Someone else said this/wrote this (and I forget who) – and I believe it true: We all come into this world with a core lesson to learn and a gift to give.
I know that my core lesson to learn and for me to claim, is that I am valuable, regardless of the work I do, the grades I get, the education I have, the positions I hold, my marital status, who I am related to, what I do for others, the people I love, the people who like me – even love me;
My being = I am Valuable.
The crux of my lesson is that, I do not have to Prove my Value.
My central life lesson, is to figure out how to live with the grace of knowing, that my Value is unequivocally true. My Value is a stand alone truth.
My realization of late, of the way in which I have subligated myself (been bound to that which lies ‘underneath’), is: “I’ll prove my worthiness to be your daughter, sister, friend, lover, wife, parent, employee, First; then there’s a chance you’ll be interested and maybe (slight chance though that may be), you’ll want to be my friend, my client, my husband, my lover…” And in fact, if you try that with me – reach out to me first, show an interest in me first, ask to work with me, want to play with me first, seem to care about me first, I’ll run away – because I’ll deem you unworthy (because my value is in what I can do for you and I haven’t done anything for you yet).
Brene Brown would be cheering me on here, as at its’ core, my lesson to learn is that no one has ‘worthiness’ to prove. We are, therefore we are worthy. And yet…it has been my way in the world – prove my value first…then, maybe I’ll be seen, heard, understood and cared for. That is the core mis-message I have had resident in me: That to be seen, heard, understood and cared for, must come from outside of me, and I must earn it. That is my u-haul of shame, that I abandoned myself and believed that I am unworthy. That is now my lesson to learn, my gift to give myself and in so doing, my gift to the world, to love myself wholely holy.
I recently disclosed to someone who professed to love me, that I had had this realization: Everything I have done, is grounded in the belief that I must prove my value to you first, so that you will love me. Their response was swift and harsh: “That’s HORRIBLE. If that’s the case I don’t even want to be pen pals with you.” Wow! Bam! There it is…the truth of this relationship is that I can’t be open, vulnerable with you, share my growth and learning, I’m not loved or worthy of your friendship or love. And a 5 year friendship died on the vine.
Just the other day, I discovered through a grapevine conversation, that a friend had had a commitment ceremony this past spring with her partner…and I wasn’t invited/didn’t know. Despite her frequent expressed appreciation for our ‘real’ friendship and me, and the support I have offered over the years. Wham! Bam! There it is. If I’m not present for you, serving you, I am not valuable enough to be chosen to witness the beauty in your world.
Last year, I was accused of siding with my friend’s (of 10 years) husband – by providing, at his request, a referral to a collaborative lawyer for their divorce. I was dumped, dropped. Wham! Bam! With rabid accusations of having been a leech on her all these years, untrustworthy, never supporting her. Wow.
I have moved many times in my life, due to work mostly, and it’s rare that friendships are maintained. Whenever I leave people who I won’t see for awhile, I feel teary eyed and at times devastated. I’ve never understood my emotional hijack with ‘goodbyes and see you laters.’ I used to think it was the geography that was the issue, but I realize now, that it’s the deep knowingness of the difficulty I will have ‘proving’ my value at a distance, and some part of me knew that any good-bye was really Good Bye. So though I would initially turn myself upside down and try to retain relationships, I would eventually let go and move on to other/new friends, who are present, so I could get busy proving my value.
I see clearly now; my ability to be present in the world, to experience feeling valued and worthy, has been inextricably linked to, and dependent on how you (others) see me, experience me, and view my value. And your value of me is suspect. The truth is that I have not been truthful; I act as a caring for others first person, and yet its’ all too frequently really been an unconscious manipulation of care. So, of course, when I finally let you in and disclose who I really believe I am…a beautiful mess of unworthiness…of course you would leave. It’s the ultimate deliverance of my belief I lived into. It’s a no-win, lose-lose way of being. The very thing I had hoped I would ‘earn’ is impossible, because I offered from a belief of unworthiness..
Where to from here; my older sister told me once ‘you have always needed to know why’…and yes, I do. I’m curious. I like to understand. If I understand then I may be able to move forward…I’m just curious…its how I am wired.
I don’t have any blame to hand out or further shame to delve into, I just have the black and white reality of loss. Loss of what could have been and has been, is a result of my belief and my behaviours. Where that belief was rooted, I know – its just my Lesson I came here to learn.
Loss is not just losing the way things were, or losing objects, a job, a person, loss is also losing, letting go and setting down a belief, and it’s a transition process. William Bridges model of change and transition, has three stages: let go of what was, enter the fog of the neutral zone (uncertainty) and then step into the new: for me this model helps me – it lets me be okay with the feeling of foggy confusion; I know it will pass, and I will slowly start to live into this new belief and create new behaviours, where different results are more than possible and in fact probable.
It means stretching – changing.