Do you believe your self-worth is in your looks and performance and if you do, is this working for you and bringing you joy? Do you fully understand the difference between your ego wounded self and your essence – your soul self? You might not know the truth of who you are, but if you have a pet, your pet knows!
Many people have no idea who they really are. And you might have had parents or caregivers, or peers, siblings, or teachers who said in a judgmental tone, “Who do you think you are?” as if being yourself was a bad thing.
David sat in front of me at one of my Inner Bonding five-day intensive workshops. A successful businessman with a wife and two grown children, David believed that he was not good enough.
“I’m insufficient,” he said. “I’m inadequate.”
I looked at this kind man and felt deep sadness for him. He did not know who he was.
“Why do you believe that?” I asked.
“I didn’t do well in school, and I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life.”
“So you are basing your worth on your performance, right?”
David could not conceive of any other way of defining his worth other than through his performance – which he never saw as good enough.
I asked David to look inside – at the essence of himself – and tell me what he saw. All he saw was emptiness.
“David, please close your eyes. Now imagine a wonderful being who loves you very much. Who comes to mind?”
“My grandfather. He died when I was young, but he really loved me.”
“Good. Now imagine that you are seeing yourself through the eyes of your grandfather. What does your grandfather see when he looks at you?”
“He sees a bright and creative little boy, who is very kind and caring. A loving little boy. A little boy who is funny and likes to laugh and likes to make other people laugh.”
“Is there anything wrong with this little boy? Anything inadequate or insufficient?”
“Oh no! He is a wonderful little boy.”
“David, this is who you really are. You are not your performance. Your performance will come and go and at some point you might retire and not perform much. Yet that does not mean that you are worthless. Your worth is in who you are, not in what you do. Your worth is intrinsic.”
David realized that, because of his highly critical and rejecting parents, he had always been trying to prove himself and always came up short in their eyes. As a result of seeing himself as unworthy and inadequate, he did not treat himself well. He treated himself the way his parents had treated him – with criticism and neglect. He was always trying to take care of everyone else, but rarely thought about taking care of himself. He was constantly abandoning himself emotionally, just as he had been emotionally abandoned by his parents.
“David, if you chose to see yourself as your grandfather saw you rather than how your parents saw you, how would you feel about yourself and how would you treat yourself?”
“I’ve just been thinking about that. I just realized that I treat my dog better than I treat myself! I would never judge my dog the way I judge myself.”
“So what would you do differently if you saw yourself the way your grandfather sees you?”
“I would stop judging myself as insufficient and inadequate. I’m a really good person. I am not at all insufficient or inadequate as a person. And I choose my friends based on who they are as people – not on their performance. So I obviously value the very qualities that I possess!”
“What else would you do if you really valued who you are?”
“I would listen to my own feelings and take care of my own needs instead of taking care of everyone else’s feelings and needs. I would no longer see it as selfish to take care of myself instead of taking care of everyone else. I would be at least as attentive to myself as I am to my dog!”
David was glowing. He was discovering who he really is, not who he thought he was.
People often think that their worth – who they really are – is based on looks and performance. Yet these qualities are transitory. What is real and eternal is who you are in your heart and soul. If you practice Inner Bonding and learn to shift your definition of your worth from outer to inner, you will stop trying to prove yourself. You will know that you are already a beautiful being, totally deserving of love.
“But,” your wounded self might say, “if I don’t judge myself, then I might not do what I need to do to get things done and to succeed. I might just sit on the couch and watch TV.”
This isn’t who our soul essence is. When you truly value who you are, you will find that your performance and productivity go up, because they now become an expression of who you are rather than a way to define your worth and prove who you are. You will discover that, just like toddlers, your true soul self is anything but lazy!
My client, Marilyn, asked me:
“I’ve noticed there are times I define my worth in a way that seems not good. For example, if I see a picture of myself and I like it, I’ll define myself as cute or thin or something positive like that. If I don’t like the picture, I will define myself as frumpy or unattractive. So, while I’m defining my worth, it seems dependent on how a picture comes out. The picture is just an example. I may do the same thing with how I feel after interacting with someone. If it’s lively, I’ll see myself as social or interesting. If the interaction doesn’t go well, I may see myself as boring or awkward. So, while I’m defining my own worth, it still seems not quite right. Any suggestions for me?”
The problem is that Marilyn, like David, is defining her worth externally – by her looks and performance – rather than intrinsically by her enduring soul qualities.
Most of us learned as we were growing up to define our worth by our looks, performance, and achievements, and this creates many problems.
What happens when you get older and lose some of your looks? What happens if you stop being as productive at work, or you retire? Does this mean that you now have less worth? This is the problem with attaching your worth to looks, achievements or performance.
My client, Mark, asked:
I am often plagued by feelings of jealousy and a lack of self-worth when I see others do well in their careers, who have prestigious qualifications from Ivy League universities to which I was unsuccessful for acceptance. I sometimes feel I have ‘missed out’ on life’s opportunities and that no matter how hard I try I will never be as good as others. When I do not succeed against others, I feel this is my fault and it reflects that I am just not good enough when I must compete against others for places, opportunities, and rewards in life. Would you please help me to understand where I am in error and how to see the truth?”
This is another example of the problems that occur when you define your self-worth externally by performance and achievement, rather than internally by your intrinsic soul qualities. Mark will continue to feel a lack of self-worth as long as he defines his worth externally.
