1. Not deserving effort, attention or respect.
2. (of a person’s action or behaviour) Not acceptable, esp. by society.


wor-thy /’wərT͟Hē/

adj -thier, –thiest
1. (postpositive; often followed by of or an infinitive) having sufficient merit or value (for something or someone specified); deserving effort, attention and/or respect
2. having worth, value, or merit
n pl
Often facetious a person of distinguished character, merit, or importance
(Interesting that worthy has a negative and positive connotation. It is especially interesting that it is only after the personification of the adjective that it is used in a negative light. My focus is on the former.)

Worthy is such a small word with an infinite number of connotations, applications and real life effects. Think about how many things are described using, or deriving from, the word worthy.


uwrthyYour self-worth determines how you treat yourself and how much attention, effort and respect you reserve for you.

Whenever we spend  money we ponder whether the item was truly worth the price.

When we achieve something momentous that feels less spectacular than we surmised we wonder if all the effort and sacrifice that went into achieving the goal was worth the effort in the end.

We wonder if people are worth our time and if the experience was worth the cost.

We question whether we are worthy of the position we hold, or the friends we have, or our significant other, or of where we find ourselves in life.

I could go on but I think I have made my point.


So much of how we define ourselves is wrapped up in how worthy we feel we are as human beings or what we feel we deserve because of our actions and choices. But how can one person be worth more than another? How can one life mean less than another? Why would one person deserve happiness and another pain?

I can’t believe that I am not worth the effort that it takes to make me happy. I just can’t believe that we live in a world where our worth is determined by anything external to ourselves. I am filled with despair when I think that I am just a cog in a machine with no worth independent of the mass at large. But I digress. I really wanted to talk about the much more personal applications of worthiness rather than the societal ramifications of the industrial revolution! (Not in the least because I know very little about the latter!) I have been trying to think about who and what it is important to be worthy to and of… I am not, nor will I ever be, worthy of certain things, like a Nobel prize for instance, and that is okay. But that doesn’t mean I am worthless or unworthy. To take it a step further, not only am I not worthless, I also want to be worthy of love and respect from those closest to me. I want to be worth something to them.

Which brings me to how we measure worth. Is someone more worthy because they have a Nobel Prize and no interpersonal relationships or is the person who has done nothing noteworthy for society as a whole but is an amazing person who has many friends worth more? Is the guy who works three jobs to feed his family of five on minimum wage more worthy than the guy who works one job that causes harm to others or the environment to support their lifestyle alone? Suffice to say I find it puzzling how modern society deems individuals as worthy based on rather superficial criteria, so I can’t comment on it with confidence. Self-worth, however, is something I have intimate experience with and have been thinking about for quite a while.


I’ve known for a long time that my self-worth is woefully low. I just don’t know how to foster a more positive view of myself. I don’t know what I deserve and I don’t know how worthy I am.  I am able to see how much others add goodness to my life, and I can see their worth external to anything they have to offer, but I can’t see my own. I can even distinguish when I am beating myself up versus when I am spouting hard truths but those hard truths still diminish my worth in my mind.

I think that may be where the crux of this issue is for me. These ‘hard truths’ (like I am not a healthy person, I haven’t put in enough effort in to living to deserve anything out of life, and I have too much physical and emotional baggage to be worthy of pure love.. ) that I one hundred percent believe to be true aren’t necessarily what defines a persons worth. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to continue growing throughout their lifetime. I know this and I also know that I should get wiser and understand more as the years go by, but in my head I should know everything now, I should be able to take better care of myself now and I should be able to be independent right now. I should be able to find the good in bad situations and I should love myself enough to let go of things that are hindering and hurting me even if that means hurting someone else. But these are all lessons I have only begun to learn and will fully realize in my own time.


I think one big thing that has stopped me from committing to moving with C. is that I am not sure if this relationship is helping or hindering us. I feel deep down in my gut that he may be better off without me, I am unsure if that is me projecting how I feel about him, if it is my lack of self-worth speaking or if it is true. But I feel like he needs to see what living on your own is really like.

Realistically, if our relationship is not better and stronger for all the turmoil, I can’t give everything up to move unless I am sure it is what is best for me. I know what would be the easiest, but I am not sure what would be the best for either of us as individuals or both of us as a couple.

I do know that I didn’t want to be responsible for him giving up a better offer than the one he received from the university in the city where we live. He is going to the better school and it is the one that he wanted to attend without the hindrance of me and my surgeon. He needs to make decisions that make him happy instead of constantly trying to appease me, it just makes us both unhappy. He also needs to take responsibility for himself, his decisions and his lack of effort in the financial department. I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s hurt. I want to give him every chance to show me that he hasn’t just disregarded my feelings and the stress he has caused for the last two years.

