While you can’t keep your heart from getting broken, you can stop breaking your own heart…once you realize the difference between what you can control and what you can’t, and that it’s far, far more fun to lavish all that attention on your own self-worth.

—  Leigh Newman

I found this quote on Oprah’s “Thought for Today” newsletter. And while it really needs no further explanation, it got me thinking about worthiness.

What would our world be like if everyone felt true worthiness? Not entitlement, not narcissism, not selfishness, but worthiness? When I went to the 5-Day Silent Retreat in January, 2010, one of the things that Lola Jones said that I remember most clearly was this (and I’m paraphrasing): “Unworthiness is one of biggest barriers to enlightenment.” I hadn’t really thought of it that way before, but it makes sense.

Unworthiness represents separation from the Divine. It means that we are not worthy of love. And if the Divine is Love and we are drops in the ocean of the Divine, then we are also Love. It’s about understanding that our Beingness and not our Doingness is what makes us worthy.

Where does unworthiness come from? It comes from people pleasing, judging our own actions, believing that we need to earn Love – living our lives where love is given and received conditionally (and I use the lower-case love intentionally here). These patterns often come from childhood – parents doing their best, but loving conditionally. Friends and teachers setting standards that encourage us to “fit-in.” Peer pressure, performance anxiety, loving ourselves and others conditionally – and the cycle continues.

What if the year 2012 is not about some cataclysmic destruction of the Earth – but a change in consciousness where we set aside unworthiness and begin to be that Love that we truly are? That we break that cycle and start a new beginning? What if we really are worthy?

I welcome your thoughts.



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

19 comments on “Worthiness

  1. Such a great quote! I think it takes some people a while to grasp that they are worthy you know?


  2. I never heard that quote before. It literally made me cry. I guess that means I needed to hear it. Thanks, Cathy!!


  3. russtowne says:

    Of so many of your posts that I have enjoyed, this is one of my favorites. Thank you, Cathy, for yet another thought-provoking and enlightening post.



  4. If I am worthy, I don’t need to hide the bad bits any more. Intellectually I know I am worthy, emotionally it is more difficult. For me 2012 is just for me- I know others are moving and developing, great, and- my change is my own, And a lot of that is becoming Worthy, Acceptable, Normal-enough.


  5. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Cudos, Clare, for making 2012 your year! And I agree, being worthy means not having to hide the “bad” bits. Yes, the intellectual sometimes climbs on board before the emotional/heart, but they eventually balance themselves out if we’re persistent with our thoughts and intentions. Thank you. – Cathy


  6. FDB says:

    I really enjoy your blog! Thank you for sharing! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    We are “worthy” simply because we exist! All else, is a regurgitation of old ideals (I-deals!) that we chose to adopt and now are telling ourselves in our own voice (stop it! :)). It also seems that our being open to receive, is attached to others definitions (that we mirror) of “worthiness”… Again, we were brought here through love and therefore we are love! BE the love and let everything else go, honor the Creator by honoring the love that you already are!


  7. Gina's Professions for PEACE says:

    This is incredible Cathy! Thank you so much for sharing your light and incredible wisdom with us all. This article really touches my heart, and especially your paraphrased quote of “Unworthiness is one of biggest barriers to enlightenment.” That is profound, and we must all takes the steps to truly realize how divinely loveable we are, and from that place our love can pour out to others and the world. I am so happy to be back at my computer, reading your posts, and feeling tremendously inspired! Thank you my friend, again, for sharing with us. Love, Gina


    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Hi Gina! Thanks so much for your kind words. It’s so nice to hear from you! Hadn’t seen any posts from you in a few days. Taking some time off? I love your beautiful new Gravatar, BTW. Hugs, Cathy


      • Gina's Professions for PEACE says:

        Thank you for noticing my new Gravatar 🙂 Hubby took that photo years ago at a cathedral in London. I do feel better than when the previous stairs image was representing my on-going climbing up, and down. Now I feel more like a blossoming rose and decided a new image was in order. I am back at the computer and have offered a link to your site through a recent post, so I hope that will be alright? Do visit and let me know if it’s not ok 😉 I’m sure it’s fine. 🙂


      • Cathy Ulrich says:

        Oh, I love the blossoming rose metaphor, and yes it is so like you now – ease and unfolding, your natural state! And thank for the link and mention on your latest post. I am honored and humbled. You can link, reblog, mention, email anytime, dear Gina! It makes my day! – Cathy


  8. healthyandholistic says:

    Another great post Cathy, thank you for sharing your light with us!


  9. Dear Cathy–Thank you for this excellent post. It’s a topic I think about often. It feels like many are afraid if they shine their light they will be perceived as full of themselves. It does feel like a fine line to me sometimes-but if one is truly full of humility it does not have to be that way. Much love to you as always my friend!-Julie


    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Yes, Julie, I think you’re right. And worthiness is such a huge part of knowing who we truly are. Much love to you, and thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Love, Cathy


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