I’ve worked with many very successful clients who think they are a fraud, and they think this because they think they are their wounded self, and their wounded self is a fraud.
It is vitally important to understand the vast difference between our wounded self and our true soul self:
- WE created our wounded self.
- GOD created our soul self.
While your wounded self might think you are a fraud, there is no way that your true self, your Divine essence is a fraud. How could that be true? Who you truly are was created in the image of God which is love,
Our soul self is our true essence, our inner child, the part of our soul that lives within our body, while our wounded self is a fabrication – what we created to try to feel safe as a child.
The energy of our soul is huge, way too big to fit inside our body. The part of our soul that is inside is what we call in Inner Bonding our inner child – our feeling self that is communicating with us all the time through our feelings.
The rest of our soul is all around us – our higher self. This part of our soul communicates with us through words, images, and dreams.
When we want to know the loving action toward ourselves, we open to our higher soul, which is the doorway to truth, love, compassion, and wisdom. Through opening to learning about loving ourselves and keeping the frequency of our body high with clean organic food, we are able to access the love and compassion we need to do the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, as well as to nurture ourselves when we are in pain, and to take the loving actions we need to take to relieve pain and bring joy. You will find it so much easier to be motivated to learn to take loving care of yourself when you know how beautiful you are – how magnificent your soul is.
Think for a moment about how you pick your friends. Are you more drawn to a thin and successful person who is arrogant and insensitive, or to a kind and caring person who might not be skinny or rich? When I ask this question, I almost always hear that people choose kind and caring friends. A person who says they would pick the successful arrogant person is usually someone whose wounded self defines them by who they are seen with.
When a baby is born, do you value the baby because the baby is skinny and rich, or do you value the baby just because he or she exists? Anyone who has spent time with infants knows that babies are little bundles of love, goodness, and joy, which is why parents are so enamored with them. They have not yet learned to cover up their soul self with the protections of their ego wounded self.
What would happen if you defined yourself as a unique expression of the love and goodness that is the Divine?
If you really knew that this is who you are, would you doubt your value? Is there anything more valuable than love? Obviously, the wounded self believes that looks, performance, achievements, and money are more valuable, but it’s important to understand that the wounded self doesn’t know anything regarding truth and has been deeply programmed to believe that it is who you are.
I suggest you experiment with defining yourself as love and goodness and joy and creativity and passion and aliveness and compassion – and see what happens!
Those of you who have pets know that your pets know the truth of who you are. Many of us know how unconditionally loving most dogs naturally are – unless they have been abused. Even if you don’t have a dog, you’ve likely seen the joy they express when their person comes home after being gone for even a few minutes.
If you are a loving pet owner, and you have a dog or a cat or a horse or another pet who loves you, what would your pet say about you if he or she could talk? Take a moment to imagine what your pet would say.
Would he or she say?
- You’re the best – all loving, all wise. You love unconditionally. I adore you!
- You are omnipotent. You are God to me.
- Your presence makes me so happy.
- You’re my wonderful person and I will never leave you.
- I love just being next to you. You’re warm and cuddly.
- You’re trustworthy.
- You’re compassionate, kind, and caring.
- I love it when you play with me! You’re fun!
- Your petting and scratching and hugging feel so wonderful to me.
- I’m lonely when you are not here.
- I feel safe with you, and I always want to do whatever I can to keep you safe.
- You are so important to me that I would risk my life for you.
- You might want to think about what else your pet would say about you.
When your pet looks at you with adoring eyes, or wags its tail and wiggles with joy, or snuggles next to you on the couch or bed, or nuzzles you in a barn, your pet is loving you because he or she feels the love that you are – not because of how you look, or how much money you make, or the kind of house you have, or whether or not you are married or have children, or what kind of car you drive, or what your job is, but because of who you intrinsically are as a unique expression of love.
Do you see yourself this way? Do you see yourself as the person your pet thinks you are?
Your pet has the ability to bypass your wounded self and to see who you are in your essence. Even when you lose your temper or ignore her or forget to feed him on time, she will keep on loving you because he is connected with your essence.
Are you connected with your essence? Do you own the qualities your pet sees in you, or do you define yourself by your wounded self?
Think about the list of what your pet would say about you. Is there anything that is not true about you when you are connected with your essence and your guidance?
Obviously, little on that list is true when you are in your wounded self, but, as I said, you are not your wounded self!
I hope you don’t discount what your pet sees in you. I hope you don’t tell yourself that your pet is just a dumb animal and doesn’t know what a loser you are. That would be very sad.
Most animals are highly sensitive. Do you know that dogs can smell cancer in a person? You might want to see a video on YouTube called “Dogs Can Smell Cancer,” about a dog who likely saved his person’s life by smelling breast cancer, even though her mammogram was negative.
How about using what your pet thinks of you, or even what an imaginary pet would think you, as a role model for how to be a loving person in the world? What if you actually owned up to and became the person your pet, or your imaginary pet, thinks you are?
Your inner child will very much appreciate it if you use what your pet or your imaginary pet thinks you are as a role model for how to treat yourself and others. And the more you pattern your behavior after what your pet sees in you, the more natural it will feel to you, because you are, in your essence, who your pet thinks you are.
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I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”
You can learn much about who you are in my 30-Day course,Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.
My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance, Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.
And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings