My original post title was “Who gets to believe I am lovable? Who Decides Whether I am Worthy?” Those questions have a simple answer. The answer is “I do.” I may have different reasons than you for believing I am worthy. Some people, especially those in my former system of belief, belief they are worthy because Jesus died on the cross for them, taking THEIR sins upon him and rendering them righteous. The concept that Jesus died on the cross for someone has been explained to me that he would have died for just one person, which suggests that his love is amazing and infinite and supersedes anything I have ever thought about myself.
I don’t know about you, but I know plenty of Christians who do not see themselves as lovable and worthy. I used to be one. But that’s not the focus of this post. However you get there, each person has the opportunity at some point (or at multiple points) to decide YES I AM ENOUGH, I AM WORTHY.
What makes someone decide they ARE enough? What changes the mind of the self-loathing individual into a mind of a self-affirming, compassionate individual? What beliefs must change in order to become someone who believes him/herself to be worthy of love and care?
These are the questions that are uppermost in my mind today because my beloved son had a great disappointment yesterday and turned to his best friend for consoling. Every time he does this, the net he is caught up in legally gets more and more complicated to extract himself from.
I wrote recently that I wonder what resources these young people are expected to draw upon by the drug court personnel to find what they need to decide they are worth doing the hard work for, worth changing their lives for the better. I’m starting to feel that question pulsing, insisting on an answer.
One of the most important things that ever happened to me was to discover someone who believed that I could come up with my own solutions to issues I was facing. Through that someone, I met a wonderful life coach who is extremely good at what he does. When I started the process, I did NOT believe I was worth celebrating. I did not believe I was a good person. I believed, actually, that I was quite a bad person. Someone defective. Fundamentally broken.
In the process of receiving this excellent coaching, I not only began to understand, but to experience and practice finding solutions to the challenges that faced me. One of the steps in my coaching was to create “my empowering beliefs.”
my empowering beliefs ** i am focused ** i have freely received, i am freely giving ** i am giving myself the gift of feeling good ** i am contributing ** i am solving problems that arise ** i bring joy to myself and others ** i am worth it! ** i am moving through obstacles ** i have momentum ** i am focusing on what IS working, what i WANT ** i have so much life in me to live and share with others ** i am showing up ** i empower others by showing up and being honest ** i give what i give unconditionally ** i am feeding my body and my brain ** oh, oh, [i will] listen to the music … all the time my empowering beliefs
On the same page I typed these beliefs, I also added a photograph of one of the only paintings I’ve ever painted, which is filled with color and joy.
I’ve probably had multiple opportunities throughout my life to decide whether or not I would choose positive thoughts about myself or negative ones. But it wasn’t until another opportunity came up and I decided this time I would choose the positive thoughts. Thoughts change our physiology and our mindset and our point of view and our ability to be with other people and our ability to love ourselves and others.
Articulating one’s empowering beliefs is certainly ONE of the resources I believe could have an impact on these young people (and older ones!) and help them find their way through drug court or addiction and recovery. Am I just naive? Is it possible for me to contribute to the process that addicts go through to get healthy? I believe so. Maybe I’m too close to my son to be this person for him, but what if what I have to offer is actually something that could help addicts find their way through recovery? I just wonder.