Worthiness is intrinsically linked to love and belonging. Well so the research says. When we intrinsically don’t feel loved or a sense of belonging at that visceral level then we will also stand outside of our intrinsic sense of worthiness that comes hand in hand with love and belonging. If we believe that we deserve love and belonging we will also believe that we are absolutely, without a doubt worthy of that love and belonging.

For me however it is all a little more complicated than that. On the one hand I have absolutely always known that I am loved. Regardless of how many times I hit the self destruct button I have always known that I am loved. That said I can’t honestly think of a time that I have had a complete sense that I belonged somewhere simply just for me. Wrapped up with all of this I absolutely struggle with the sense of worthiness.  I have always had the I will be worthy when I finish school, I get married, when I have children, when I complete my degree, when, when, when … The problem is that the when never comes, that sense of worthiness never comes.

I do not feel worthy of that unconditional love that I have always had from my family. I have always felt a sense that I haven’t earned the love and as such have all my life tried to do things to prove that I am worthy of that. What I understand is that there is nothing at all that I can do to be worthy of unconditional love but I also know there is absolutely no worse a sentence that can be said to me than “I am so disappointed”. All the way through my school years there have repeatedly been comments like “Cathy has excellent results but could do better”. As much as I can’t stand the modern school reports that have to only have positive comments on them and really tell you nothing (I say this both as an ex chalkie and a parent), I do think that many of the comments on my reports could have stopped with “Cathy has pleasing results”. I am not going to lay blame at the feet of anyone except my own messed up mind for the fact that I do not believe that I am worthy of love, I do wonder if some of these things only helped cement my world view of myself of being not worthy.

School report comment age 13!!
School report comment age 13!!
School report comment age 8!!
School report comment age 8!!
School report comment age 11!!
School report comment age 11!!

I have constantly strived to be more to prove that I am worthy of that love, the more I strive the more I actually just come off more flakey. Forever changing jobs in case they discover that I am not as good as they think I am, my finger forever hovering over the self destruct button the second that things feel too comfortable. The reality is that I need to let go of all of the trying and striving, the knowing that and the doing that are two very different things though.

As a young tween I struggled with friendships and a sense of belonging. I developed coping strategies that honestly included all the dumb things of sex, drugs, alcohol, spending money on others you name it I have quite likely tried it to fit in and belong, to find my tribe. Turns out I am learning (very slowly) that you can no more buy your way into a tribe than you will find a sense of belonging from drowning yourself in all the other dumb things. These coping strategies are things that I have carried through most of my life and turns out do not help at all. Because instead of enjoying your tribe and knowing you deserve a place at their table.  You spend all your time questioning why on earth they would want you around and if only they knew that you are a big, fat fraud and failure they would boot you off your seat in an instance. Trying to feel that sense of true belonging is really hard and leaves me questioning so much of the things I do, say and most especially the compliments or gifts that I get out of the blue. I have never felt worthy of these and really struggle with accepting them without wondering why.

I am learning that there are in fact just beautiful people in the world who just accept me for me and love me for what I bring to their life. Just me, not the cakes I bake, the gifts I make, the words I write, they see through all of that and just want me around. I am still waiting for the penny to drop and they will work out I am not worth all of that.

Do I believe that I am worthy – not on your life! Am I learning that worthiness is a a feeling of completeness that comes with an internal sense of belief. This is something that I am a long way from feeling.

Do I know that I am loved – absolutely but I still strive to prove to all the people that I am worthy of that love.

Do I feel like I belong – not even close but I am getting there. By trying to live a life that is true to who I am I am finding my tribe I think or probably more to the point they are finding me.

Or finding my real tribe xoxo

Brene Brown has a huge body of work around worthiness, love and belonging particularly in her book The Gifts of Imperfection if you want to do some reading on it.

tons of love, worthiness and belonging to you all.

Cat xoxo 

I hope you will link up with this weeks Soft Landings Am I Worthy? #SL1

16 Replies to “Am I Worthy? #SL1”

    1. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see ourselves as others do? If you find that road map can you please grab one for me. Thanks for linking up xo

  1. Questioning worthiness – ugh, it’s a bugger. It’s kept me under the doona a fair bit this year. And Brene Brown? That amazing woman is changing my life with her words. Such an honest post Cat. I hope you feel a sense of relief through sharing. Xx

    1. I know it is a big question and only we can see the worthiness in ourselves because it is that one that matters the most. Until we accept our own worthiness it really won’t matter how many people tell us we are worthy. Thanks for linking up xoox

  2. I love this Cathy – I really hope the linkup takes flight for you. I’ve linked up an old post talking about how I learned to appreciate myself again and accept that I am worthy. Considering I’m restarting the weight-loss journey again, this is a timely reminder that we are in a constant state of flux when it comes to our view of ourselves. Most of the time I don’t feel worthy as I seem to struggle in every facet of life. But there are times when I do feel better about myself and obviously other times when that feeling of unworthiness leads to another bout of depression. I’ll never live up to my own expectations because they are too high but I won’t ever give up trying!

    1. So true Kirsty isn’t it our own expectations of ourselves are usually the hardest of all. We are our own harshest critics, well I am for certain! Thanks for linking up! You know you are amazing and totally worthy though right? It is the knowing and believing that is probably the hardest of all. Big hugs on your journey and thanks for the well wishes on the link up. I guess even if I just write for myself then that is all that really matters right? xoxox

  3. Thanks for sharing your own struggles with feeling valued. Do we all seem to battle with it? I’ve been learning how much I relied on others to make me feel valued and how unhealthy that is.

    1. I think it is something that many of us do battle with Rachel. I hope that you are doing better at recognising your value these days. xoxo

  4. Big hugs Cat! I hope you find satisfaction by writing these things out! Aside from the positive feedback I know you will receive, there are big cognitive benefits to writing these thoughts out and reading them for yourself. I wish you best on this journey of yours xox

  5. I think this was a great read. It certainly is a challenge to lead our own authentic life.
    As a teacher I laughed out loud at your 8 year old report with the comment “Good”. If only we could get away with that now.

    1. I know what a great comment “good” at what, how does that relate to the outcomes and how is “good” measured. I think sometimes it is much harder to live authentically than in blissful ignorance. xo

  6. Thanks Cathy for sharing – I’m sure a lot of us can relate, too – I hope this process of writing it out helps bring you closer to recognising your worthiness x

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