It took me a long time to understand that I didn’t have to DO anything to be worthy. Feeling worthy is such a foreign concept for some. I don’t even think I realized I was having worthiness issues most of my life and I’m pretty self-aware.
I think this was because I was taught at an early age that I had to “earn my keep” and being the “good child” didn’t add to the dysfunction and chaos. If I was “Little-Ms.-Fix-It” for everyone around me especially for my mother who I felt her internal stress and exhaustion acutely as a young child then my own anxiety and sense of safety was temporarily satisfied.
I say temporarily because as I grew older and this pattern played out in my relationships later in life I soon realized that “earning my keep” was a defense mechanism to prove my worthiness. If I was useful and good no one would abandon me like my own father did when I was seven months old. I learned from that experience that I was NOT worthy just for being who I am.
I soon began either avoiding relationships because they were “so exhausting” or I’d engage in the type where I was the mommy-manager controlling everything while simultaneously resenting the shit out of the responsibility.
I had convinced myself that being “strong, independent, and self-sufficient” was the only way to have any self-respect and I severely judged anyone (especially other women) who I perceived were “lazy” or “useless” or obviously dependent on someone else for their financial and emotional well-being. This judgment for others was really just an extension of the severe internal critic I listened to all the time.
After divorcing my ex-husband in my late-twenties mid-way through getting my bachelor’s degree and being a single mom to two young boys under the age of three I went through some seriously tough times financially and emotionally.
The next decade was a period of arduous spiritual growth for me. I worked 70-plus hours a week to provide for my family (mostly to pay the babysitter while I worked now that I look back on it) and if I’m honest I used being a workaholic as a good excuse to avoid intimacy in relationships particularly the demands of motherhood.
Deep down I felt like a failure at everything being a wife, mother, even a friend. From the wounded child perspective, I was already a failure as a daughter so now these irrational beliefs made sense to me.
I avoided intimacy like the plague. It was exhausting and shaming. If people got close enough to me they would see my unworthiness and they would leave just like my father.
I got good at not needing anybody and looking down on THEM for not being good enough so I could avoid working on myself.
About four years after my divorce and becoming super-responsible with my money I was able to buy my own house with my excellent credit and investment history. I’m still very proud of this fact. It kind of reminds me of when I finally quit smoking at the age of 21 after five previous tries.
These are accomplishments that I look back on during tough times and say, “If I can do that I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to.”
The problem is that I have a yo-yo history with money. Thank God I’ve consistently stayed smoke-free but my finances are a different story.
Looking back on my life I see a pattern with money that swings from reckless overspending and wallowing in debt with a sometimes (embarrassingly) negative bank account to becoming uber-responsible and paying everything off, starting IRA’s and having high credit ratings….Only to turn around and rack up the bills and debt all over again.
I can’t say that I really understand the overall psychology behind my behavior with money but my most recent down-cycle with money has landed me in the biggest heap of debt ever and I really believe that it has to do with my own anger over having to “earn my keep”. Like there’s this bratty inner-teenager saying, “Other people don’t have to work so hard and they get everything handed to them!”
As an adult, I understand how irrational this statement sounds but that’s just it, my money problems aren’t based on logic. It doesn’t matter if your beliefs don’t make logical sense if from a FEELING PLACE you hold a very strong vibration about them.
On a deep subconscious level I’m super-pissed because I got the message early on that I have to work hard to earn my keep and I don’t get to be worthy and lovable and “un-abandonable” like all the other cute little girls who grew up sitting on daddy’s knee.
My inner wounded child/bratty teenager is still ruling the operating system of my subconscious but she’s TIRED and doesn’t want to have to earn her keep anymore.
Again, this is the irrational subconscious talking here and while I am aware of this on an intellectual level, my spirit is REBELLING and I’ve cut off my nose to spite my face by being financially irresponsible.
The adult in me feels worthy and has done a lot of inner work to learn “how to receive” and as a result, many beautiful, abundant things in my life have manifested out of that space. Wayne Dyer used to talk about how if his father hadn’t abandoned him as a child he would never have learned self-sufficiency which was his gift to teach the world.
I’ve always been very proud of my independence and self-sufficiency….until it started to seem like “striving” behavior. Like I was only doing it to avoid feelings of abandonment instead of out of a sense of self-efficacy.
It’s not lost on me that all of these subconscious beliefs are bubbling to the surface now when I’m at a point in my life twelve years after my divorce where I’m feeling in an emotionally safe place.
It’s safe now to feel resentment about all the stress and hardship I went through. It’s safe now to also examine how much of it could have been avoided had I only known what I know now and funnily enough I only know what I know now because of all that I went through.
So now it’s time to do the work and reconcile the wounded little girl in me with the adult. I think it’s time to acknowledge the grief and trauma I went through by being abandoned as a child and going through a divorce as an adult and then releasing those old stories.
I’m tired of carrying those heavy loads around. It’s time to put them down and write a new story a story of worthiness, self-sufficiency, and prosperity.
It’s time to stop yo-yo-ing my money energy too. I am coming to the realization that when you feel worthy you don’t have to work hard to earn anything. Abundance just flows to you. That’s the universe taking care of you.
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