We Are Worthy

I struggle mightily with feeling worthy.

Many things have happened over the course of my 42 years that have brought me to low, hard places, and I have sometimes played a key agent in my own defeat when it seemed easiest to join 'em if I couldn't beat 'em. It's habitual to chastise myself on tough days, to lay blame like I am a martyr against my own cause. I can do no right, because I am a failed project.

This is wrong, of course. It is always wrong, and it's not just wrong for me: it's wrong for you, too. 

This message lives under the paint on my living room wall.

This message lives under the paint on my living room wall.

Whether we are worthy or not is not a decision we get to make. Worthiness is beyond our ability to qualitatively or quantitatively measure, because context continually fools us into changing the measuring stick. We are not worthy human beings in one context and not in another. We are worthy simply because we are.

Worthiness is beyond our ability to qualitatively or quantitatively measure, because context continually fools us into changing the measuring stick.

I was born. You were born. We are worthy.

On my hardest days, it's helpful for me to remember this. Worthiness is not something I can make a decision about. It just is as I just am. I have to let go and accept that I am worthy, whether I feel it or not, and in letting go, in ceasing to argue against my own case, the worthiness has a little more room to move in.

This is not a decision I get to make, I remind myself. I don't get to choose this.

It helps me to apply a metaphor that keeps my heart in a state of care and acceptance rather than rejection and judgement: I imagine my worthiness as a wild little animal that's been kicked around a bit and is looking for a home. I need to be gentle with it, make a safe space for it to enter, and move carefully so I don't scare it off. It's an inaccurate metaphor, but it reminds me to be gentle with myself.

My sense of worthiness has so far managed to come for short visits at least every other weekend. I'm practicing acceptance and kindness, and it stays a little longer every time.