You are beautiful and good and worthy. By virtue of being a human being on this planet, you are worthy of love, despite any and all past experiences or mistakes.
Do you believe only some parts of yourself are worthy of love? Do you believe only some parts of yourself can be allowed to show?
I know I did. I had a secret so dark even I couldn't bear to face it. I lived my life grounded in the secret shame of unspoken sexual trauma. I only let my polished parts show: the likeable, sweet Sara who would always put some extra sparkle into finishing projects, who would always support my friends, who would always paint on a smile.
I knew the sweetness would earn me love. But I believed my family and friends would not love my shadow side, my darkness, or my pain. I could not let my whole self show until I learned to love myself.
Transformation began when I stepped into the cozy office of a white-haired trauma therapist named Maggie. It was just over ten years ago. As I began to face the shame I had shunned, I began the journey of feeling worthy. I let in the possibility that I deserved love and healing.
I discovered that being good and worthy is not about being perfect. We all make mistakes, and facing the darkness and the light means acknowledging our mistakes and rectifying our behavior. I have hurt others. I own that. I apologize. I forgive myself, and move into the space of feeling worthy of love even as someone who has caused pain.
Through my journey of facing my pain, I learned how my struggles could transform into my greatest strength. I learned how self-love can propel me into a life of courage, possibility, and joy.
Every day I renew my vows of love to myself. I continuously accept the dark and the light. I know that I am worthy.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash