I was speaking with a friend the other day and she told me about a promotion that came with a hefty raise she got at her job. Another $30,000 a year in her paycheck sounded really good at the time she accepted the offer. But the workload sucked and the time away from her family was taking its toll, and she was so damn focused on getting that promotion that she lost about 3 years of her life working for it.
With tears in her eyes, she said, “And $30,000 more sounds like good money, but it’s still not enough. We are struggling to make ends meet and the difference in my actual paycheck after taxes, it’s already spent.”
My heart broke. Oh how I know this feeling. And oh how I know that what we feel is a direct mirror into our own hearts. Was my friend, while on the surface struggling with work overload and the money sinkhole, actually feeling like she was not enough herself?
Another friend was offered a dream opportunity. She tentatively said yes, but inside was scared. She didn’t feel ready. She questioned herself at every turn and nearly rescinded on her “yes” feeling unprepared and not good enough for the offer on the table.
Again, I felt the ache in my heart. Rather than focusing on the blessing she will be to so many in her new role, she felt not worthy of saying YES to it. This magnificent woman not seeing herself as such. Rather than focusing on gratitude for that which was given, she felt unworthy of even receiving it; fear filled her chest and kept her small in the corner. I’ve been there too, so many times.
In both situations, the root cause was the same – worthiness. Worthiness or feeling less than worthy manifests itself physically, as it’s all intertwined.
But when we get down to it, where does feeling worthy come from? In a culture of comparison, often we measure our own worth by our status – the car we drive, the street we live on, the degrees we have…we’ll collectively call this all the ‘stuff’ we accumulate. When things don’t add up, we think, “who am I to do xyz? I’m no one!”
This assessment of who we are brought about by what? A quick check of our possessions?
Measuring who we are against the material world is moot. First, there will always be someone with more stuff so it’s a never-ending spiral. But also, there are many studies that show acquiring more things decreases our appreciation of them, and that lack of appreciation in turn effects our joy – is this to suggest that joy decreases as the stuff increases? Fascinating. In other cultures, where on the surface the people have very little ‘stuff’, they actually have riches beyond compare .
Here’s the thing, feeling worthy has nothing to do with stuff! I once saw a documentary where Jim Carrey spoke about his rise to fame after Pet Detective. He said prior to that, he was bouncing from apartment to apartment, sometimes crashing on friends’ couches. He was happy, though. He appreciated and loved his life, even without financial security.
He reached a level of monetary success that afforded him a mansion in Beverly Hills. Dom Perignon Champagne flowed at the closing with lawyers and realtors present. But at the end of the night, when the door shut, he never felt so alone, so trapped, so worthless, so small in his big, enormous life.
Unworthy. Not enough. Even with all that stuff…
A sociologist then came on to say that if we are alone and cold in the woods, and someone offers us a blanket and a cup of cocoa, we are so grateful and content. But for some reason, we think if we have 10 blankets and 10 cups of cocoa, we’ll be 10x more content. Not so. 1 is more than enough, and the gratitude paired with the human connection of one human being helping another deepens that feeling of enough-ness even more.
Think about it – the story goes that with just one fish, Jesus fed thousands. But God didn’t multiply the fish for Jesus to feed himself. And Jesus didn’t worry where more would come from; he knew what he had in that bucket would be enough.
Living a life of purpose – a rich, full meaningful life where we connect on the deepest of levels and see all as an extension of ourselves, connecting heart to heart even if we do not see eye to eye – isn’t this where we feel most alive? The way we feel when we are plugging into our power, using all that we are given to serve, and just simply being present for this gift of life…being present in all that “is” with a grateful heart for its ability to beat without question if this life is enough, if we are enough – that is the epitome of the soul at peace, free, unchained.
Our humanness wants to measure – the size of our waist, the size of our bank account, the size of our home. And we may hold on with tight grasp in fear to the things of this world, afraid that there may never be enough, that we may never be enough. But our spirit knows that’s all dust and we are truly the whole universe – we are each immeasurable and vast.
I think about this concept of ‘enough’ often. And I wonder if just feeling enough is all it takes to actually have enough, and actually be enough.
Could it be that simple?
Eckhart Tolle once said, “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’, that would be enough.”
The funny thing is, when I made my first Holy communion, I remember working hard to learn the line before accepting Eucharist, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
To my eight year old carefree self, that line didn’t make much sense. But now, my spirit understands it fully. Not in its religious context, as it is delivered, but rather as a spiritual metaphor. When we feel unworthy, we can not fully receive – anything that comes to us slips right through our hands. When we know we are worthy no strings attached, when we know how immensely loved we are, receiving is a whole different experience, and rather than slipping through our fingers, our hands are full, blessings abound. Gratitude comes from the Latin root “gratus” which is also the root to the related word “grace”. God’s amazing grace brings endless mercy and love, as we are. We do not need to do anything to earn it.
This cuts deep into my core because so many times I would find myself spinning feeling “less than” because of some cruddy circumstance, and really, all I had to do was bow my head in gratitude, soak in the glory of grace. And this is where the healing begins. This is how healing happens, in an instant—unworthy to healed. And in this healing, our every need is met.
Whenever we feel “less than” it accelerates our feelings of “lack” and magnifies them – when we focus on gratitude, it magnifies abundance…we become filled with the knowing of who and whose we truly are. That simple “knowing” is a magnet, a multiplier . Then, we can use all that is given, all that is multiplied to shine the light for so many.
Feeling “less than” is a box, a jar, a chain that binds us, placed on us through someone’s words or an experience that created a limiting belief, a false truth that has been programmed deep into our subconscious mind acting as our operating system minimizing our true power.
We all hold some level of these limiting beliefs, and we can become locked up in the chains and live in them, small, trapped, fearful, in a dark, dank cave alone. Acknowledging the chains is the first step in creating awareness around our shackles. Calling forth the truth of who we are – a limitless, expansive, abundant, divine, powerful human being – is the key to releasing them. ✨♥️🙏