Do you deserve effort, attention, or respect from the people in your life (including yourself)?
Think about that question for a moment: Do you deserve effort, attention, or respect from the people in your life (including yourself)?
Before you jump in and put yourself down, I didn’t ask “Are you more deserving of effort, attention or respect than other people in your life?” Remember, that’s your mind playing it’s game. The mind is a comparison machine. It will automatically twist things to comparison instead of consideration of your worthwhileness.
Worthy of recovery?
This is a core issue for each of us in our recovery. We need to address the question: Are you worthy of your recovery?
We numb the pain that comes from feeling inadequate and ‘less than.’ Brenee Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 138
A feeling of unworthiness can drive us back and forth between all manner of unhealthy relationships. Addiction can be described as an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or with drugs. But it can also be an unhealthy relationship with food, with work, with our possessions, or with our bodies.
We feel driven to numb ourselves because of a feeling that we are inadequate or not worthy of love, connection, happiness or other people’s effort. We feel driven to do life on our own terms, not because we are independent or in charge… but because we don’t believe we are worthy of other people caring for us or about us. So we isolate, we numb, we get high, we feel deeply depressed and highly anxious.
It is a valid question: Are you worthy of recovery?
Believing that you are worthy of being known, being loved, being heard, and worthy of other people’s respect is a deeply personal journey. No one can offer a three-point-plan for you to begin to feel more worthy…
It begins with letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are. Brenee Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection, p. xiii
Accepting our worthwhileness is hard and it takes work and vulnerability. I know, because I have battled a sense of unworthiness for much of my life. You can stack degrees behind your name, stack your bank account, stack books on your shelf and stack accomplishments on your resume. If you don’t feel worthy, it will drive you into all manner of unhealthy beliefs and unhealthy behaviors.
You don’t have to be more worthy than other people.
Trying to feel more worthy ends up becoming comparison, competition, and a drivenness to one-up other people. You have to live up to a standard of who you think you are supposed to be, rather than being who you are.
You don’t have to earn your worthiness. You just begin with honesty, you add vulnerability and you work at it every day. Truth is that you are worthy of love, of respect, of time and the strengths that you have. But you may not be worthy of the life that you are living. You might be living beneath yourself, settling for less than who you are. This is probably one of the best definitions of addiction and mental illness: living a life that is less than who you are and less than what you are capable of because of a feeling of worthlessness.
We either own our stories (even the messy ones), or we stand outside of them – denying our vulnerabilities and imperfections, orphaning the parts of us that don’t fit in with who/what we think we’re supposed to be, and hustling for other people’s approval of our worthiness. Brenee Brown, Daring Greatly p. 132-133
The 12 Steps begins with Step ZERO!
Worthiness grows in the quiet, when we practice acceptance, and when we let down our guard. If you have ever considered the 12 Steps of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, I encourage you to re-read them. The word “worthy” does not appear in any of the 12 steps because it is “Step ZERO.” Zero is infinity, an empty canvas, and a blank page. It is the feeling just before you get up on a Saturday morning after a good night’s sleep. You are ready for it…
STEP ZERO: You believe that you are worthy of recovery. Becuase if you don’t feel worthy, you cannot take any of the 12 steps or begin your journey to improve your well-being.
Recovery is a process of change through which you improve your health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach your full potential. So begin today by slowly breathing and remind yourself that you are worthy of recovery, of love, of time, of health and well-being. Breathe through the lies that your mind will tell you and calmly remind yourself that you are worthy of a better life.
Remember that healing and recovery is never easy, but it is simple. For more on the Simple Path, click here.
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Keep it Real
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