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You Are Unconditionally Worthy

You do not have to own, do, have, be, or make anything in order to be worthy of an easeful life. Just by the nature of being here, you are worthy of being here. Period. As I sit writing this, I want you to know how far from worthiness I have felt in the past. But I feel fortunate that even in those times, I have known the truth of worthiness – that it is ours without caveat and is there for all of us, underneath all the delusion and conditioned beliefs to the contrary. I’ve never met a person, including myself, who experiences the truth of worthiness in their felt reality 24/7. Because that person would be a robot. We touch these truths, then lose touch again while understanding they are there in our spiritual or somatic background, and then return again into a reality that matches the truth of who we are. It’s important to know the cyclical nature of our relationship with enoughness, that it is a returning, again and again in surer and surer way. We, including me as I sit here in the stew, have been so deeply trained to doubt our worthiness, especially in deserving a life of ease and joy. So our remembering of our worthiness is not a permanent arrival but a collective and individual waking up, over and over, that becomes surer in time. The make-believe reality of earning worthiness is a game of dominance and subjugation with no winners. We see this in patriarchy, white supremacy, separation and domination of the earth, and other dominance-based structures. Centuries ago, as matriarchal and indigenous cultures were overrun, we disconnected from our bodily understanding of worthiness, from the love of the earth, and from our universal connection to living beings. We came to adopt “original sin” instead, a need to be saved, and a theory of becoming worthy and enough only upon our passing. In a day-in, day-out way, we outsourced the ownership and declaration of worthiness to others who put their rubber stamp on enoughness when certain thresholds were crossed (or who would withhold approval indefinitely). We become more and more creative in our game of earning worthiness, wrapping it up in actions we dub “hard work” or “service”. Our striving mind loves to tee up prizes for concentrated effort that sacrifice the body and peace of mind in exchange for outcomes or efficacy. Worthiness remains always one inch away, one partner away, one job away, 10 pounds away, one to-do list away. But when we’re in touch with our full and unconditional worthiness, when we identify as the receiver (instead of as the earner) of the gifts of love and connection, there is nothing to be proven and no price to pay for love. When worthiness deconflates from productivity, accomplishments, how the body looks, status, and its myriad other conditions, it shifts back out of the theoretical and back into a bodily, present-moment experience. The nature of arriving back into worthiness is one of homecoming or waking up.

In order to wake up and come home to our purpose, to feel worthy of being the receivers of connection and beauty that we were born to be, we have to let go of the story of indebtedness. We were taught that we owe the world something, that we must find our way to belonging, but with courage we can remember that our natural, easeful being owes no debt. When we engage in an easeful path, open ourselves and slow down, we become more receptive to the love and resources that are flowing like oxygen on this planet. We are asserting a story that is ancient and uncommon – a story of infinite gifts without reason, for only the joy of the receiving. What does it take to boldly and courageously stand in this feeling of enoughness? Immeasurable vulnerability and courage, for a start. It requires a recognition that the slogan of worthiness, full of bravado and puffing up, is a far cry from the actual, bring-you-to-your-knees feeling of the vast, quiet truth of worthiness. Social media posts that proclaim how #blessed or #bornthisway someone is may be true and celebratory or they may be striving for validation. But regardless of the impetus for declaration, they will always be thin shadows and poor, time-bound translations of the actual experience of worthiness in the body and in connection with true nature.

Waking up to the truth of worthiness usually means a trip or two or three hundred to the past where the roots of the myths of unworthiness live in your own personal life and your ancestors' lives. These unavoidable and ultimately rewarding journeys reveal our family of origin stories and cultural conditioning and also connect us with the universal suffering and healing of all beings. There is a prickpoint in my psyche where my father’s unconditional love for me and the myth that robbed me of that love (and robbed him of expressing that love) battled for decades. When I think of his love for me, I get choked up, not able to take it all in. It’s a place where I feel that deep love, my whole and complete worthiness of that love, and also feel the wound of having not received it when I was young. I see my defensive reaction that separated me from the present moment expression of that love so that I could continue to fit in with the normalized, addictive world of striving and “not enough”. Many children have to make this choice – burying or suppressing parts of themselves in order to fit in with cultural norms and to receive the conditional love of their parents. In Western culture, as we grow up, we quickly become hooked on the earn-and-achieve model, becoming addicted to the drama of ambition and accomplishment. Because how boring is it to tell someone you’ve already arrived at a place where there’s nothing missing in your life? Not our usual cocktail party material.

This overstory myth of “not good enough yet” is so powerful, and the choice between belonging with one another in “the struggle,” or embarking on a path of ease is so challenging. It can be incredibly hard to trust that as we divest from cycles of striving and achieving, of sin and repentance, that we will find others who are calling bullshit on the myth of unworthiness, who are choosing to affirm the unconditional worthiness of people. The noise of the dominant story is so loud, trusting our feet to dance to our internal rhythm involves plenty of guesswork and faith.

Mourning these robberies takes time, but it does come to an end. Having faced the enslavement of our bodies and minds to the story of “not enough,” we can take refuge in the truth and never mistake the lies for truth again. Our life's work is feeling our way back to the birthright truth of being unconditionally worthy. But any tears I shed from that pinprick of having been unable to receive deep love are only echoes of past confusion. They are tears produced by realizing the momentum of centuries of people trying to wake up from a dream of unworthiness. Someday, I know we will depart from our cycles of mourning and come into cycles of truth and reconciliation. And perhaps we will even begin cycles of celebration and joy.

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