“Enlightenment doesn’t occur from sitting around visualizing images of light, but from integrating the darker aspects of the self into the conscious personality.” Carl Jung
“The cruelty with which I treated myself is no longer tolerated.” Shonda Rhimes
Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “you must do the things you think you cannot do.” I have found at Awakening Spirit that many of us discover that the thing we think we cannot do is to love ourselves unconditionally. After all, it does seem like a tall order for many of us who have only ever experienced conditional love. For many of us, not all, we come to the Angels expressly for that unconditional Love we do not receive elsewhere and that we certainly do not receive from ourselves. While coming to Angels is both intuitive and wise – because Angels Love us unconditionally and equally – it is a major part of my work as an Angel Therapist(R) and Reiki Master to help each of my clients learn to love themselves. The Angels will always Love us unconditionally and eternally; however, they want us to love ourselves the way they love us. Totally and unconditionally.
When we do not love ourselves ( a universal problem) our lack of self-love can present in many different ways. Self-criticism, self-doubt, self-blame, self-deprecation, self-pity, narcissism, self-deprivation, and self-destructiveness. Psychotherapist Daphne Rose Kingma says each of those traits “all boil down to low self-esteem.” If you exhibit any of these Kingma says you are probably suffering from low self-esteem. Kingma explains for us her understanding of narcissism as hollow. “Narcissism is smoke, a lot of hot air and mirrors, false advertising that leaves the real, beautiful person inside without a voice for her wants, fears, needs, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Narcissism is a second-rate trip, a second-rate knock off of true self-love. It’s produced, directed, and starred in by the unreal self.” (WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT ENOUGH)
Low self- esteem means that deep inside ourselves we feel that we are not a very worthwhile person. I have discovered through my many studies as well as my experiences with Jungian analysis and numerous other forms of therapy and through working with my clients that no matter how our habits of low self-esteem manifest it is usually a symptom of something quite deep of which we are unaware and a symptom with roots reaching back into childhood. For the majority of us – unless we are willing to be courageous and look beneath our symptoms to detect how we acquired them – it is difficult to truly love ourselves. Understanding and awareness is always the key to emotional healing. Whether we have professional help or are our own detective we can learn to love ourselves through learning how we began to be cruel to ourselves in the first place. This involves an in-depth look at self-negating behaviours. Always seek professional help if your journey leads you to places completely unexpected and perhaps overwhelming. There are a myriad of ways to heal on all levels.
Kingma confirms what Louise Hay teaches us that children always follow their parents’ example and therefore we treat ourselves the way our parents treated us. Therefore, if your parents treated you as if you were unworthy of their love – even if this was not their intention – you will feel unworthy of your own love. And this remains true “until you consciously take steps to change the way you feel about yourself.” I am so pleased that in her body of work Kingma dispels the myth that coming from a “dysfunctional family” is unusual. The truth is that while there are varying degrees of dysfunctional “every family is dysfunctional to some degree.” Kingma says, “Mine was. Yours is too. It isn’t in some ultimate sense, anyone’s fault. It is in the nature of being human that our parents will have human failings.”
Both our dear Louise Hay (YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE) and Kingma point out to us that when we were little children we were not able to realize and say that our parents had human limitations and were inadequate or inept. We interpret their inadequacies and/or abuse as “It must be my fault” or “I must be unlovable.” Kingma takes us gently by the hand in a journey we can take when reading her book and lays out four life-changing steps to loving ourselves. She guides us onto a positive path that leads us toward our empowerment while linking our self-worth together with our fear of death. Kingma informs us that in some way our feelings of unworthiness are tied to our sense of survival. She lays out the psychology in terms we can grasp. “If I am a good and perfect child, my parents will love me. If they love me, they’ll take care of me. If they take care of me, I’ll survive and thrive and become all that I’m meant to be. On the other hand, if I’m not good enough, they won’t love me, they won’t take care of me, and I won’t survive. I’ll be so neglected, I’ll die.” Kingma acknowledges that this is not an irrational fear. As children we are totally dependent on adults to care for us. Our survival is at stake. Somewhere inside us we are aware of this and naturally we feel “we’d better measure up… or else.” In adulthood our own acts of not loving ourselves can feel very violating because we are re-creating the unloved feeling we had as children.
One of the many ways some of us have of not loving ourselves is abandoning ourselves. Some of us become people-pleasers in order to get love or to keep love. Often we are not conscious of the fact that either perfectionism or another ‘shadow’ belief has created feelings of unworthiness within.
Nancy Levin, author of WORTHY, and well-known Life Coach (previously Event Director at Hay House) shared her story again this year at the Summit. I saw Nancy at the lecturn introducing speakers at Hay House a number of times years ago and admired her obvious organizational and management skills as well as her bubbly personality. Nancy travelled the world with Hay House and had a relationship with Louise and a front row seat and backstage pass and a high-profile career. However, at home within her marriage she could barely speak. She was not living a life of her own truth. Nancy shared with us that in her 18 year marriage she was buying her husband’s love with her income (more and more man ‘toys’) and trying very hard to make it work. Even during the divorce she did not speak up for herself thinking that her lawyer would take care of it. Hence she lost all of the material things she worked so hard for because her ex took it all. This resulted in Nancy’s realization that during her marriage she had sublimated her own desires in order to fulfill his. A dark night of the soul began her journey to self-empowerment, prosperity and true fulfillment as she reached out to her friends who “created a scaffolding around her.” It was not until this crisis that Nancy says she became aware that “worthiness is an inside job.” Then Nancy began ‘the work’ I often talk of in my blogs. She began to excavate the limiting beliefs from childhood because she awakened to the understanding that “shadow beliefs often drive our bus.” So Nancy’s advice is to “make the unknown known.” Nancy befriended her fears (just like Eleanor Roosevelt) and began unhooking her worth and her value from anything outside of herself and now she is living in alignment with her truth. She is whole. Nancy is currently living the life of her dreams, writing her books and her poetry and helping coach others toward their own fulfillment.
Do you feel worthy? Please answer this honestly in your journal. No one will be reading it! Are you trying to manage the perceptions others have of you? Others may always project their own fears and doubts onto you rather than doing their own work on themselves. Sometimes even budding healers who have not fully worked through their own issues are unconsciously looking for other people’s issues to focus on so they do not have to finish ‘the work.’ We are all doing the best that we can as we lightworkers evolve into our authentic selves. Are your choices serving you or sabotaging you? Answer that as well please when you meditate and I do hope you meditate. We are human and also divine. The Angels only see our divinity, not our ego, and they have no ego of their own. The Angels see your light and know you as an innocent and perfect child of God – just as you were created. You are deeply loved. Unconditionally and eternally loved by the Creator and the Angels and there is nothing you need do to be worthy of it. You are enough. Just as you are. Invite the Angels into your life and give them permission to wrap you in their wings and enfold you in their Light. You are now and always have been worthy. Release everything that is not Love or of Love and dis-cover your Self.