is something I deal with on a regular basis.
Though I have been aware of this and worked on it for years,
it still rears its ugly head in some of the most unexpected ways.
I do know that I was raised to often
"be seen and not heard".
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
“Do as you’re told!”
“Do as I say, not as I do.”
It didn’t really matter how I felt about things or what my preferences were.
We had a household of 6 and it was run with enforcement.
Our parents didn’t know any different.
They are not really to blame.
They were likely raised with the same “quotes”
and ideas as their foundation for living
that they just repeated from their parents and generations before them.
Parenting does not come with a handbook,
even though it is one of the most important parts of being alive.
To raise well adjusted, self empowered, healthy and vibrant children, it takes much more than doing what the generations before us did.
We’ve made it appear to be so complicated and
hard to raise children,
yet we really do very little
to actually raise the standards for raising an empowered new generation.
In unschooling my children I began to see the detrimental nature
of our programmed parenting.
I began to see that my children were actually
whole and divine beings
inside of little bodies
and deserved to be treated as such instead of as incapable children who I had to be molded and taught how to be.
They were not on this planet to be manipulated
into doing what I felt was “right”,
To be judged or punished for being themselves,
Or made to do what would make me feel better.
I had to re-wire everything I thought I knew about parenting,
and follow my heart.
There are definitely things in hindsight I would do differently,
but I do give myself credit for questioning the norm and beginning to break the cycle
while taking a huge leap of faith.
I realized that they were just fine
and that I was the one with the issues,
so needed to get out of their way and look within.
I started looking at myself and more and more layers surfaced and continue to surface
even after all these years.
I acknowledge that this unworthiness is inside of myself, regardless from where it stems,
I can see patterns that are repeated,
having their foundation well established inside my head.
All of these things I must take responsibility for.
Our society is set up to pit us against one another,
grading and correcting us,
laying out the path before us that we are instructed to follow.
A few things that have come up for me that point to the foundation of unworthiness, though these I am certain are only a few of the many,
are thing generally considered “normal” and potentially “desireable”
to the life of most mainstream Americans.
I was told to put my shoes and coat on because it was cold outside
*I learned to listen to others instead of
trusting my own guidance system
for even my basic needs of survival.
I was told when to eat,
how much to eat (everything on your plate),
and in what order to eat it (dinner before dessert).
*I learned not to trust myself
on how to nurture and care for my own body,
but that someone else outside of me had the answers.
I jumped through hoops in school
to be the teacher’s pet and be popular.
*Soon I learned that was truly honored so it became part of who I was.
I was good at getting straight A’s to get approval,
also convincing myself I was doing it for me,
even though at least 80% of the things I did I didn’t care about at all.
*I learned how to get others to like me and validate me,
even if that meant not really being true to myself.
I was a cheerleader, student council leader and much more,
not necessarily because those things were my passion,
but because I could get recognition for them
and acknowledgment that I was on the right track.
*I realize I have received much of my self worth from doing and being
what others wanted me to do and be.
I once had an art teacher who gave me a “B” on a project
that I thought was really awesome,
perhaps the best I had ever done..
That one judgment affected my opinion about the value of my piece,
as well as my art in general.
From then on I would share my artwork
only if I felt it was undoubtedly worthy of public display
and actually stopped making art after school until I was in my early to mid twenties.
Grading is the same as judging
by putting a value on someone’s thoughts,
ideas and developing abilities.
*I learned that if I didn’t feel I would be awesome at something,
I just wouldn’t do it so I wouldn’t be a failure,
because the opinion of others was more important than my own.
I was a gymnast receiving points for my performance,
not just for the personal challenge of it,
but to be pitted against all the other gymnasts to see who was best.
Over the years I have convinced myself
to place my self worth on the outside,
always looking for something or someone to validate me.
And though I have worked through many of these issues on the surface
and am somewhat better about taking constructive criticism
and acknowledging when I feel I have something of value to share,
I still struggle with
as part of my life, triggered in the most interesting of ways.
The other day I was working on a project outside when Quinn
shouted from the balcony to see if I wanted to give my opinion
about the new business cards that had been designed.
I love it that Inok does the basic foundation for the GOE materials
and that I am consulted to share perspective on the visual aspects.
The front and back of the cards were displayed on her screen.
A reworking of the front design was magnificent.
Next to it was the back side,
about some of the present pertinent things we offer at the GOE,
a section about Quinn,
and a section for Inok and her blog.
I immediately got my feathers ruffled.
Where am I represented on this card?
How could they exclude me from being a part of
the face we are presenting to everyone we meet?
Of course I took great offense that Inok should have a special little spot
when I felt her contribution to the GOE was so much less than mine.
She has done a blog for a week or so (albeit with lots of interest)
and now is worthy of sharing,
yet in everything I contribute I could not be represented.
My phone number was there so I can answer calls as they come in,
but not even my name was of value to what we do.