Dr. O, my psych, said today (er, last Tuesday. <Eek! Two Tuesdays ago!> Sometimes it takes me an awfully long time to bring a post to fruition!) that it is completely normal to not want to hurt someone you love, but it may hurt them more in the long run to not hurt them now. He used the example of getting a cavity filled by a dentist – A dentist hurts you by sticking a needle in your gums to freeze the area so they don’t cause more pain when they fill the tooth. – Maybe letting go of a relationship can be somewhat the same?

Maybe the first step to a more healthy self-worth is to admit that the negative thoughts and feelings I have towards myself, my relationship with C. and my lack of successful recovery are valid and okay to feel. Most people would need to work through anger and frustration if they went through what I have in the last two and a half years. Why would I be any different?

I have been wondering if it is crazy to think of yourself in the third person. What I mean is, I have discovered that I am much nicer in my judgements and observations of others and more tolerant of perceived weaknesses than I am with myself. So if I spend ten minutes thinking of myself in the third person to try and promote compassion for myself, is it crazy?

June 25, 2012

I have been writing this post for well over a week and I think it is time to put it to rest. I hate that I haven’t ‘wrapped things up’ in this post but I think it would be better to move on to a new fresh one, with fresh ideas to follow and a clean page. The whole post has gotten somewhat convoluted. Maybe I will come back and update this if I ever figure out a proper way to end it.

But until then, this is where this one ends. I don’t know if I ever thought I could resolve all the turbulent thoughts and emotions surrounding my self-worth and worthiness enough to explain some of it to others, but this was my intent. I don’t know if I realized that ideation, but what the hell? I write for me, right?

I had somewhat of an epiphany while writing this. I realized that my decisions and choices don’t effect as much as previously believed. I feel like I had a huge weight on my shoulders, not to mention the constant anxiety attacks, when I was trying to decide whether to move with C. at the end of the summer or not (see here if you have no idea what I am talking about) but I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter in the larger picture.

I don’t feel like we’ve finished yet, and I can’t leave him until I am sure. And it is not the end of the world if I move a couple of hours away and it doesn’t end up roses. I have lived on my own, supporting myself, for ten years without returning to my parents nest, gosh, I never thought I would say this, maybe the world wouldn’t end (and I wouldn’t be branded a failure forever) if I had to go home for a bit. I realized that this was what I needed, a back up plan. I need a safety net, and I think my Dad put it best when he said “We will support whichever decision you make, you know how we feel and even if you do go we will always come down and get you and your stuff once. We’ll be there if you need us but you need to make this decision for yourself.”

Sometimes Dad knows just what to say.

My next post will be more about moving. I have had a million panic attacks and think I should probably work through some of it.


xoxo – S.



18 thoughts on “Unworthy

  1. Carey Mann's - The Bridge says:

    Hi there, I love this post and your openness! It’s breathtaking. I can’t wait to comment on this post in full, although it will probably take as long for me to write my comment, as it took you to write the post ha ha, as I am on my iPhone right now and I need the speediness of my touch-typing-nimble-fingers. Love Carey x

    • S. says:

      Hi Carey,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. And for your really nice words. It made my morning to hear that someone thought something I had written could be breathtaking. Really, I don’t think I have ever been so highly praised in regards to my writing.
      I look forward to hearing what else you have to say on the subject. I am so happy you found this blog, I sincerely enjoy your thoughts and point of view and look forward to reading more of your wisdom. (Speaking of which I am going to go subscribe now since I realized I hadn’t done that yet!)
      Tons of love,
      xxox -S.

      • Carey Mann's - The Bridge says:

        sorry it’s taken ages to reply! you are most welcome. love reading your blog xx

  2. Caroline says:

    Thinking or viewing yourself in the 3rd person is a very sensible thing to do. It gives you the chance to ‘stand back’ from yourself and see yourself from a distance.

    What would you be saying to your best friend if she was in this dilemma. What would you be asking her to think about? What would you be asking her about how she feels? You can be your own best friend by doing this. Give her a name and ask her how she feels and where she feels it in her body when she thinks about the different possibilities.

    And accept the instant reaction – not the edited one!

    Are you on Skype – if so I’d be happy to give you a Skype session if you’d like (no charge!!)

    • S. says:

      Hi Darling Caroline,

      As always you have made me feel comfortable with parts of myself that were slightly chafing before. Thank you for your wonderful advice on being your own best friend. I will spend some time thinking about myself as not myself.
      I do have skype and would be delighted to chat, if only to put a face on the wonderful woman I have met!! I will email you my details!
      Thank you so much for coming by to read still. It means a lot to me.
      Best and tons of love,
      xoxox – S.

  3. