Self-Worth: A Reflection of Self-Love or Self-AbandonmentBy Dr. Margaret Paul
February 08, 2021
Self-worth suffers when you behave in ways you regret and then judge yourself.
A woman asked me the following question:
"Why am I worthy at all? Saying I am a divine being does not answer to the underlying issue of self-worth in physical world reality. My daughter did something she is very ashamed of and has been suffering from low self-worth. I have had a hard time explaining why what she does is not who she is."
There are a number of things that are important to understand about self-worth.
The daughter is suffering primarily because she is harshly judging herself for whatever it is she did. Instead, she needs to forgive herself, learn from her mistake, and be compassionate toward herself for being human and making mistakes – which all humans do.
Low self-worth is the result of one thing – self-abandonment. Self-judgment is a major form of self-abandonment, and is what causes the feeling of shame. Her shame is primarily the result of her self-judgment – not from whatever it is she did.
Our feelings about ourselves come from how we define ourselves and how we treat ourselves.
If you define yourself by what you do, and judge yourself based on that, then your sense of self-worth goes up and down depending on your successes or failures. If you define yourself by who you are intrinsically – regardless of how you look or what you do, and regardless of your mistakes and failures – then your sense of self-worth remains high and constant.
This woman is asking, "Why am I worthy at all? Saying I am a divine being does not answer to the underlying issue of self-worth in physical world reality." It’s important for her to define for herself what it means to be a divine being. For me, it means that I am created in the image of God – which is Love. This means that I am intrinsically worthy because my essence – my true self – is Love. And what is more worthy than Love?
If her daughter knew that in her essence she is still Love, even though she made a mistake and behaved in a way that she regrets, she might be able to be compassionate and forgiving toward herself, rather than judgmental.
Telling her daughter that she is Love is not enough. As her mother, this woman may need to learn to treat herself the way she would treat a being that she knows is Love, and then she will know how to treat her daughter as a being that she knows is Love. Beyond this, the daughter also needs to learn to treat herself as a being of Love.
Our Worth is Intrinsic; We Don’t Have to Prove it
When she knows that she is Love, then even when she does something that she is not proud of, she will be able to be kind and caring toward her humanness, while still knowing that her soul essence is Love. She will also know if and what actions may be appropriate to repair or make amends for her mistake, if that is called for, without shaming herself.
I am worthy because I am a unique expression of Spirit-which-is-Love. We are all worthy because we are each a unique expression of Spirit-which-is-Love. I do not have to prove my worth, and neither does anyone else. We are all intrinsically worthy because we are each a unique expression of Love, each with our special gifts that we came to the planet to share.
When our behavior comes from our ego-wounded self, rather than from our soul essence, then it is not an expression of who we truly are, and will ultimately not feel good inside. But since we all have an ego-wounded self, we all need to be gentle with ourselves when we are less than loving with ourselves and with others. We need to open to learning about the fears and false beliefs that led to our unloving behavior, so that we can gradually heal the false beliefs that led to our self-abandonment.
This is what the Inner Bonding process is all about – learning to love and value who we truly are, and to heal the fears and false beliefs that prevent us from fully manifesting the Love that we are.
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."
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Ask yourself with each choice you make today, "Would I want this announced in the newspapers?" Staying in integrity means thinking and behaving in ways you are proud of. Be vigilant about your integrity - it will move you into the light.
By Dr. Margaret Paul