Good morning. It is early and the sun has not yet begun to rise. I am in a pensive mood today, wondering if I need to let go of my dream to be a speaker and a coach, and focus my energy and attention elsewhere, on another opportunity that has arisen. I saw the search term of “what causes worthlessness” and decided to write about that today.
Most of my life has been spent with the feeling of worthlessness. In my case, it began when I was told most every day that I was worthless. I was told that because I did not excel at intellectual pursuits like my two sisters. Rather, I was of an artistic nature and excelled at writing and other creative endeavors. Those things were not valued by my father, however, who was an intellectual type himself.
The effect that being called worthless had on my later life was devastating. It always was underlying any attempt to better myself, any attempt to heal and to grow. It hit me the most and became known to me when I was drunk. There were many times when all I could do was sob – kean actually, if that’s the right word for it. It was sobbing and wailing at the same time. It was miserable and always left me spent emotionally.
Although when I stopped drinking and got sober the sobbing and wailing stopped, the feelings of worthlessness I carried were always underlying everything I did. They always surfaced and I felt defeated. Even when I worked in a high-level job for State government and initiated a program that got very ill and medically-fragile children out of the hospital ICU and into the home with hourly nursing care, I felt that feeling of worthlessness. Nothing I did was ever good enough.
Today, I do not feel that worthlessness. In fact, I feel like a worthy and worthwhile person. How did that happen? Well, the first thing that happened was I got sober. That allowed me to really feel my worthless feelings and after several years in sobriety, an incident occurred that led to my healing.
I was at a meeting and heard a man share about the emotional turmoil he was experiencing. What he said struck a chord with me, and I went to talk to him after the meeting. I listened as he further described his feelings, and then I relayed my experience with early abuse, and how I had begun to heal from it. I relayed books I had read which were helpful. I offered my therapist’s name and number. I offered understanding and kindness.
He was so grateful for my input that he almost cried. As I walked to my car, I realized I had been of use to him. Relaying my experiences and how I had begun to heal had helped him. In a flash, it hit me that talking about these things to another person was of use, of service. Suddenly, my life and all my experiences had a purpose, and my feelings of worthlessness began to heal in that instant, as I began to see myself as a worthwhile person.
It took a few more years to fully overcome my feelings of worthlessness, and I worked diligently to identify them when they surfaced. I engaged in positive self-talk when they came up, reminding myself I was a person of worth simply because I am on this planet. Today, I occasionally feel worthless, but it is a rare occasion, and I can work my way out if it.
It has been my experience that feelings of worthlessness can begin to resolve by being of service to another, to others. Further healing can occur when positive self-talk is used to combat those feelings when they arise. The reward is feeling whole, feeling happy.
Do you deal with feelings of worthlessness? If you do, I send my deepest compassion, for I know how debilitating it can be. I invite you to try being of service to another, and from that, gain appreciation for who you are as a person at your core, for at your core, you are a worthy and worthwhile person.