I remember the morning after my thirtieth birthday party very clearly. A fun filled night full of family, friends, booze and gourmet foods. Four things I love a lot. That night I felt so special, so loved and I think the picture below speaks volumes as to the amount of fun that was had by all. However, the next morning, my actual thirtieth birthday, told a very different story.
As I peeled open my swollen and puffy eyes, my head foggy, my stomach queasy, I could feel the familiar sadness start to creep in, as if a looming dark fog was settling over my unsteady soul. I knew this feeling pretty well. I had woken with her darkness so many mornings before.
In just a little bit, I was to get in a car and drive three hours to Eastern Washington for the Dave Matthews concert at the Gorge amphitheater with my best girlfriends to continue celebrating and I felt horribly unworthy of it all.
I felt pretty unworthy of a lot of things to be honest.
I had just turned thirty and my life felt like a huge mess. I had moved back from Taiwan four weeks earlier, damaged the car a friend temporarily loaned me in a fender bender the DAY he loaned it to me, took a job that keep me feeling safe and was living, once again, with my parents...all at the age of thirty. Don't get me wrong, I have a DEEP love and appreciation for my folks and all the love and support they have provided me over the years. However, I just felt so ashamed of my life. I knew I had to figure out how to relinquish this feeling of unworthiness and reclaim my sense of freedom.
I laid in bed, with my eyes closed and head pounding, wondering if I would ever pull my shit together. My heart was a mess, my spirit was dull and all those big dreams I once had were lost in a mix of tequila fuzz and self-loathing chasers.
I needed something to change. I needed a spark to ignite the burning desire deep inside and to get me to step outside of my comfort zone and do all those really big things I had always wanted to do with my life.
Climb big mountains, travel to far off lands, be a rockstar girl boss, write and publish a book, help inspire change in others, live in Southern California, meet my love and live an adventurous life together. These were just a few. It's funny how some things never change over time though.
As I lay there quietly in bed I felt the oddest thing. It was as if finally wanting to change bad enough was just enough to feel her darkness loosen her grip just a little. I knew in that moment this was my opportunity to escape her clasp. It was now or never but I needed help, and before she could grab hold of me even tighter, I said a simple prayer which I believe, drove an unbreakable wedge between her darkness and my truth. "Please help me. I cannot do this on my own any longer." Then, I peeled back the covers, sat up slowly and went about my weekend celebrating my self-proclaimed unworthy existence not knowing that I had just decided I was, in fact, very worthy.
As I look back five and a half years later, I'm pretty amazed at what has transformed since asking for help in that moment of darkness. I wish I could say the clouds parted and bright rays of sun beamed down on me and magically, I was granted the ease I was longing for and everything started to fall into place. That wasn't exactly the case. Life got a bit easier in some ways but it also got a lot harder too. Allow me to explain.
One of the greatest, and at times, most frustrating lessons I've had to learn over the course of my life is that you will continue to be presented with the same lesson over and over again until YOU, let me say that again, YOU, step up and take action to learn what you truly need to learn from them. My greatest lesson in this lifetime, I believe, is to accept that I am worthy of all that I want and desire and that I have all the power to create it.
So, as I mentioned, life got easier in some ways when I asked for help and unconsciously declared that I am actually quite worthy. However, it still felt hard because I would continue to be presented with the same people and similar situations that would test me in great ways.
The serious of events that took place from that moment on have taken my life on a really interesting and wild adventure. Each person, each experience, and every single moment has continued to teach me of my worthiness. Some of these lessons were harder then others, my failed marriage being a huge example, but was it really a failure or a lesson for me to dig even deeper and really see my value and worthiness? Walking away from a commitment like that wasn't easy but the realization that I WAS worthy of being treated better was what I needed to accept and learn. I was and am worthy of a deeper, stronger, more pure love with someone who truly sees and loves me. Accepting this one truth has helped me to see how worthy I am of other things I want for myself too.
The career, the adventure, the unorthodox way of living, the body, the financial security and yes, the man who has the ability to love himself so much that he can love me too.
And here is the real kicker, you are worthy of everything you want too.
Do you even know just how worthy you are?
