I opened an email from Danielle Leporte the other day titled "Why Jerks Show Up".
I typically don't open up many emails from the 84952 things I've subscribed to. Hers though, always show up at the perfect time.
Here are the amazing points she hit on why jerks show up in your life:
- They show us how we don't want to feel, teaching us how we do want to feel in a relationship
- They show up to teach us how to protect ourselves and love ourselves
- We attract jerks because we don't feel worthy
- We attract jerks so that we can take back our power and heal (CAN I GET AN AMEN!)
My mother once told me as I was sobbing through a heartbreak, that I am letting myself feel this way. I am letting him hurt me.
I can summarize this now into the simple fact that I was letting him take my power from me. While my mother didn't have much insight and wisdom to offer me as I grew up, this was a stellar chunk. I didn't want to agree with her because one, 15 year olds know everything and are always right. Two, so you're telling me that it's my own damn fault I'm sitting here in tears feeling unworthy?
Yes and no is what I would tell you now.
Unworthiness Is A Bitch
If you're one of the woman who was been taught how to love herself fiercely and stand up to people who make her feel less than, well then this may not apply to you.
Because while I do agree with my mother to an extent, that we allow ourselves to feel unworthy. I've been on the side of a relationship, unfortunately many times over where I've not only felt unworthy. But been told I'm not worthy. And because I didn't know what self love was, or I was just skimming the surface of it, my power wasn't strong enough to know that I was in fact worthy of love.
Let me set the picture for you.
As a female we are told many things that are attractive to the opposite sex, you should:
- Appear sexy but unavailable
- Want kids
- Want to cook dinner and deliver it to your partner
- Be soft, kind and understanding
- Be well educated, but don't spend too long in school--when will you have your family?
- Be smart and witty but not to witty so you don't offend the man
- Want to explore and be independent but not too independent to where you don't need your partner to help you
- Like sports, but don't know too much so the man can still feel masculine
- Be thin, but curvy. No belly fat but have an ass like Kim K? LOL okay.
I mean this list could be miles long but my point is that that unworthiness sets in when your partner whom you love, has one of multiple of the points above on their list of "what a perfect partner is" and if you don't match up--well, shit girl. You are now unworthy of his full love because you don't meet his criteria of perfect. Have you found yourself saying:
- _____ will love me more if I have dinner ready for him when he's home?
- _____ will be will want to have sex with me more if I start going to gym and lose these 10lbs?
Brene Brown tells us that there is no prerequisite to worthiness. Worthiness is an as is, take me as I am situation. Worthiness doesn't show up when you deliver your spouse their food or lose 10lbs.
Brene tells us that unworthiness stems from shame and not living a wholehearted life. So where does this shame come from? At what point in your life, either growing up--or in your relationship have you felt shame? Shame for being you, or being not enough of some elses idea of perfect.
Was it this man? This man whom you thought you loved--but you know what? You just didn't quit live up to his expectations. Now you sit questioning if you're deserving of love.
Where the real pain comes in, which makes this truly the biggest bitch about shame and unworthiness, is in sitting there through tears questioning yourself "what did I do wrong, why am I not loveable?". In those moments, when you're questioning your worth based off of what this man has said or done to you, you are giving him all of your power.
Think of Ursula as she takes Ariele's voice from her, that is what this man has done to you. Allowed you to believe that you aren't good enough for not just him, but for anyone.
So how do you get your power back and regain a sense of worthiness?
- Be vulnerable. Let yourself be seen just as you are, with no exceptions or guarantees that you'll be liked for you. The real you. If you don't like football, you don't have to babe. Your lack of love for a leather ball and men in tight pants doesn't make you unloveable. Let yourself be seen for all that you are, messy, wonderful, magic and 100% you.
- Take risks! This was HUUUUGE for my road to feeling worthy. Example: You're sitting in class and the teacher asks for an idea for an upcoming group project, you have a really good idea but you think "no, I'm sure someone else will think of something better". Take a risk!! Not like jumping off a cliff, unless you really want to. But in everyday life, open yourself up a bit and share your thoughts and ideas. The constant containment of them in your head allows you to believe they aren't worthy.
- Write down who you are and who you aren't. I've sat on my living room floor many, many times after feeling unworthy and powerless, hurt beyond belief and questioning who I am because I allowed someone to tell influence me so highly that I am not good enough. So the act of sitting down and writing out "who am I" and "what makes me worthy" is crucial and powerful for me. When I begin to lose sight of my worthiness, the powerful act of taking pen to paper and seeing my truth: I am passionate and kind, I connect with people well etc. Reminds me of who I am and allows me to take the thoughts of what some man said about me and realize those are HIS feelings towards me--not mine. I don't need to adopt his words and make them my reality.
I began to write this post after I personally experienced for the first time in two years what It was like to feel unworthy again, and I questioned if I was going to share it. But in a single moment I went from feeling whole and worthy, to crumbled into a ball on the floor, questioning who I am because I allowed a man to make me feel like I was unworthy. This time though, different than years ago when all I knew was feeling unworthy--I laid there in tears knowing that this isn't right, and that I am worthy. And I was angry and even more hurt that I've spent so long becoming a woman who stands strong in her power, yet there I was, crying. It was then I realized what I really want to do. And how importanat this work is. I KNOW I am not alone in these feelings. My bestfriend, who is the strongest woman I know, is curretnly going through this exact same thing. Two strong women, who know their worth--suddenly shaken and lose that power? No thank you. I see the need for teaching, for exploring this and for helping women work through the depths of pain, unworthiness and shame--more now than ever before.
I want to make women physically strong, but I want to give women the tools they need to go, and grow through these situations. I want to help women realize their worth and strength, not just in the gym but their strength in how they handle these situations.
So that they no longer have to sit (at least for very long) crumbled on the floor, feeling unworthy because man shook them up and rattled their being and understanding of who they are to the core.
I want to help women walk into their power, and teach them how to step back into it when the waves of life hit them. Because life will hit, over and over again. It's how you respond to those hits, that I want to teach you how to do.
So to the man that made me feel unworthy, you didn't win. But I thank you for trying to, because by you making me question who I am--I was able to step into a place of radical growth and healing and come out on the other end stronger. With a more clear vision of who I am, and who I'm not. With a more clear vision of my purpose here on earth.
I don't blame men for making women feel unworthy. I don't think that most men have a goal of making women feel unworthy, but it happens. A lot of the unworthiness we feel is put upon us by ourselves too. A long with friends, family, co-workers and coaches. But having worked with hundreds of women, and being on the receiving end of a relationship that did leave me feeling unworthy--I know that you, the woman thats reading this, needs to know you aren't alone in questioning who you are. But I want you to know that you are wonderful, just as you are.
I'm sorry if you're hurting, and if you feel like you aren't good enough. There were no mistakes made when you were born, and maybe somewhere along the line someone made you feel like you're not good enough for their love. That hurts, and you're allowed to feel that hurt. You don't have to make that your story for the rest of your life though. Use the tools I shared above to help you reclaim your power and your worthiness, and know that no matter what anyone else says--you are love. You have so much love inside of you and there is not one second as you move through the day that you are not moving through love.
I leave you with this postivie affirmation I use when I'm hurting and swimming with unworthiness.
I have a place in this world and I am not alone. I am powerful and kind. I am loveable, I am worthy and I am always love.