“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan
Over the last ten years I have learned time and time again that our reality is a reflection of what we believe we deserve, often on an unconscious level.
I discovered this about a decade ago while living in Belize—a diving vacation hotspot on one end and gang-infested, poverty-ridden land on the other.
Back then I was avoiding the 9-5 life. You may say I was running from something, such as routine and following the status quo, but I was also looking to find my worth by escaping my everyday life.
I now see that my self-worth was pretty close to zero, and the concept of self-love hadn’t had a chance to make its way on my radar.
Despite the fact that I had the financial savings, my fear and inner lack of deservingness led me to a cockroach-infested wooden four by four. I can’t call it a cabin since there was neither a kitchen nor a bathroom, but luckily there was an outhouse outside.
Essentially, I had manifested my own jail cell, which represented what I thought I deserved.
I had seen other gorgeous living spaces that, in reality, were cheap, but when I saw them I thought, “I don’t deserve to be in a place like this.”
So I settled for a cockroach-infested box that scared the heck out of me. Ultimately, it was too much to bear, and I went off to the next country, once again in a living space that smelled horrendous. I stuck it out as long as I could until I was so low that I had no choice but to leave once again.
At the time I wasn’t able to see that what I had chosen was a reflection of my low self-worth. I felt like dirt and lived in it.
For years to come, that fear and lack of deservingness followed me in less than ideal living situations.
As I started to look at self-love, and practice affirmations, yoga, and meditations in nature, it was like a light went on, mostly unconsciously, until the day came when I consciously realized: I deserve better.
That was all it took. The moment I made that connection, I released my fear of my small paycheck and took action to improve my reality. I knew I had to take the first step and then the universe would follow and take care of me.
That belief and faith helped me look for better opportunities, which I finally believed I deserved, and put myself out there to pursue them.
I discovered that I had to do my part, and then I had to surrender and trust that whatever was in the highest good would manifest.
As my inner self-worth grew and I took conscious action to improve my circumstance, I finally got my own apartment and a better job.
The magic in this was that I had quit the old job where I was undervalued even before I heard back from any of the other places I had reached out to.
I took the risk and made the first step to let go of the old job that was wearing me down, and trusted that all my hard work would manifest a new opportunity.
That was exactly what happened.
What amazes me is that our practice of deeper self-love is continually evolving and growing.
It’s not like one day you wake up and everything is perfect. In reality, it’s common to wake up some days questioning your value, feeling down, and finding yourself in less than ideal situations.
This is why awareness is the magic key.
Once you are aware of this, you can change it. Once you can see that you are self-sabotaging yourself, you can choose to deepen your spiritual practices. This will energize you and increase your faith, helping you take action, which always leads to a more fulfilling reality.
Through the years I have continued to let go of work opportunities that no longer helped me grow or that negated my value. It’s scary every time you let go of something that feels safe (even if it is draining) but without fail I have found that when you release something that no longer serves your highest potential, you open yourself up to something better.
And yet the shadow of self-worth still comes up. Sometimes I’ll catch myself looking at something and thinking, “That’s too nice for me.”
But the difference between now and way back in the past when I lived with cockroaches is my awareness.
The moment I recognize my old habit pattern of self-worth emerging, I am able to tame the beast and realize that I am worthy, and it is okay to want and enjoy nice things.
Awareness is the first step in releasing the old habitual patterns of lack so that you can start living and breathing the feelings of a full life.
This doesn’t mean “full” of physical things, since true abundance comes from within. It’s also having proper living conditions that feel safe and peaceful, having healthy food to eat, and the ability to enjoy some of life’s pleasures.
So if you find yourself in a less than healthy and ideal situation, take a moment and ask yourself:
- Does this relate at all to your feelings of self-worth and self-love?
- Is there any way that you are responsible for creating the reality that you are living?
Take some time reflecting on these two questions, and then sit in silence for about five minutes as you follow the rhythm of your breath and focus your attention on your heart center.
Be aware of what arises. Notice without judgment, and then for the next five minutes repeat “I am worthy” or “I love myself.”
This is like creating your own mantra that you breathe in and out. It is effective at changing your self-talk so that you feed your mind positive thoughts about yourself instead of negative ones.
What you feed your mind grows and becomes your reality.
Then ask yourself:
How do you want to be living? And, how can you inject your own self-love into this equation?
Once you know your worth, once you truly care about yourself on a deep soulful level, you will want to take care of yourself and give yourself the best. Through self-love and self-worth you will find the courage to take action to live a better life.
And if you are having difficulty with this process, please remember it is a process, and rarely does this change happen overnight. But it does happen.
You can create a better life. Start by being aware of how you treat yourself. You can pray, meditate, practice affirmations, and ask your inner guidance for help.
All of these actions will increase your faith and energy, which will lead to increased positive actions to enhance your life. Start being kinder in how you talk to yourself, how much time you give yourself, and how often you treat yourself to something lovely. (This can be as simple as a warm cup of cocoa.)
Love yourself first and the world will love you back.
Photo by Aevar