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Break Free From the Trance of Unworthiness - Issue #63
May 20, 2014
Overeating is often used as an escape from painful feelings of unworthiness. And sometimes it can be used as a punishment because we feel unworthy. Some of us had parents who belittled and criticized our every move. Or, as children, we may have been physically or even sexually abused. As children do, we may have blamed ourselves for the abuse. Or, through other life experiences, we may have received the message that it wasn’t OK to be who we are and we came to the conclusion that we were flawed or defective in some way.
We may have internalized this experience and are now tormented with a critical voice telling us we’re no good, fat, or worthless. Nothing we do is ever good enough for this voice. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Driven to despair, we turn to food to drown it all out.
Healing from this this trance of unworthiness takes time and effort; but the good news is that it can be overcome. The place to start is to begin to acknowledge what is right, true and good about ourselves. No one is all bad. We all have many fine qualities. Yet when we suffer from the unworthiness trap, we tend to magnify our flaws and ignore or minimize our fine points.
Part of becoming emotionally healthy and becoming our own person is to let go of what we have taken on emotionally from others. What is needed is self-forgiveness. This issue has never been about us. It was about the person who made us feel this way. They had their own defective feelings that they needed to project outward onto us; making us feel inferior and unworthy made them feel better about themselves. We were simply available to them. Being young and innocent, we didn’t have emotional tools to fight back or even realize what was happening.
Now, we may view everything that happens in our lives through the lens of unworthiness or defectiveness. For example, we may expect to be rejected, so we avoid meeting new people. If we’re having a hard time with something, we fail, make a mistake, or something bad happens to us, it's because we are incompetent, defective or unworthy; when in reality anyone would have a hard time of it. Everything that happens is further evidence of our unworthiness. If someone declines an invitation, it's because they don't like us; in reality they may be too busy…the list goes on and on.
Meanwhile, we feel terrible and yet we never question the truth. Reality is completely neutral; it's the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves about reality that is the cause of most of our suffering. Sure, if we stub our toe it hurts, but if we tell ourselves that if we weren't so darn clumsy and stupid we wouldn't have stubbed our toe in the first place, we feel a lot worse!
Most of us believe what our minds tell us. The mind loves to chatter and spin stories. And most of these stories aren’t true! We may have spent a lifetime believing and acting as if they are. It’s time to question the story of our unworthiness.
Let’s build a case for it. We can write down all the evidence of our unworthiness. Then counter it with all the good we know about ourselves: good qualities, talents, accomplishments, good works, etc. We become whole by accepting all of ourselves. The truth is we are all a mixed bag of strengths and weaknesses. The so called “good, bad, and ugly” parts of ourselves are simply aspects of what it is to be human: flawed, strong, weak, divine, and magnificent - all in one package. Peace comes when we accept this.
Every time we catch ourselves chanting the unworthiness mantra, we can interrupt that loop, and counter with the good stuff we know about ourselves. In the evening, we can spend a few moments affirming to ourselves the things that we did right that day. We can also feed ourselves a steady diet of affirmations to counter the negative self-talk and put downs. It takes practice, but soon we will be well on our way to owning our worth.
Our self-worth grows in direct proportion to the amount of time we spend acting in self-affirming ways. Self-love is a verb. Our actions reveal all. As we act as if we matter, we begin to feel we do. So let’s not wait until we feel it; let’s choose to start creating it – right now.
And as we release the weight of our unworthiness, we find the light in our heart to spread our wings and fly.
Whose critical voice do I hear in my head? When did I first receive these messages? Are they true? Is there any evidence that supports the fact that these messages aren’t true?
Feast for the Eyes - Orange Rose - Photography by Catherine L. Taylor
I act as if I matter. I do.
I am worth my own care and attention.
I am worthy of the best things life has to offer.
I am a divine being. I align my actions to reflect that truth.
I am more than what I do for others.
I have gifts and talents that are unique to me.
There will never be another quite like me.
Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and master your weight and your life?
If so, you may be a candidate for coaching. Coaching can make the difference between success and failure.
I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.
This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.
The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®
I coach and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction, mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self esteem and body image issues.
Note: My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of you.
What you call this place -- God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom, or true self -- is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you back to the truths that are already inside of you.
I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what's working for you and read about your success stories.
Catherine L. Taylor
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©2013 Catherine L. Taylor. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reprinted in any form without express permission from the author.
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