Overcome Worthlessness with Grief Recovery

It is with a great deal of experience in the area of worthlessness that I write today. i.e., it is something with which I am quite intimate. You see, every day or so throughout childhood, I was called worthless, told I would never amount to anything. I grew up and flew the nest with that belief firmly stamped into my deep sub-consciousness.

This is how I started the blog that I planned to post yesterday. It ended up being 950 words, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to post such a long one, filled with a great deal of personal experience that I thought you’d find boring. I was afraid it would be too much. Confused, I took no action…

Interesting. I wonder how much of my inability to edit it down has to do with the effect that feelings of worthlessness have on me today, which make it difficult to speak about it without getting carried away. In other words, I believe that I still hold some feelings of worthlessness and they come up for me from time to time. Oh, I have made great headway. Example… in days past, I would forget to post, or not get to it, and I’d feel like a failure, worthless. I no longer go there.

Enough about me. At least you understand why I didn’t post yesterday and I hope you returned today for the post on worthlessness.

Before I write about that, I want to acknowledge all the Veterans who are reading this post and say thank you for your service. You have made a sacrifice that will affect you for the rest of your lifetime, and I want you to know that I recognize that, and am especially appreciative of what you did to help our country.

On to our topic… Webster defines worthlessness as being without value, without merit or worth. Worth is defined as that quality of a person that lends importance. I believe that we each have something of importance to bring to the world. I believe that at our core, we are each inherently good people, filled with worth.

Even though I believe this, I struggle some days with feelings of worthlessness, days in which I feel of no importance or value to anyone or anything. On these days, I have to consciously talk myself through it, reminding myself over and over that when my father called me worthless, it was a lie. Also, I consider that he said it, but meant it about himself, not me. I find I can them go to the affirmation of “I am worthy and worthwhile.”

I know the feelings of worthlessness I hold go deep within my being. So it was with interest that I decided to get help through this. An opportunity came along to be coached in a grief recovery program. What I have discovered is as expected… continued feelings of worthlessness, the grief from the feelings of worthlessness. I never even thought to look at what losses I endured as a result of those words. So I have been looking at that.

The losses I’ve identified so far are loss of self-respect, loss of all beliefs that I am a good person, loss of a positive image, loss of ability to receive acknowledgment or  compliments about me and my work. I imagine more will surface. Next, the process involves allowing myself to feel those losses, the grief from losing those things. I then make a choice to let the worthless feelings go.

The next part of the grief process involves choosing one person with whom I wish to get closure, to put to bed my feelings of worthlessness. I, naturally, chose my father and his calling me worthless all those years.

As I explore my feelings, I come to a place of forgiveness for him. I get there by realizing that he was a wounded person when he said that, and I feel compassion for his woundedness. From that place of compassion, I have been able to reach forgiveness for him.

My assignment for the week is to write a letter of closure, putting to bed my feelings of worthlessness, breaking the connection of my father’s words with my current-day reality. I will be working on that today and tomorrow, so can report back on what I discovered through the process.

What about you? What wounds have you endured in life that have led you to develop feelings of worthlessness? Take a look at that/those and see how it/they manifest in your life. Then, identify all the losses you have experienced as a result of those feelings of worthlessness. Allow yourself to look at them, to feel them. Acknowledge the hurt you felt every time you were told you were worthless, or whatever it was that led you to develop worthlessness.

Then tell yourself that is not who you were or are at your core, the center of your being. Step outside of yourself for a minute and picture your outer self smiling to you, the real person. Smile with great knowingness that you are a person of great worth, with value to share with the world. Smile with deep belief and understanding that you are filled with worth and value, value to yourself and to others. When you slip into worthlessness, return to that place of knowingness. Gradually, you will find your feelings of worthlessness are fading away.

Well, I have managed to write another long post today, and I’m going to let it stand. I’ll return, hopefully tomorrow, to let you know how the letter-writing went. Remember your mantra for the day… “I am a person of great value and worth.”