In my struggles with self-love and self-worth I made it my business to know how this happened and in my studies of Neuro-Semantics and PNI (PsychoNeuroImmunology) I learned a lot.
This gave me great insight to understand how my childhood contributed to my lack of self-worth (without judgement) and the tools to restore it.
Since the root cause of your self-love and self-worth issues stems from childhood, it is not your fault. However it is your responsibility to resolve them. I believe that it is part of our spiritual path to become aware and resolve these issues as they are the key to resolving other challenges in our lives.
I have always believed and I hope you agree that once we understand things we have more power to change them. Of course this description is a very general outline and the idea is for you to see how this relates to your self-worth.
Throughout our lifetime we form the idea of ourselves from the people close to us. At first from our parents and caregivers and then as we move through life we evolve this idea of ourselves from the messages of our teachers, friends, colleagues, life-partners.
As a baby you believed that you were one with your mother. Only from about 2 years did you realise that you were a separate person. However, you started perceiving messages about you and the environment you were destined for even while you were still in your mother’s womb.
Your mother’s pregnancy played a huge role to whether you felt welcome and safe or not. If she was stressed then the Noradrenalin and Cortisol she released were transferred to you. This then sensitised your Amygdala – your fight flight or freeze part of your brain signalling that your survival was threatened.
My own life started traumatically and continued into my nurture years with the result of having a paralysing fear of survival and unworthiness.
After birth your nurture years further contributed to your self-concept. The criteria were how your needs were met in terms of being fed, cleaned and feeling loved, touched and held as well as the way you were talked to – the words, tone of voice, facial expressions and energy.
This continues through school. Now the evaluations and comments of teachers add to our sense of self.
Unknowingly parents’ reward-reprimand system to teach children what is acceptable and not, does such immense harm if not applied with the intention of promoting unconditional self-worth.
When we did well at school we received praise and when we performed below expectations we received criticism or worse we were punished or ignored.
As children we interpreted this as self-worth and our self-worth became conditioned upon our performance – what we did or did not do, had or did not have and other people’s opinions.
When we became teenagers we compared ourselves with our peers and asked Who Am I? The answers to this question became our highest beliefs about ourselves and if not supportive of us, with nasty consequences that I will address in upcoming blogs.
For me the most detrimental consequence of the lack of self-love and self-worth is feeling separate or disconnected from Source, God, Spirit, Universe, Creator – or what it is to you. The feeling of being alone and abandoned – that you are the only one suffering and struggling with this. This makes it shameful, hiding it from others and keeping up a front of all is well.
Well you are not alone let me assure you. Most people struggle with self-love and self-worth on some level.
The good news is that although your self-worth was out of your control as a child, you can change it and restore it fully. Doing this will change the course of your life and your destiny.
So how do you restore it fully?
The first step towards that is to accept your self completely, imperfections and all. Also to accept your life as it is now. This is not to say you condone everything, just to accept it. When you accept it you can do something about it or let it go.
The next step is to separate your self-worth and self-confidence. Your self-worth refers to your human being and your self-confidence to your human doing. When you do this, your self-worth becomes unconditional and you give yourself permission to learn by experimenting and making mistakes.
This creates freedom of self-expression and moving closer to your authentic real powerful Self which is the ultimate relationship and spiritual connection.