I was at a conference for therapists last week and listened to various workshops by therapists presenting about counseling and what they are finding is helping people heal and grow based on the current research. Let me tell you about one such topic, was given by Brene’ Brown, a therapist and social researcher I came to respect based on her research with belonging and attachment in relationships.
The gist of what she shared in her presentation was this … that all of us belong, all of us are in fact worthy. What she found was that most individuals that struggle with depression and attachment in relationships struggle internally with the notion of worthiness. Worthiness is defined as ones feeling that they have the value and intrinsic worth as a human being; that they deserve and can own love and attachment with others. The research is clear that individuals that struggle with depression struggle to subconsciously feel worthy of a better life, worthy of a stable marriage, worthy of having kids that respect them, etc. The variables that came out strongly in Brene’s research indicated that those that have weaker attachments with others in addition to depressive symptoms did in fact also have a similar thread that of feeling unworthy, that they did not deserve to have a life of peace and happiness. You may say, “I don’t feel that way, I deserve happiness now.” My retort is, do you? Do you deeply feel you are worthy now, worthy to feel love from others, worthy to feel confident, worthy and deserving to be passionate? Most do not, they do not since they are socialized as children to deal with guilt, shame, and doubt — the trio that fuels depression and sadness in adults.
I meet with adults and teens daily, working and guiding them in battling their internal emotional struggles. The foes they feud often are fueled at their core by the trio I mentioned above. In order to find peace and successfully battle sadness and depression they must tackle the foes first in order to make any headway. So how does one combat the issue of feeling unworthy and undeserving? You begin by noting the things in your mind and in writing that you feel worthy of now. Go ahead, literally write it down, list what you feel worth of and start reading that list daily. Now this is not mere hype and self-hypnosis, this is affirming what you know and believe now. As you do, you will be more open to the things you do not feel worthy of. Also, moving your mind into a position of thinking that you do deserve things. Do so by saying to yourself, internally or otherwise, “I deserve this or I am worthy of this.” At times if the negative thoughts are too pervasive, you’ll need to challenge them by stating and saying you are worthy even if you don’t feel like it. Olympic athletes to this, they act, speak, and live a vision of winning in order to do so.So, don’t hold back, instead start thinking and being worthy in your thoughts and actions.
The worthiness will come. You must start believing first and create space in your mind and heart for that to happen.
Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article. Justin Stum, MS LMFT, 640 E. 700 S., Suite 205B, St. George Utah 84770, 435-574-9193, https://www.justinstum.com