There’s an epidemic of unworthiness going around. It is partially fueled by television commercials, social media, religion, and the good intentions of people all around us. You experience it as a feeling deep inside that says, “I’m not okay. There’s something wrong, broken, unlovable about me.”
I first noticed it as a child when one day my father asked me, “Why can you be more like your brother?” He was everything I wasn’t; outgoing, charming, athletic, a total lady’s man. I was timid, shy, uncoordinated and preferred the company of older people, books, animals, and plants.
The message came from everywhere. At Catholic school, I was told I was born with some form of ‘original sin’, which somehow made me imperfect and impure. Every television commercial reminded me how much I needed their product in order to fit in, feel loved, and be okay.
So I did what most of us do. I tried to fix my brokenness and everything that I believed was unlovable about me by trying to become what others wanted me to be. “They must know better than me”, I thought. And in the process, I lost myself. I stopped being me.
For years, an insatiable need for achievement drove all my endeavors. Behind it, there was my need to feel worthy, loved, and appreciated by others. “Let me show them how amazing and special I am”, I would tell myself. But even when the recognition came, I would still feel broken, unlovable and not okay.
As the old saying goes, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I kept looking for approval, worthiness, and appreciation outside of me. I had become a people pleaser. Enslaved by other people’s opinion about me, I had given all of my power away.
But one day, all of this began to change.
It happened when a friend suggested I invite the presence of Jesus Christ’s love into my heart. “If you cannot love all of these broken aspects of yourself, maybe he can”, I heard him say. That was my first experience of the redemptive power of love. A love so powerful, so pure, that could love in myself everything I believed was wrong, broken and not okay.
At first, I felt unworthy of this kind of love. Really, what had I done to deserve it? Well, that was the point. Nothing was required at all. I was receiving this love simply because of who I am. No conditions necessary. Nothing to give up in return. I’m being deeply and unconditionally loved simply because. No matter what. The only requirement, if any, was my willingness to open my heart to receive it.
That was the beginning of my journey back home, to what is real, true and unique about me. That was the beginning of me starting to love myself the way I had always wanted others to love me. And it all started the moment I opened my heart to receive a love powerful enough to shine its light over the dark shadows inside my heart.
As we move into our Christmas season, please remember that you’re not alone and that this Greater Love is always available to you no matter what. Simply because. You are worthy of it just because of who you are. No conditions necessary. It may come through Jesus, Mother Mary, the Archangels, or someone who loved you deeply but who might no longer be around. All you have to do is invite it into your heart. All you have to do is ask.
The redemptive power of love will heal, restore and transform you.
Feel free to leave me your comments below.
Photo by Annie Spratt