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"I Don't Deserve to be Loved"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
May 17, 2011

If you believe that you don't deserve to be loved, this article is for you.

Worthy of loveHave you ever said to yourself, "The reason God doesn't love me is I don't deserve to be loved," or "The reason my partner isn't loving to me is that I don't deserve to be loved"?

Have you ever looked inside to discover why you might not be loving to yourself and answered with, "I'm not worthy of love"?

I hear this all the time from my clients. It is often one of the major false beliefs of the ego wounded self.

What exactly does this mean? When I ask people the question, "Why don't you deserve love?" they say, "I don't know. I guess if I deserved love, I would have been loved."

So the conclusion they came to is that they must not be worthy of love because they weren't loved - a huge false conclusion.

"Is there any baby born on the planet that isn't worthy of love?" I ask them. "Do deformed or handicapped babies deserve love?"

"Of course," they always answer.

"Do dogs and cats deserve love?"

"Of course."

"If a puppy has been abandoned and is in a shelter, does he or she deserve love?"

"Well, yes."

"Then why don't you?"

When they see that it makes no sense that they don't deserve love, then they have to grapple with the real issue, which is that even though they are worthy of love, they weren't loved.

"So were you not loved because you didn't deserve love, or because your parents or caregivers didn't know how to love you?"

This, of course, is the real issue. It's easier to tell ourselves that we don't deserve love - which then makes it our fault and gives us a feeling of control over not being loved - than to open to the loneliness, helplessness and heartbreak of not being loved.

"Think about that little baby you were who never felt loved. Does that baby deserve to be loved by you now? Is there anything about the baby in you that isn't worthy of love?"

"No. No of course not."

"Are you willing to learn to give that baby the love you never had and still need?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"And, when you start to love that baby in you, and then learn to love the toddler and then learn to love your wounded self, do you know what will happen?"


"You will know that you deserve to be loved! And you will begin to feel the passion and aliveness that comes from learning to love yourself."

This is the conundrum for many people: You can't heal from the core shame belief that you don't deserve to be loved until you decide to love yourself, but you might not decide to love yourself as long as you believe you are unworthy of love. Many of my clients are more able to start to learn to love themselves when they think of loving the tiny baby in them, rather than the 5-year-old or an adolescent. So starting with the baby might be a very good place to start.

"But I don't know how," is often the next thing I hear. If they have children, they can't get away with this false belief!

"You don't have to know how," I tell them. "You just need to be willing to learn. When I had my first child, I didn't know how. I was an only child and I was rarely around babies. But I wanted to be a loving mother so I learned how. I read books. I talked with other mothers. And I listen to and trusted my heart."

At that time I didn't know how to consciously connect with my Guidance, but now I tell them, "Open to learning with your Guidance. When you really want to be loving to the baby, your Guidance will show you how."

You CAN heal your core shame, and you CAN learn to love yourself. Start with learning to love your inner baby and notice how much better you feel!

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.

Photo by Yoann Boyer



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