If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve been struggling with some awful fatigue the past week or so. It’s the kind of exhaustion that makes it almost impossible to function, and this inability to do as much as I want has caused a lot of old fears to surface for me. Mainly, the fear of being lazy/ not accomplishing a lot/ not being worthy.
I gained a fear early on in my life that if I wasn’t constantly achieving and doing, that I wasn’t worthy. Along these lines, I also have a belief that if I’m not making a bunch of money, that I’m lazy and again, not worthy. None of these beliefs are true yet I still find them seeping into my life.
So growing up, I was the biggest perfectionist and attempted to achieve anything you could ever achieve. When I go back and look at my Curriculum Vitae from a couple years after college it’s almost laughable how much is on there. It doesn’t seem humanly possible. On paper, I was superwoman.
But this constant drive to overachieve- including late night studying, too much black coffee, full-time work, an active social life, volunteering, grad school, etc.- was ultimately what led to my incapacitation via panic attacks. I worked myself to the bone without allowing myself any time to rest, simply because I believed I wasn’t enough without proving it to other people.
Panic taught me that I HAVE to rest in order to function in day-to-day life. I have to make self-care a priority or else all of my symptoms- fatigue, anxiety, digestive issues- will flare in an effort to make me slow down. I truly see these uncomfortable sensations as messages from my body and mind, telling me what they need.
So today, as I can barely keep my eyes open, I’m having to reevaluate my beliefs of what my life “should” look like. If I take this day to rest and restore, am I still worthy?
Of course I am. And you are too, no matter what your life currently looks like. Are you struggling to get out of bed in the morning due to depression or to walk down the street because of your panic attacks? You’re still worthy. Just as you are RIGHT NOW.
We’re trained from such a young age that our worth lies in our accomplishments and how much we can DO. But I believe that our worth is inherent and intrinsic. I look over at my sweet pup right now and I’m so in love with him and he’s so worthy of that love, even though he doesn’t have a “job” or run around trying to please everyone else. He’s just worthy of love because he exists. And it’s the same for us.
I’m currently reading an absolutely beautiful book, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff (highly recommend). She says, “No matter how difficult things get, we can always wrap our torn and tattered selves in our own soft embrace. We can soothe and comfort our own pain, just as a child is soothed and comforted by her mother’s arms. We don’t have to wait until we are perfect, until life goes exactly as we want it to… We don’t need to look outside of ourselves for the acceptance and security we crave.”
Let’s meet ourselves where we are, whatever that may look like. Let’s embrace ourselves with the arms of our own kindness, so that we don’t need to seek approval outside of our own hearts. We are so very worthy. ❤
Any of you guys have these same background fears? How do you work with finding worthiness in your own heart? I’d love to hear!