Unworthiness. Feeling unworthy of love, of acceptance, of kindness. These are the plagues of so many people who struggle with out-of-control eating. The sense of being unworthy is a super common feeling amongst people who are in the throes of an inner food battle. This feeling of unworthiness can easily turn into a vicious cycle. Because we don’t feel worthy of others love, we would end up bingeing. Because we binged, we would feel unworthy. And on it goes.
It was so easy to feel unworthy when I was sitting in a pile of binge-trash. How could I be worth anything? I couldn’t even take care of myself. I couldn’t even control myself. I was a total failure. It was at these moment that I would purge. The whole cycle felt like punishment for being unworthy.
Now, I hear those sentences of self-hate, and I wince because I know how untrue and unkind they are. When, I notice these kinds of thoughts run through my head these days, I surround them in loving kindness. I can just imagine readers saying “Well, isn’t that nice for you, but it doesn’t work like that for me. It’s not that easy.” You are right, it isn’t that easy when you first start.
Usually, we keep “love” in our minds as this concept up in the clouds surrounded by cupids. That is why I like to remember that love is actually also a verb. It is something we can actively do.
What is it to love myself? It is to take actions that are kind and caring, and that show adoration for myself.
For me, loving myself looks like taking a walk, getting a pedicure, sitting in my garden, making a bouquet, or eating a brownie at my local coffee shop. It looks like any number of things, but certainly it is about choosing an action that shows care for myself.
When I really take care of myself, through loving action, I am able to actually create worth for myself. By showing myself care, I am showing that I value myself. Inherent in valuing myself is a sense of self worth.
So, how do we get started with treating love as a verb? Start by identifying a list of 10 actions that show love to your self. Once you have created the list, go back through and identify what is the micro-action that would get the ball rolling.
For example, if sitting in my garden is the action, then the micro-action is walking to my back door and unlocking it. Once I get far enough to unlock the door, I will most likely step outside. Once I do that, the loving action will support me to cultivate loving kindness within my thoughts.
Identifying the list, and then identifying the micro-action creates the framework so that the next time you dive into the well of unworthiness, you can have something to grasp onto and pull yourself out.