Seriously gooky gunk was stirred up within me.
Feelings of being left out.
Feelings of being unworthy.
Feelings of being unappreciated
Feelings of being undervalued.
Quinn insisted that this was strictly a business decision.
He would not base the decision on jealousy,
and that my feeling hurt was based on feelings of
I knew what he said was true and that he was right again!!!!
and I knew it wasn’t because of what he or anyone else was doing,
but was my own shit to face,
even if I felt my points were valid.
Recently I have felt quite jealous of Inok.
I have been jealous of the time Quinn spends with her working through her issues,
the space he holds for her,
and that he has compromised himself to do so,
(by his own admission).
I was jealous that he would base his business decisions
and our face to the world on one week of her present contribution
which had even yet to be proven consistent,
when I felt I gave my all everyday to his vision.
Then to top it off,
he told me that I was not helping him which
I took that to mean in our everyday lives.
He said if I wanted his help I could consider really being of service
and helping him in beneficial ways.
I have been working on the house,
doing upgrades to floors, walls and all things in general.
I felt I was making a valuable contribution to this community
and to Quinn’s life all-around.
Not only doing it as sustainably and with as many reusable materials as possible,
but responsible for basically doing it all myself.
Gratefully these project align with my desire to upgrade our space
and to express my creativity in sustainable and beneficial ways.
I felt justified in feeling he was under appreciating me and my contributions.
I was steaming for a long bit,
all the while my feelings
and emotions bubbly up like hot goo!
I made up lots of justifications, excuses
and explanations for these feelings--
So then I step back and take a true look at the situation,
my outside world is showing me where I have been inside.
Things manifest around me in alignment with my vibration.
I’ve had some judgment on Inok for being who she is being (ridiculous, I know),
And on Quinn for putting up with it.
Since they are but mirrors of myself,
I was obviously having judgment on myself
and using them as an excuse not to look at it.
I have been feeling left out of a lot of things lately,
so separating myself from others.
No wonder I’m not included.
Feeling these unworthy jealous feelings have come up for me many times before.
Continuing to allow these feelings to fester,
I recognize I am not good for helping in his vision,
but rather detracting from the efforts by putting my energy where it does not serve.
So what is there to look at here
that can help me move through
these jealous and unworthy feelings
and live a more empowered existence?
Remember that nothing that is happening on the outside is anyone else’s fault. There is no one to blame, I am just in alignment with it
because that's where I've been.
Take responsibility for everything if I wish it to change.
Discontinue looking at the relationships
and actions of others to validate (or invalidate) myself.
Evaluate my desire to be of service
and be clear on my motives for being a part of all that which I am involved.
Not base my feelings of contribution on the immediate needs of others.
I can feel confident in that which I share,
without needing anyone else’s confirmation.
As long as I am in alignment with my own well being,
well-being shall be, no matter what that looks like.
Likely and Ideally, since I truly love this community,
my joy will be in alignment with beneficial contribution.
Learn to be a better communicator and simply ask for what is important to me. Know my own value and be able to express it,
stand up for it,
and ultimately receive that for which I am worthy.
It would be wise to make peace and embrace everything,
including the feelings that don’t feel so good.
Instead of resisting them and wanting them to pass or go away,
embracing them always helps to diffuse them.
Being in acknowledgement that this may be my life’s work,
I must be okay with the possibility that I never get over this unworthiness--
but instead just making peace within.
Recognizing that this has been a part of me,
that change can happen as anything is possible,
though judgment and resistance do not serve.
My always go to is to
love myself more and stay in the present moment
where all is well.
Staying in connection with love is the answer,
loving and honoring MYSELF.
This is but one more chunk of the iceberg I have looked at and addressed many times.
I feel these feelings run deep and as I deal with certain facets,
new layers rear their ugly heads.
I believe it has taken me years
to build these familiar dysfunctional pathways in my brain
that I can get on and ride around in.
To stop judging myself I can break this cycle,
being present and in love with myself.
I’m acknowledging where I’m at,
doing some deep breathing,
spending time alone,
feeling gratitude for opportunity to look at myself
and blessed to be truly ok in the present moment,
here now with myself.
Looking within, instead of without.
So in all of this I find it truly important to change the way we interact with everyone,
but especially with our children.
I see some things we can do to allow them to thrive on an empowered existence
rather than looking to others to make them feel good about themselves.
Many feelings we encounter,
are direct correlations of how we were treated
as little human beings,
what has been handed down to us through generations of dysfunction
and what we have grown to believe about ourselves.
Living in grace, honor
and respect of the children
is of utmost importance.
While Quinn is helping us deal
with our already ingrained internal chaos,
he is also gratefully holding space
for such an existence for the next generation.
Our work is to detangle ourselves
and move out of the way
so our kids do not also have to deal with our wounded psyches,
but can have
a new beginning,
feeling good and responsible
and their entire existence.