You are worthy because you exist.
You are worthy because you are.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the individualistic ideals of the Western world. On our meritocracy, which says that we can have anything we want, as long as we work hard enough for it, as long as we prove we deserve it.
When we are raised in a particular framework, we view the world through that framework – usually completely unconsciously.
Because so much of my work is in the realm of sex and relationships, I’ve been thinking about this in terms of my relationship.
I’ve spent (almost) the past year in the most magical relationship of my life. Where I’m met on every level, challenged, deeply seen and fully supported, and feel constantly amazed that this exists, and that I get to have it.
But what I wonder sometimes is: Did this happen because I deserve it? Because I’ve done enough work to have it?
That would be the logical answer, that I’ve done enough work and found someone who has done just as much work as me, and now we get to be happy together.
But that doesn’t feel completely true in my body.
Because on some level, all the work I’ve done has felt so much more like an unlearning, rather than a learning.
I don’t feel like I’ve become an entirely new person; instead I feel like I’ve uncovered enough conditioned layers of myself that I finally feel like my own truest essence, the essence that I’ve always had inside of me.
So is it true that I was less worthy of this fulfilling of a relationship, when I didn’t have it?
No. What feels more true is that I was less ready.
I wasn’t ready because I hadn’t uncovered the layers of conditioning that told me different parts of me didn’t deserve to be seen and loved fully. Conditioning that told me that it wasn’t possible to have every single thing I want. Conditioning that told me criticism was love, and real love wasn’t something I wanted.
25-year-old me would have pushed away a relationship like the one I have with Jordan. Without knowing I was doing it.
I know that because of how deeply terrifying our relationship felt when it began (for both of us!). Because of how strongly I wanted to push it away, because that much love was way scarier than anything I’d ever felt.
25-year-old me would have found a way to convince myself that he was too nice to me, that I was meant to be alone, and that I didn’t want someone that similar to me anyway.
I was not ready to see that I was already worthy of so much love just because I exist as myself.
I attracted my relationship not because I finally became worthy of having it… but because I finally realized I was actually already worthy of having it.
This distinction is important, because in a meritocracy we learn that we have to work for the things we deserve. We learn that we have to be good enough to deserve love, safety, and belonging. We learn that we have to be special enough to have great friends, get paid, and set boundaries for ourselves. We learn that we have to do things in order to feel important.
None of this is actually true.
“Deserving” never happens. Plenty of people have things they don’t “deserve.” Plenty of people that are incredibly “deserving” live without ever seeing results of it.
Believing in the concept of “deserving,” though, does result in us believing that if we don’t have what we want it’s because we’re not good enough to have it yet. Or that we’re doing something wrong if we don’t have it yet.
The truth is that you are already completely worthy of being loved in ways beyond what you could ever imagine is possible… just because you exist as yourself.
The truth is that you are already completely worthy of getting paid lots of money for what you do… just because you exist as yourself.
The truth is that you are already completely worthy of a loving community, of feeling safe in your body, and having anything you want… just because you exist as yourself.
It might feel right now like you have to do a bunch of work to be able to have these things.
And doing the work helps… but that’s not because the work makes you more worthy of it.
It’s because the work helps show you that you already deserved it in the first place.