I'm taking this class with Effy Wild called Facing Forward II: Things You Need to Hear. I thought it was appropriate. There are LOTS of things I NEED to hear, and I'm working on it. The theme for the first week was:
Boy, I have struggled with this my whole life. I don't think it came from childhood, my parents always made sure I felt loved and had everything I needed, including that set of 64 Prismacolor Colored Pencils and working cameras. I suppose that feeling of not deserving came from adulthood... no one ever directly told me I didn't deserve, but I guess actions always speak louder than words. School, jobs, relationships...
I never felt like I could live up to the expectations of others.
I was never good enough. I didn't do things right. I didn't look like I was expected to. I didn't wear the right clothes. I wasn't the right weight. I hung around with the wrong people. I didn't have the right kind of job. I didn't watch the right TV shows.
It was exhausting. And with each expectation that wasn't met, my self esteem plummeted a little lower, until I developed an attitude of What's the use? Why bother even trying? I can't do anything right. It doesn't matter. After awhile with that attitude, things die inside. The heart breaks, the soul suffers. Thoughts turn into It doesn't matter. I don't matter.
I don't matter subsequently turns into I don't deserve any better.
It's taken me about 5 years to declare that utter and complete Bullshit. Of course I matter. If not to myself, then to my daughter, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my dog. I deserve to be loved for who I am, not for who others want me to be. Let me repeat that because it's really important... "I deserve to be loved for who I am, not for who others want me to be."
I deserve because I am human.
I deserve to be loved, and to love.
I deserve to do things that make me happy.
I deserve to feel joy.
I deserve abundance.
I deserve respect.
I deserve kindness.
I have come a long way the past few years. I have learned a lot about myself, mainly that I matter. I have found my voice again, I have found my confidence again. I have some great friends who support me, a family that loves me. I actually like myself again. I cringe when I think back at all the times I've said I hate myself. I hate my body!
(Dear Body, I apologize profusely for the way I've treated you in the past. You have been through so much physical and emotional abuse. I appreciate your strength and stamina. You deserve to be loved. And you deserve a lover who treats you with kindness...)
I think the key is that I no longer feel unworthy of basic human rights. I give myself permission to feel joy, even if the dishes aren't washed or there are dust-puppies in the corner. Even if I weigh more than I should, or would rather take a nap than go for a walk. And I am worthy of respect, from myself and from others.
I even met a great guy who treats me with the respect I deserve. (He opened the car door for me! Holy crap, when was the last time that happened?!) We are still in the early stages, appreciating the present moment and not placing expectation on the future. We are enjoying each other's company because we both deserve it.
I think the world would be a better place if people felt like they deserved love. Because then they wouldn't allow others to steal their joy and confidence and respect that they also deserve. If you didn't feel worthy growing up, then feel it now, give it to yourself. You deserve it, I promise.
And I deserve it.
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about this class, Effy has generously provided a discount. I am not being paid to promote this, I am doing it out of love :-)
Facing Forward 2: The Things we Need to Hear.