Do You Feel Worthy Of Love?

By

Do You Feel Worthy Of Love?
Have you unsuccessfully tried to heal feelings of shame, self-loathing & unworthiness? You CAN heal!

When I was growing up I was frequently shamed, criticized and judged by both of my parents, as well as by my grandmother who lived with us, and by many of my teachers. I grew up believing that there was something basically and essentially wrong with me. I didn't know what it was, but I believed if I could just figure out how to do things right, then the shaming and judgments would go away and I would be loved. But no matter how good I was, or how perfect my grades were, the shaming judgments didn't go away.

As a young adult, I continued to believe I was not good enough. I later came to understand that this is called 'core shame' –- the belief that there is something basically and essentially flawed about oneself.

Through years of reading, therapy, workshops and introspection, I came to understand that there was nothing essentially wrong with me –- that I was a good person. But whenever I experienced someone's less-than-loving response to me, I still felt it was my fault. If someone was judgmental, shaming, angry, blaming or withdrawn, I was sure that I must have said or done something wrong, or that I was just not good enough — wasn't worthy of love.

None of the books I read, workshops I attended, or therapy I experienced ever did anything to take away this core shame. I thought this was just the way it was – I was flawed and there was nothing I could do about it.

Then, twenty-eight years ago, Spirit brought Inner Bonding to us — to me and to my best friend, Dr. Erika Chopich. While I had already developed the understanding about there being only two intents at any given moment— to control or to learn, and I had written about it in my best-selling book, "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" — until Inner Bonding I didn't understand the subtleties of the intent to control.

One day, as I was caught up in my usual self-judgment of "I'm not good enough or lovable enough. I must have done something wrong," in the face of someone's anger at me, awareness struck me like a bolt of lightning. I finally understood why I had never been able to heal my core shame.

The Control of Self-Judgment

What I clearly saw in that instant was that the only way I could feel as if I had control over the other person's behavior was to believe it was my fault — due to there being something wrong with me. What I was trying to control with my self-shaming was the very painful feeling of helplessness over others’ behavior and feelings, and the equally painful feelings of loneliness, heartache or heartbreak when others were unloving to me. I saw that I was using self-judgment and the resulting feelings of shame and unworthiness to cover over and avoid feeling these deeper painful feelings.

This understanding was stunning to me! I saw that I wanted to believe that their behavior was my fault, because then I could also believe that I could do something about it — I could figure out how to act right or say the right thing and thereby control their feelings and behavior.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

"How Do I Ask For What I Need?"

By

In a healthy, loving relationship, partners ask each other for what they need, and generally receive a caring response. But sometimes this can get tricky – depending on whether it is your loving adult asking, or your wounded self. This dilemma is expressed by Julie in the following question: "How can we express to our partner that sometimes we ... Read more

Relationships: Hanging in Through the Hard Stuff

By

Are you committed to working through the difficult and painful issues that inevitably arise in relationships, or do you run when things get hard? If you want to have a long-term loving relationship, then you need to learn to hang in through the hard stuff. When Isabel and Lloyd met, they both felt that this was the relationship they had each been looking ... Read more

"I'm Trying to Leave"

By

Angela asked me the following questions in one of my free webinars: "My husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s three years ago and I have been trying to leave him for 1.5 years now. How can I leave and grieve without being overwhelmed when he says he will change? I'm not sure if he will ever be able to connect with me ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB