I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people like you and me – coaches, healers, speakers, and writers – and why so many of us struggle emotionally, mentally, financially …
I mean, it’s crazy, right? We give so much of ourselves … we study and train for years to help others … we care so much.
By rights, we should be among the highest-paid people on the planet.
And yet, that’s rarely the case.
What is up with that?
This question ran through my mind as I stepped into the shower yesterday.
With the water running down my face, it suddenly came to me:
I grew up being shamed for asking for things … for needing things … for wanting things my folks couldn’t afford.
So, early on, I trained myself to want nothing. To need as little as possible. To never, ever, ask anyone for anything if I could possibly avoid it.
Depriving myself became my default setting. It’s a pattern I followed for most of my life: Ask for little, so nobody would get mad at me, or call me selfish or greedy. Give much, in hopes of earning approval or love.
I thought this was the way the world worked.
But, as I realized in the shower, it was just the way my family worked.
Like most children, I assumed that the way my family did things was the way everyone did things.
But now that I’m a grown-up – most days, anyway – I can do things differently.
I can say “Yes” to myself now. I can say “Yes” to love, “Yes” to being nurtured, “Yes” to doing what I love and making a great living at it.
That’s when I started laughing in the shower. My feelings of unworthiness just washed away.
I felt so exhilarated. I felt free.
I feel free again right now, smiling and tearing up as I write this story to share with you.
As I was drying off, it struck me – the irony that my early years of being shamed, diminished, and disrespected contributed to creating the compassion, empathy, and desire to help others that inspire me to do what I do.
It’s interesting that I stepped away from my family’s pattern of shaming and belittling others but kept on shaming and belittling myself.
I treated myself the way my parents treated me, as many of us do. We come by it honestly. Our folks could only teach us what they knew.
Now, I’m ready to stop showering myself with “Who do you think you are?” and “No” and “Not good enough.”
I can acknowledge my worth, even if it was invisible to my parents. They could never see beyond the sense of unworthiness within themselves, so how could they see value in me?
I can now, thanks to that moment of insight.
I know you can, too, my dear.
Because you are a light and a gift and a blessing to me and so many others.
Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do.
You grace us all.
If this message inspired “Aha” ideas for you, please share them in the comment box below. Let all of us benefit from your wisdom. Thank you!
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