It could be said that all limiting beliefs really come down to one thing: unworthiness. When we feel powerless, when we feel like we have no control, when we deny the sheer grandeur and importance of Who We Really Are, we fail to understand our own value. We all feel unworthy in one way or another; it’s just a matter of degrees, really. But “unworthiness” is such a broad term. And you may have heard me say that a feeling of low worth can’t generally be shifted by simply insisting that we are, in fact, worthy. Usually, it’s much more effective to tackle individual symptoms of said unworthiness (specific manifestations and their underlying beliefs), rather than the whole core belief at once.
Having said that, however, I’ve been finding myself using a particular metaphor over and over again these past few weeks, to illustrate to my coaching clients why they simply cannot be unworthy. Worthiness is an inherent part of our design. This metaphor has become one of my all-time favorites, and today, I’d like to share it with you. You’re welcome.
You’re not a Human Doing
Most people in today’s world derive their sense of value from what they are able to DO – what they are able to accomplish for themselves or others. We like to help, teach, protect, and serve others, and the better we are at it, the more valuable we’re allowed to feel. In fact, most people only see themselves as valuable to the degree that others do; if you can influence someone else positively and they see your usefulness, then your presence on this planet is justified.
Many of us in the Western world also derive our value and worth from how much we’re able to produce – how much money we can make, how many goods we can manufacture, how much work we can DO or how much crap we HAVE. This is the belief system that leads to workaholism (“If only I do enough, I will finally prove my worthiness”), as well as a socio-economic system that values only those who contribute financially. This is how you get a system that values life – human, animal and vegetable – only in terms of what it contributes to the bottom line.
The basic tenets of this belief are twofold:
- Life itself has no inherent value (therefore we can exploit it mercilessly)
- Value and worthiness must be demonstrated (unworthiness is assumed until proven otherwise)
At its most extreme, this belief system leads to a devaluation of life in all forms, which allows us to:
- Treat groups of people of a certain race, gender, sexuality, etc., as though they are disposable or worth less than others
- Send hundreds of thousands of young people off to fight and die in wars, treating the body count as “collateral damage”
- Continually make decisions that prioritize profit over human lives
- Plunder and destroy the earth’s natural resources with no thought of giving anything back (“It’s all free! And it only has value once we process it!”)
- Subject animals into dark, horrific, disease inducing, soul destroying and unbelievably inhumane conditions in the name of food and cosmetic production
- Write off the poor and homeless as simply lazy (“If they produced more, they would be more valuable and therefore more valued”)
- Prioritize money, status and power over health, happiness, connection, or pretty much anything else
All human cruelty, whether it’s directed at others or ourselves is a result of our sense of unworthiness. When we don’t value ourselves, we can’t value others and vice versa.
The problem with this belief system (other than that it’s responsible for all human atrocities) is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and creates a cycle that never leads to worthiness. As long as you believe yourself to be unworthy, you’ll never be able to manifest evidence of your worthiness. All you can ever do is try to prove your value, while never actually being able to achieve that goal. So you work harder, play less, beat up on yourself more, and chase the almighty Dollar (or Euro or Pound or whatever). You also start buying as much stuff as you can. In short, if you DO enough or HAVE enough, maybe you’ll BE enough. And if that doesn’t work, you can always go beat up on someone or something else. You may then still not be all that worthy, but you’re obviously more valuable that this miserable little pile of defenselessness.
But that’s just now how it works.
You can’t NOT be worthy
Our worthiness, as I said, is inherent. We can’t NOT be worthy. It’s part of the design of the whole game. If we weren’t worthy, we wouldn’t be here. Creation doesn’t make mistakes. In fact, it’s our very presence that IS our worthiness. Let me explain:
Think of the sun; yep, that big, hot, ball of light in the sky. Do you think the sun is valuable? Of course you do. We literally couldn’t live without it. Now, if you’ll allow me to anthropomorphize our big, yellow friend for a moment, imagine that the sun was having a bad day. He’s up there, shining his little heart out, having an existential crisis, and wondering if anything he does is worth it. He worries, and cries and bitches and complains, and maybe talks to some of the other stars in the solar system. He wonders if he’s doing enough… Maybe he should acquire a few more planets? Other solar systems are so much bigger. What to do?
While the sun is grappling with his own sense of value, however, life continues to go on, on planet Earth. You see, the sun’s value doesn’t come from what it DOES. It comes from what it IS. The sun can’t help but shine; it’s a big freaking ball of fire and light! (Yes, scientists, I know it’s technically a ball of gas, but I’m making a point and besides, the “gas” thingy would’ve just led to a whole lot of poop and fart jokes. By me. Because I’m basically a 13 year old.) The point is, the sun doesn’t have to prove its value. It doesn’t have to DO anything. It is valuable simply because it’s there. Its presence IS its value. Period.
You are like the sun. You are here to shine and you do, whether you know it or not. You are here to observe and experience, to play the game. Your very presence here is what makes the Universe expand. Every time you have any kind of experience, you determine what you like and what you don’t like. These two perspectives (wanted and unwanted) are like two sides of the same coin, with the topic being the coin. So, poverty and abundance are two sides of the same coin, for example. Every time you determine what you don’t want, you automatically determine what you want instead, even if you’re not consciously aware of or focusing on it. The determination is made and that data becomes part of the Universal database. And every time more information is added to that database, it expands. You are adding to the expansion and evolution of the Universe simply by existing.
You don’t have to DO anything to make that value happen. You’re already BEING it. You are shining like that sun, providing your value, even while you’re wondering about and arguing against your own worthiness. So, you can’t NOT be valuable. You’ve got value squishing out of your pores. You can’t stop being valuable; and you can’t do anything to become MORE valuable; and you can’t do anything to mess it up. Your value just is. You shine whether you want to or not, whether you’re aware of it or not. You shine no matter what.
The only question that remains is: “Are you benefiting from your own light?”
Are you hiding in the dark?
You can’t not be valuable, but you can certainly deny or ignore your own value. You can’t not shine your light, but you can certainly hide in the shadows and refuse to come out and be illuminated by it. Just as you can block out the sun with an umbrella, so can you block out your own worthiness by choosing to believe that you don’t have any.
This, it has to be said, is a painful and decidedly un-fun way to live.
Of course, I can’t make you feel worthy with one blog post. Nor can you achieve a feeling of total worthiness in one day; it’s a spectrum. But you can open yourself up to the idea of (and therefore the energy of) being worthy, by seeing yourself as the sun. Allow yourself to adopt and play with the concept of being worthy simply because you exist.
What if you didn’t have to prove your value anymore, but simply accepted it as a given? What if you didn’t have to DO anything in order to be considered a valuable member of society, but were simply accepted as such? What if everyone was? What if all life was considered sacred and worthy of dignity and respect?
Do you want to live in such a world? Well, if you want to see the value in everything and everyone, then you have to start with yourself. Don’t expect others to see what you aren’t willing to. Make a choice today and see yourself as inherently and awesomely worthy. Just because you exist. Because that’s exactly what you are. Shine on my puppies. Shine on.