I have an amazing friend named Taylor Horsfall. She is the girl who makes everybody she comes across feel valuable and important. Her down to earth and humble demeanor makes it hard to guess that she is actually an elite volleyball player killing it on her full ride at a Division 1 University. She is just as good of a volleyball player as she is a friend.
I was lucky to have Taylor in a majority of my classes in high school. Instead of paying attention in class, we would laugh about the goofiest things and then the next second dive into a deep heart to heart. One day during our junior year, I noticed a prayer taped to the back of her phone case. The prayer was about worthiness. Taylor, as incredibly talented and good-hearted as she is, was also very tough on herself. I think we all are. She told me this prayer helps her to remember no matter how she played in a game or how many mistakes she made in life, God still loves her unconditionally so she should love herself in the same way. Taylor gave me the prayer from her phone case that day. Little did she know, four years later I am reading from that little piece of paper every single day, finally receiving the grace and self-acceptance I should have been giving myself along time ago.
I grew up with a distorted view of what worthiness meant. Even with two extremely loving and supportive parents, I always had an internal voice telling me love and happiness is to be rightfully earned, not freely given. This is just the way I was wired, and I knew no different way of perceiving worthiness. I believe playing sports since I was a kid constantly confirmed my “merit system” view of self-acceptance. If I played well, I was important. That mentality is dangerous because as your standards for your performance rise, the amount of worthiness you feel as a player/person goes down. I could have played the best game of my life, but I would obsess over the couple of mistakes I made and allow them to outweigh all the good I did. I realized I was like this in my everyday life as well. One screw up and my perception of myself was shot to hell. I forgot every one of us has a soul within that is endlessly deserving of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and joy. Why?
We are human beings with beating hearts. Those are literally the only requirements necessary for deserving to live your best life.
Looking back, I can identify many instances in which I was offered love but rejected it. Rejecting love doesn’t always have to mean closing yourself off from someone or negating a compliment. For me it was an unsettling sense of guilt that brewed in my stomach when given affection, gifts, opportunities, or praise instead of feeling gratitude. I thought that in order for me to be deserving of these offerings, I must give something back in return. One can only give so much so I began to feel like I was barely able to keep up with all of the love I owed others. Reading this prayer Taylor gave me completely deconstructed my whole view on worthiness.
I didn’t realize until this summer that our intrinsic sense of worthiness is the indicator of how much we get to enjoy our lives.
Worthiness is the epicenter of all things good and pure.
Without belief we are deserving of true joy and happiness, we will never allow ourselves to have it. I am still having difficulty wrapping my head around this new concept, but it makes it easier for me to understand when I visualize a ball of white light. The ball represents balance. The fears, mistakes, and insecurities that enter the ball are immediately met and replaced with
- reassurance, acceptance, and forgiveness.
This is worthiness. It is not something that grows as you achieve great things or look good in the eyes of others. It is an everlasting, infinite entity that exists within you every single second of your life. No matter how badly you screw up or how negatively others or you view yourself, your worthiness for love, happiness and peace is always preserved and can’t be chipped away.
For the longest time I was basing my worthiness on external factors like people’s approval and acceptance of me. It is exhausting to maintain a functional level of self-worth when it is purely related to what others think and feel because those things are ever changing and constantly contradict each other. Nothing good comes from trying to stay loyal to everyone but yourself. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way. My intuition started to go against what other people in my life wanted/expected from me, so I was in extreme pain from deciding whether I should continue making decisions that were right for me, but have to deal with the hurt and criticism of others, or give into what they wanted even though it left me so empty.
Needless to say, following your gut on what is most healthy and fulfilling to you is usually the more frightening and excruciating decision in the moment, but it leads to extraordinary freedom and peace down the road. Don’t let others’ opinions dictate your happiness. I learned this lesson pretty late in the game and honestly I’m still having to practice this every single day, but better late than never.
Remembering your permanent, indestructible, and life long supply of worthiness allows you the freedom to take risks and strive for a life that excites you because the fear of disappointing yourself or others isn’t as powerful as the knowledge you are still valuable whether it works out or not.
Be brave and stand your ground when it comes to your peace and happiness. Others won’t always like it, but at least you will be satisfied with the life you created. That is the only thing that matters. Love everything you are and everything you are not. God loves you unconditionally, so allow yourself to do the same.
Thanks for reading,