By Blake D. Bauer //
Excerpt from the international bestselling book You Were Not Born To Suffer
It’s often not until we allow other people to treat us horribly and therefore feel worthless or valueless that we realize our approach to life truly needs to change. Unfortunately, things have to get seriously bad, painful or out of control for most of us before we realize how important it is to honor and value ourselves consistently in every moment, situation and relationship. For those of us who often feel inadequate, insecure, undeserving or unworthy of love, we will constantly abandon and betray ourselves for the love of others to the point where we repeatedly find ourselves in situations where we feel used, unappreciated, valueless or worthless to those around us as well as to ourselves. Underneath these painful situations, however, is the empowering truth that we’re not actually victims in any way. We’re actually the ones who’ve compromised ourselves for the conditional acceptance, approval, attention and support of other people and thus we can change this self-destructive pattern. We can make a different choice now.
What most of us don’t realize until we’ve allowed our own sense of self-worth and self-respect to reach zero is that in every moment we do not value ourselves, we are abandoning and hurting ourselves far more deeply than we know. This hurt that we unconsciously inflict upon ourselves then creates deep anger, shame, frustration, resentment, hatred and dissatisfaction within us that we hold towards ourselves. In every moment we’re either being true to ourselves or we’re compromising ourselves. So in each situation that we allow our fears of losing love, acceptance, approval, attention, security or support to determine our choices and actions, we add to the build-up of pain, sadness and inner dis-ease that we’ve already created for ourselves by betraying ourselves so much throughout our lives.
Most of us never felt safe enough as children to fully be ourselves or to express everything we feel, think, want or need. As a result, our instincts led all of us to fragment ourselves in exchange for the conditional love we felt we needed from our parents, our teachers, our peers and our caregivers just to survive. These deep fears that we all carry forward to some degree then lead us to betray ourselves as adults. Whether it’s with our parents, our children, other family members, our spouse, our partner, our friends, our colleagues, our employers or our employees, most of us still abandon our inner truths in exchange for something.
This soul-destroying exchange might come in the form of wanting to fit in, to avoid confrontation, to be accepted, to attract attention, to be approved of, to feel safe or to have financial security. It may also come in the form of desiring fame, companionship, pleasure or sex. Regardless of who or what we’ve compromised ourselves for over the years, a large number of us have created a completely compromised life because we didn’t know better and we never learned how to break through our fears of losing love and security to always be true to who we genuinely are.
Feeling unlovable or undeserving of love, just as we are, is no way to live. But there’s a grey area in our psyche and heart where we feel valueless or worthless, and it needs to be healed for us to be happy and well. This blind spot in our awareness drives many of us to stay in situations, relationships and jobs that do not reflect our true feelings, ultimately because we hold the destructive belief that no one else will stand by us, love us or employ us if we genuinely value ourselves. It’s heart-breaking that so many of us live believing that we lack something within ourselves, which renders us unworthy of love, happiness and respect. Even though this is completely untrue, we still end up hurting ourselves because we feel the only way to be loved, accepted, approved of or supported by other people or by a business is to please them and make them happy, even if it’s at the expense of our own integrity, happiness or wellbeing.
This self-destructive pattern of relating to ourselves leads us to live out the majority of our days disregarding our own values and needs for this tainted form of love. This is how our lives become a constant struggle to please others while deep down we remain tense, bitter, alone and unsatisfied. What we fail to realize is that simply by valuing ourselves in each situation, starting now, we can heal our core inadequacies and insecurities and eventually discover that we’ve always been worthy of all things good, nourishing and beautiful.
Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Unconditional Self Love, Qi Gong Retreat, & Meditation Retreat with Blake D. Bauer, December 1–3, 2017 — click here to learn more
Featured image by Corey Ruffner
About the Author
Blake D. Bauer is an internationally recognized author, counselor, qigong master, and alternative medicine practitioner. His best-selling book You Were Not Born To Suffer and pioneering work focus on unconditional self-love as the key to self-healing, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and awakening spiritually. Bringing together what he’s found to be the most effective spiritual practices and holistic approaches to well-being, Blake’s work has successfully guided thousands of people around the world to greater health and freedom in mind and body. // www.unconditional-selflove.com