Inspired by a post written by former Muse and all-around wonder woman Maria Borghoff on her blog, we wanted to take a moment to talk about this idea of being enough, of being worthy, of accepting and appreciating yourself, and what that means for the fears, doubts and insecurities that you may harbor.
Maria Borghoff – former Muse and current yogi and artist – is now directing her
considerable talents toward helping others pursue “embodied living.” That is, she’s helping her peers, friends and followers learn how to live intentionally and with purpose, to be awake to all aspects of life – not just the good parts.
In a recent blog post, she also dove into this idea of worthiness. Before we get into our perspectives on this issue, we want to share Maria’s beautiful words:
“Lately, I have re-discovered my enthrallment with the 2-part, dualistic relationship of Giving & Receiving. It sounds so simple…
But sometimes, when I find myself with a desire, on either end of the spectrum — wanting to give something, or longing to receive something — it can be easy to lose sight of what these things actually mean.
You can probably relate to the experience of having a desire to RECEIVE & finding yourself placed in the perfect circumstances with other people who are wanting to GIVE. Likewise, maybe you also have yearned to be of service to others & in some way, you are then faced with the opportunity to give.
Sometimes these moments feel like grace, destiny, PERFECTION, serendipitous, or even “meant to be.”
Other times, (and I know I am not alone in this!) I am faced with these “perfect circumstances” and… I hold back. I hesitate. I look around in confusion or I doubt myself. I make excuses for why it’s NOT perfect or its NOT right.
I question whether or not I have enough to give.
I question whether or not I deserve to receive.
Have you been here before?
It’s not a fun place to be. And it only holds us back from living & being the person we actually desire to be!
GIVING… does not mean only giving what is perfect. There is no one judging your gift, no one to appease with your service.
Giving means that you are opening your heart & your hands for the benefit of others. And that act in itself is perfect.
RECEIVING… does not mean you have to do something to earn a gift. There is no one who can say that you are unworthy, no one who can measure your value.
Receiving means that you are present to witness the gifts of others – to draw them in, and to make them also a part of you. And that ability, is what makes you worthy.
When I have a desire to give or to receive, and when I forget what these actions actually mean… I ask myself these questions:
- What does it feel like to receive? What does it feel like to give?
- What does it look like to receive? What does it look like to give?
- What is happening inside my body & outside my body?
- What is happening in the space of my mind?
These questions are not easy to ask. And sometimes, I don’t even want to hear the answer.
But Embodied Living isn’t about only feeling the good things. And it isn’t only about learning to deal with the bad things. When we are EMBODIED, we are embracing it ALL. We are connected with the purest essence of what it means to be alive.
And that is something I truly desire. I don’t want to miss out on any part of life, any chance to give or to receive, any opportunity to connect with people & create more love in the world due to feelings of unworthiness or because I feel I don’t have “enough.”
I must CHOOSE to believe that I am worthy. I am beautiful. I am enough.
How about you?”
This message is so beautiful, and really, so universal. While we’ve talked about worthiness before, it has often been in the context of discussing Brené Brown and her fantastic message that believing you are worthy of love is fundamental to your ability to love and connect. This time, we want to dig a little deeper.
- Why do we have to assure ourselves of our worth, and when did we begin to doubt it?
- Why does it matter?
- What would our potential be, if we truly loved ourselves and believed ourselves worthy of love in return? Believed ourselves able to give love?
Lately, we’ve been questioning these and related ideas, primarily in how they impact women. International Women’s Day was earlier this month, and with it came a lot of important discussions about this idea of women’s worth and the place they occupy/are allowed to occupy.
Here is a series of tweets from a seriously smart lady, Anne Donahue, that captures what I’m talking about:
This question of worthiness for women seems to coincide with a question about taking up space, emotionally and physically. We are asked, both subtly and directly, to be small, to excuse ourselves for our opinions, and to be conscious of our place.
Here at BYOM, we aren’t sure where we learned it, but it is something that many women struggle with as they mature, personally and professionally.
The truth is that we are allowed. We are worthy. We are enough. We don’t need anyone’s permission to be ourselves, to give and receive freely and openly, to let go of our fears of acceptance and abandonment and success. In fact, when we live more generously and more authentically and with more love in our hearts, we only attract more positivity.
From what I can see, and I admit that my insight is limited as I’m currently working through some of these ideas myself, that question of worth is in some ways bound up in the ideal of perfection. Because this pressure to be perfect is particularly acute for women, perhaps this willingness to be truly vulnerable, to be seen by ourselves and others, is more difficult. It seems that this issue is not as much about acknowledging our own faults as it may be about risking the response from others.
It may also be about failure. But as we’ve learned, any dream, any love, any idea, any passion worth having is worth failing for. On this topic, you should also check out what the inimitable Seth Godin had to say.
At the core of worth is acceptance – something our lovely Sugar aka Cheryl Strayed called in her monumental column Tiny Beautiful Things “a small, quiet room.”
I hope that if you’re thinking about these ideas, you’ll share your responses with us. Perhaps in the comments, but maybe in a little note. It doesn’t need to be perfect – as Maria says, the act of giving and sharing is, in itself, more than enough.
+ We’d love to hear from you! Please do get in touch.