure out where I “fit” in this world and discovered that if I will just accept me and fit in with myself (if that makes sense), then I don’t have to worry so much about fitting in anywhere else.

    • That makes perfect sense, Sandy. You do seem to be very at peace with yourself, which is unusual for most people. 🙂

      I’m getting there. Even realizing that I could give myself what I’m seeking from others, was a huge step.

      • Thank you! It’s taken a lot of years and hard work to reach this point of peacefulness. I think back about 5 years ago to days filled with stress, depression and dark black holes out of which I struggled to pull myself, and it’s amazing how far I’ve come. The days of stress still come, but I am much better equipped to handle those days now. And if I feel some depression, I know better how to get out of it. But best of all, there are no more days of black holes!!

        You are getting there, Bethany. : ) I like what you said about realizing you could give yourself what you were seeking from others. So much of our happiness is a result of seeking peace and acceptance from things outside of ourselves.

        • I think a lot of it is realizing that 1) we have what it takes to get ourselves out of the difficult times, 2) we actually already have within ourselves, that which we seek, and 3) just because we get our sense of worth from ourselves, doesn’t mean that we have to be isolated or deal with everything on our own.

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