Do you depend on how other people see you, for your own sense of worth? If you do, you are not alone. People Magazine wrote that Demi Moore is totally dependent on how other people see her in order to feel any sense of worth. The magazine states that Moore says she is afraid she is not lovable.
Why, with all her fame and beauty, does she still believe she is not lovable?
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The reason is that one’s sense of worth and lovability has nothing to do with others’ approval or disapproval, or with fame, looks or fortune. It is all about how you treat yourself.
If you had a child, and instead of loving her, you went around to neighbors, family and friends and kept trying to get them to love the child, telling her that she wasn’t lovable unless these other people loved her – how would the child feel? Even if others did love the child, if you didn’t, she would feel abandoned, unloved and unlovable. She would conclude that there must be something wrong with her if you didn’t love her – even if others did.
This is exactly what happens on the inner level. In any moment that you are making others responsible for your feelings of worth and lovability, you are abandoning yourself and making yourself feel unworthy and unlovable. No matter how much money, fame or beauty you have, self-abandonment will lead to feelings of shame and unworthiness.
You might also be abandoning yourself in other ways - such as harshly judging yourself; or staying focused in your mind, ignoring your body and your feelings; or turning to various substance and process addictions to avoid feeling and taking responsibility for learning from your feelings. All feelings are informational – letting you know if you are being loving or unloving to yourself, or whether a person or situation is safe or unsafe, loving or unloving. Again, as with a child, if you harshly judge yourself and ignore your feelings, the sensitive part of you – your inner child - will feel abandoned, alone, unloved, unlovable and unworthy.
As long as you spend your energy trying to control how others feel about you – rather than loving and valuing who you really are - you will feel badly about yourself.
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Simply put, shame heals when you learn to love yourself and define your own worth. What does this mean? Who is the ‘self’ you need to learn to love and define, and how do you go about defining yourself?
If, as you were growing up, you didn’t receive unconditional love for who you are – your true self – then you might have concluded that who you are is not good enough. You might have created a ‘self’ that you hoped would be good enough to receive the love and approval you needed. We can call this made-up self - which we all created – the ego or wounded self. Our ego wounded self operates from the false belief that who we really are is inadequate, unlovable, unworthy, not good enough.