What are Your Unworthiness Tales?
A client came to me because he was experiencing abdominal pain, and had gone through all the Western medical check-ups and tests, which appeared normal or benign. Not knowing where to turn, he scheduled a session to see if I could discern anything.
As I laid my hands on his abdomen, particularly the right side, I could feel a hot stew of trapped anger.
As I worked, I could feel the life-force of energy that was trapped as anger start to move and become more integrated and available to him, and I could sense underneath the anger was something much more vulnerable.
The anger had been protecting a feeling of perpetual unworthiness. A sense that deep down, he wasn’t “good.” I could feel the story attached to a really young part of him who took on this belief from an experience of wounding growing up.
We’ve worked together regularly over the past year to help integrate these deeper inner woundings through bodywork and energy work. It doesn’t mean the story goes away, but he now has a completely different lived relationship with these parts of himself. His propensity for anger flares has all but disappeared, and he feels so much more confident, peaceful and easeful throughout the day.
I share this story because more common than not, underneath a client’s presenting symptoms, both energetic and physical, I find at the root, a story of unworthiness or not being good:
A story that we have to show up in a certain way in order to be loved.
A story that we're never doing enough.
A story that a certain emotion is dangerous or unwanted.
A story that if only they knew this part of me they wouldn't love me.
A story that if this part of me is seen, they'd find out I'm a fraud.
A story that if I tell them the truth, or show up authentically, I will be outcast.
Each of these stories, at its root, is a belief of unworthiness. While each has their unique flavors based on upbringing and life experience, it's incredible to me that we’re all so similar beneath the surface. So similar in these ways we don't believe we're enough.
It is only once these stories find the light of awareness that we can begin to have different relationships with them - to not let them run the show, but to be loving parents to them. To hold them dear and help them feel safe, as if little wounded animals.
I don’t believe that healing is something with an end point, or a summit we reach and declare, “Full healing achieved!” It is an ongoing relationship.
Healing is spiral in nature, just as the seasons and cycles of the wild.
We keep coming back to the same core wounds, but in different relationship, different perspective, new light, a new ability to hold them and be with them so that they don't continue to cause the pain they used to. This has absolutely been true for myself as well, in the personal questing, spelunking, and unearthing I’ve done over the years. These little parts of me that don’t feel worthy or good enough won’t ever disappear. But I can sit with them with loving presence now. I can love them, hold them, know their sneaky ways of subverting situations, and choose a more conscious path.
So, my questions for you are: 1) What are your own unworthiness tales? What stories or beliefs live beneath the surface of conscious day-to-day operations, that tend to get in the way of your full thriving? (Be really specific here).
2) How does your unique flavor of not-good-enough land in your body?
Where do you feel it? What does it say?
3) What does this story prevent you from doing or being?
4) Can you sit with them and listen a while? Can you let them be known, heard, and even, possibly, loved?
“YOU EITHER WALK INSIDE YOUR OWN STORY AND OWN IT, OR YOU STAND OUTSIDE YOUR STORY & HUSTLE FOR YOUR WORTHINESS.”
— BRENE BROWN