The most important piece of this puzzle is identifying the things in your life that keep happening and truly believing that you are worthy of things happening differently. We may finally realize we are worthy but continue sabotaging our own happiness because we fail to understand that it is a muscle we need to constantly work. With every similar situation, it's our responsibility to do things a little differently. Can we say something in a different way? Can we forgive? Can we walk away? Can we find our voice and speak up? Can we accept the person for who they are? Can we accept the situation for what it is supposed to teach us?
My dad use to repeat this quote to me all the time. Back then I'd roll my eyes but now it's something I repeat often, "If you always do what you've always did you'll always get what you've always gotten."
The other night as I sat in my car watching the sun set over the pacific ocean I thought about my journey, how I ended up here and how I continue to be presented with people and experiences that are helping me learn this amazingly simple truth: I am worthy. Conflicts and people and situations that are making me rise up, find my voice and ultimately, lean in differently. Sometimes it feels hard. Sometimes they make me smile because I know why they are here. Sometimes I get sad because I just want this one particular lesson to be over already. And most of the time, I just say thanks. I get it.
I smile at how far I've come and get excited about how much I still have to learn about life, others and myself. Something that use to feel daunting and so big is now an excellent example of living life as if it's just one big adventure. One thing is for certain, there is this peace in my heart that is unbreakable. I respect and admire the woman I have turned out to be and when I have a moment of being human, falling back into old patterns and habits, I nurture myself differently and remind myself that I am worthy regardless of what I sometimes say and do.
I don't strive for perfection anymore because quite honestly, perfect is unattainable, perfect is unrealistic, perfect is boring and doesn't really exist. Worthiness doesn't come with obtaining this idea of perfection. Worthiness, like so many other things, comes with the truly believing you deserve it and then taking small steps in a different direction every time you are presented with a similar experience
Worthiness is knowing that you do have a choice in the matter. You are the only one that can define whether or not you deserve something and then only you can go after it.
One moment in your life could change everything. Whether you listen and make the small changes necessary from then on out, that determines everything.
So here are a few questions to real on. Chew on them. Soak them in. And then get very honest with yourself. But only do this if you actually want your life to change.
1. Where do you feel unworthy? In what areas of your life?
example: For me, it was money, a healthy, loving relationship, and having a job that is creative, fun, adventurous and location independent. Those were my dreams. And those also happen to be three huge areas in your life. If one is off, then your whole life can feel off. Three were off. That says something, right?
2. What is the story behind this unworthiness?
example: Yuck, I really hate having to admit this because its super scary and vul-ner-ab-le. But vulnerable is the key to happy times ahead so here I go. Once upon a time when I was young and super impressionable, I picked up this little story from someone close to me who said, "Don't worry Amanda, you just need to meet a man who can take care of you. You don't have to worry about a career." Ugh. There. Sounds funny saying it out loud but from that moment on, it was like a tick that burrowed deep into my skin except it was my subconscious, and I learned that my worthiness was dependent on finding someone to take care of me. It's taken a lot of self-analysis and uncovering to redefine that belief.
3. How can you reframe it?
example: Actually, (if you know me you know I just did a little side-to-side head motion with a twist of index finger up in the air and hands on my hip) Let. me. tell. you. I don't need someone to take care of me. My dreams are just as important and relevant and I can achieve them just like anyone else thank you very much. (this is where I get super sassy}. The truth is, I want a partner that grows with me, that pushes me to be better every single day, that gives me room to spread my wings and fly. That supports my dreams. Sure, we all want to be taken care of in some ways but having mutual love and respect for each other and our dreams is vital for happiness.
4. Now the fun part...WHAT do you really want?
example: I want to have enough money in the bank to always feel secure. I want a career that is inspiring others to achieve their ultimate greatness focused on health, wellness, fitness, travel and food. I want a love with a man that is deep, pure, real, passionate, adventurous and fun. I want to travel around the world and be location independent. Can I get a high five?
5. Decide and implement daily one small step to get you closer.
example: Today, and every day, I wake up and set one little goal. For money, I put away X amount every week so that I can feel secure if something happens or if I want to take a vacation or have an unexpected expense. For love, well, I put myself back out on the market and took it a little more seriously and told the big old UNIVERSE that I'm ready. For my career, I'm taking bold and active steps, once again, in that direction. Travel, I'm committed to two big trips in the next five months and I'm gonna make it happen.
You see, you really do deserve the things you want. Please believe me when I say this:
You Are Worthy.