On February 22, 2017 - my world was forever changed by the birth of our daughter, Audriana. No university degree, graduate program or certification course has taught me as much as this little girl. While I already have a running list of lessons to be learned, I wanted to share this one, as it so deeply resonated with me.
As a therapist, I would estimate that 80% of my work is focused on working through the shame we have accumulated over the years. And let me tell you, as both a participant and facilitator of this process, learning to accept oneself as inherently worthy can be gruelling work. However, it’s important work, as many of our less than desirable behaviours are symptomatic of our shame, fear and insecurity.
As such, shame has always been a big topic of conversation in my world. And now - enter Audriana. Thanks to my daughter, every day when I get home, I get to witness what life is like without shame. Given, she’s 4-months old. But I don’t care - I want to emphasize this. The girl has no shame, and I love it. She will pee on her uncle, spit up on her Dad, use her mother’s chin and lips as her teething soother, and baby girl does not doubt herself for a second. She does not fear her tears, she does not minimize her laugh. She owns who she is; she owns her present reality without hesitation. Good or bad; she accepts herself just as she is. After all, she is a baby and still in touch with a sacred truth so many of us have lost along our way, she is inherently worthy.
All of this lead me to wonder - where, when and why did I lose my sense of self-worth? Like most, the shame that tainted me was not of my choosing. It was due to people and circumstances outside my realm of control. However, it was my choice to believe the shame was true and adopt a position of unworthiness. As a result, I spent a good chunk of my life trying to earn back my worthiness - by trying very hard to be liked, smart, thin, successful, beautiful - and most notably, trying to make it look effortless.
When I look at Audrey - I observe curiosity - not judgement. I immediately realize how differently I treat myself, and am so thankful for the teachings of this little girl. I am also encouraged to protect my sense of worth, as fiercely as I hope to protect hers. Therefore, I share with everyone the same gentle reminder I’ve been blessed with - we are all inherently worthy and need to treat ourselves and others as such. You, dear reader, are worthy - don’t let anyone tell you otherwise