How to Feel Worthy of Love
Mood Music: Teachme by Musiq Soulchild
For my entire life, I have been this strong emotionally independent person. I never allowed myself to be dependent on anyone for much of anything. Where did this strong mode of personality come from?
A lot of it stemmed from my general nature, but a greater portion came from my childhood experiences. When I began school I was different from the other kids. I looked different, I sounded different, I was quiet, bookish, and altogether too serious for the other kids around me.
My friends wanted to be free at recess and run and play, I wanted to read a book and discuss cloud shapes and how they tied into the afterlife.
The divide among me and my classmates created a rift and by the time I made it to junior high I was heavily bullied.
The formative years are the worst time in life to deal with being bullied, because children are at a place where they just want acceptance from their peers. Without this validation, adolescents began to feel like they don’t have a place in the world.
This is the very thing that happened to me.
My Story of Insecurity
Being picked on at school started to affect my home life. I would come home moody and disgruntled. My family didn’t understand I was taking out on them the unhappiness and disappointment I felt about my day, and we began to clash.
It was a very lonely time in my life and I learned the best way to retreat was to disengage emotionally. I threw myself into having a very rich mental life, but suffered a very starved social and emotional one.
During this time, I picked up writing and creating characters with the life I desired. I also wanted to be a doctor so I put a lot of effort into making good grades and preparing for a distant future that would hopefully be better.
By high school, I somehow ended up becoming popular, but the seeds from elementary and middle school were already planted.
I was very insecure and I didn’t understand the admiration I was receiving at that time. In the past, people had only tried to get close to me to bully me.
I distinctively remember in sixth grade a girl coming up to me and began apologizing for all the mean things she had done to me as she gently rubbed my back. I trusted her and started to believe things were looking up. It wasn’t until I got home did I realize she had smeared pink lotion all over the back of my white shirt.
So now in this new situation, I didn’t feel worthy of all the adulation.
Why would she want to be my friend? Why would this guy want to date me? What’s so special about me? Were the questions I constantly asked myself. I went into every social relationship expecting to eventually be hurt.
I knew that I couldn’t bear another heartbreak so I went into my old mode of defense -shutting down emotionally. People around me perceived me as the most thoughtful, considerate person they had ever met, because I would listen to their problems without once telling them of my own.
Though I am a helper by nature, it wasn’t that I wanted to not talk about myself, it was that I was afraid to let people into the emotional aspect of my life. I thought I was keeping myself safe.
This is a game I have played and played well for years. I did it in such a way that people thought they knew so much about me, though I never really told them anything. I don’t know if there was a person in this world who knew my fears and my dreams, the concerns of my heart, because I’ve never shared that kind of intimacy with anyone.
A part of me still felt like that thirteen-year-old little girl who no one really loved. I was afraid to emotionally unpack my bags and stay awhile for fear of hurt.
Now I have aged and I crave genuine intimacy. A space where I can be open and honest and be loved without conditions. It’s an uphill battle to change your view of yourself when for so long you believed you were nothing, but now I understand I am just as worthy of love and affection as anyone else.
How to Feel Worthy
So how do you go about accepting the love that others want to give to you after years of rejecting it? You should start by praying for a spirit of discernment.
Ask God to show you those in your life who are true and who will love you even when you have nothing materially or emotionally to offer them. These are the people who will give you the love you deserve and desire without hurting you or pretending to love you to use you.
Next, start opening yourself up to the kindness of others. I am the type of person who will find a way to buy a person a gift even if he or she just lends me a pen, simply because I want to be even with them.
Evenness is childish, you gain nothing by blocking yourself from the blessings others want to bestow upon you. Accepting kindness is being kind to yourself, saying to yourself, “I am worthy of receiving a behavior that isn’t punishment or pain.”
After that you have to work on loving yourself. You cannot rationalize in your mind that you are worthy of receiving love from others if you do not receive love from yourself.
The last and the most important thing you can do is to let go of the scars of the past. When you can look at those situations that hurt, you should be able to say to yourself:
All of these things happened to make me stronger. Each situation had its purpose and that purpose has brought me to a different and better place today.
Once you can truly believe this personal mantra, this is when you can really start to see yourself as a person worthy of love.
Be patient with yourself, this is a process that will come in time, but oh the joys when it does.
I am still working on my own issues, but it is one of those things that I get better with every day.
I am worthy of all the love I receive and guess what? So are you.