Do you struggle with feeling that you are enough? Do you find yourself questioning your worth and the success of your life time and time again? What IS that measuring stick against which we compare ourselves and imagine that we come up short or that we are lacking in some way? How do we find and hold on to true knowing of our worth?
It’s the “hold on” part that seems to challenge me… especially during the holiday season. So often my heart aches with feelings of lack and “being on the outside looking in.” If you are like me, you long to ease the pain and sense of lack that seem to colour your life. And if you are like me in another way, you know the answers. You just need to practise what you know to be truth and not a reflection of a story that you have created and choose to keep telling about yourself.
The holidays are particularly challenging to my sense of worth. In fact, I set them up to be a challenge every year… and it all goes back to my sense of feeling broken when our family split. I haven’t fully healed that perception of being “less than” because my marriage ended. Prior to what felt like the implosion of my life as I knew it, I had always anticipated the holidays and revelled in every moment with my family. It was a wonderful, wondrous time of the year. Ever since then, I work hard to make the holidays special for my loved ones, but I am always relieved when they are over. I never feel like I measure up to the picture-perfect portraits of family festivities that are shared on social media or promoted through incessant marketing campaigns. I feel lack; even though I know that these images don’t tell the whole story of anyone’s life, I allow them to be a measure against which I compare my life and perceive a shortfall.
All around me, it seems that people are happily soaking in every festive moment surrounded by their loved ones, and I am the lone one who struggles. Note that I used the word, seems. That is the filter that I choose to use, and I know that the way I look at things affects the way I experience them. I choose to perceive this story about my life. I choose to perceive lack instead of the abundance that is there when I change my filter. It is all up to me and the choices that I make in each moment.
I am the creator of what I experience; as I reflect on the holiday season that has come to a close and I feel the same sense of lack and the familiar ache in my heart, I realize that experience has been my choice. Instead of focusing on the abundance in my life, I have been looking at the Facebook-perfect portraits of families exuding holiday cheer and choosing to perceive that I come up short. No one is telling me that I don’t measure up. In fact, all around me are people who tell me just the opposite. The person who is creating the pain is me… and it all comes down to what I choose to look for in each moment.
When I choose to look for lack, that is what I will find and experience. When I choose to look for abundance that is truly all around me and that blesses me every single day, THAT is what I will perceive and experience. It is all up to me. As I write, I am reminded of what I read in Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life last night: “You’ll never, ever get enough of what you don’t want.” Dr. Dyer was referring to addictions, but I recognize a connection to my struggle with self-worth. It seems that I can’t get enough of feeling “less than.” What is my evidence? I keep recreating the same experience.
Just as I have the power to create and recreate this experience, I have the power to change it. So do you, my friends. We all have the power to change our experiences in life by changing the way we look at them. We need to look for the abundance that blesses our lives at every turn, instead of what is missing or what we perceive others to be experiencing. When we look for abundance — all that is positive — that is what we will see, and the more abundance we recognize, the more there will be for us to experience.
As I reflect on the holiday season, I realize how I went off the rails. It has become my practice to take time every day to focus on spiritual reading, prayer, and inner awareness. It keeps me grounded and centred. Over the holidays, I have gone days without grounding myself in Spirit… and as I have allowed my focus to wander, I have lost my way. I have slipped back into old habits of looking outside of myself to measure my worth. I have allowed images of holiday perfection to shadow my experience. It has all been me. The good news is that I know the way to self-correct. I need to return to spending quiet time every day in reflection and in Spirit. That is what grounds me and affirms my worth. That is what assures me that I am always enough, more than enough. Even now as I pause and go within, I can feel the unconditional love and affirmation of my worth. My feelings of loss and lack fall to the wayside as I re-enter my truth. And my truth is your truth, my friends. You are always loved just as you are. You are always worthy, always more than enough. You are Divine perfection manifesting in this world. As we experience life in this ego-dominated world, it is easy to lose sight of this, but the embrace of this perfect love is always waiting for us when we go within and surrender to the truth of who we are.
I want to return to the questions I asked at the beginning:
- What IS that measuring stick against which we compare ourselves and imagine that we come up short or that we are lacking in some way?
- This misperception arises when we use what we see in the outer world as the measure of our worth. We perceive others doing more, having more, being more than us, and we use that perception as the measure of our worth. That perception is grounded in the conditioned belief that we are all separate and in competition with one another. That perception is the voice of the ego-mind, not of our true identity as spiritual beings.
- How to we find and hold on to true knowing of our worth?
- We go on a journey of self-discovery and begin to question who we really are beneath the layers with which we identify ourselves in the world. We go within to that still, quiet presence that observes all that transpires in our lives, and we ground ourselves there. It is in that presence that find and know our true worth as spirit, as consciousness. We are all expressions of Divine energy, and in that knowing, we find and realize our magnificence.
As we begin a new calendar year, I pray that you find and realize that you are more than enough — you are magnificent. Make it your practice to ground yourself in Spirit each day so that you can hold onto this knowing and be at peace within yourself in the world. Namaste, my dears.