Do You Know That You Are Good?By Dr. Margaret Paul
September 20, 2021
Life changes dramatically when you discover your essential goodness and define your own worth.
What does it mean to be good or worthy? What does it mean to be bad or unworthy? Have you defined these terms for yourself?
Do you tell yourself you are bad, inadequate, or unworthy if:
- You make a mistake?
- You inadvertently say something that offends someone?
- Someone doesn't like you? Does someone's upset with you define you as a bad, unworthy, or unlovable person?
- You are highly sensitive?
- You are lonely or heartbroken?
- You get angry?
- You are anxious or depressed?
- You feel guilty or shamed?
- You feel empty and alone?
- You are poor?
- You fail or are not successful?
- You don't know what you want to do with your life?
- You are divorced?
- You are single?
- Your relationship is failing?
- Your children are having problems?
- You have no friends?
- You are the black sheep of your family?
- You were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused?
- You have weight issues, skin issues, size issues, or other body issues?
You might want to take a few minutes to write down your own list. What do you believe makes you a bad, inadequate, unworthy, or unlovable person?
I used to think there was something wrong with me - that I was essentially flawed in some basic way in my character. I didn't know exactly what it was, but I knew there must be something because I was always getting yelled at and blamed for my parents' feelings, and I was often rejected in my family just for being who I was. So I assumed, starting when I was very young, that they didn't like me because there was something wrong with me. I went about trying to be a very good little girl so no one would know how bad I really was. I kept on being a good girl through much of my adult life, not being me because I still thought there was something wrong with me.
Learning to Define My Own Worth
Then one day, after I had been practicing Inner Bonding for a few months, it occurred to me to define "good" and "bad". As I thought deeply about it, I realized that "bad" meant consciously and deliberately harming someone and getting pleasure out of it. I realized that I was not a person who would ever deliberately harm someone, and I would certainly never get pleasure out of harming others. Therefore, I concluded, I was not a bad person!
But what about the feeling of being somehow flawed and not good enough? I saw that I had concluded this as a child because this "core shame" gave me the illusion of control over how others felt about me. By believing I was bad, I could conclude that it was my fault that others rejected me - I caused them to reject me because of my badness. I then concluded that I could cause them to love me by acting good and doing things right. Because I did manage to get some approval from this strategy, I learned to confuse approval with love. The approval, when I did get it, felt so good that I became addicted to being a good girl to get approval. I became addicted to the illusion of control and lost touch with my real self. My wounded self needed to keep the belief that I was bad - and caused others not to like me - in order to keep the belief that I could control how others felt about me.
Eventually, I learned that if I was willing to give up the illusion of control, then I had no need to hang on to the core shame - it no longer served a purpose.
If I was not a bad person and not basically flawed, then who was I?
Through the practice of Inner Bonding, I discovered that I have an essence, a pure and beautiful soul that is created in the image of God-which-is-love. I've learned that my soul, like all souls, is essentially good. I, like everyone else, have the free will to deny this soul – to deny who I really am - but when I do, I feel like a bad person. When I choose instead to embrace my essential goodness - the part of me that is a spark of God - that's when I can allow myself to make mistakes and still be a good person. That's when someone can be mad at me, and I know I'm still a good person. That's when I can be rejected and still feel worthy and lovable, knowing that I'm a good person.
Embracing your essential goodness is a major aspect of the Inner Bonding process. Your wounded self wants to hang on to core shame, because core shame is the basis of the wounded self. This ego-aspect of ourselves, our false, fear-based wounded self, is no longer in charge in those moments when we know who we really are and embrace our essential goodness. The wounded self doesn't want to lose control and it doesn't want you to know that it is not the real you. It doesn't want you to know that it is a program, a part created to try to control getting love and avoiding pain.
Embracing Your Basic Goodness
Embracing your basic goodness means defining yourself through the eyes of your guidance rather than through the eyes of others or of your own wounded self. When I see my essence, my true self, through the eyes of my guidance, I see the shining light that I am. When I look at others through the eyes of my guidance, I see an individualized expression of the same shining light in everyone.
Many of the problems in our society, such as racism, would disappear if we were all able to see our own and others’ beautiful essence, which would enable us to feel our oneness with all of life.
I hope you take the time to discover your essence - your essential goodness, so you can stop spending energy trying to get others to define your worth. Letting go of control over how others feel about you frees up your energy to create and manifest who you are on the planet and improves all your relationships. Living without core shame creates a wonderful lightness of being!
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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Today, think about what you do that makes you feel invisible to others. Do you give in to others rather than stand in your truth? Do you avoid asking for what you want to avoid rejection? Do you act like everything is okay when it isn't? Do you agree with others to avoid conflict? Do you ignore your own feelings but attend to others' feelings? If you sometimes feel invisible, notice what you may be doing to create this.
By Dr. Margaret Paul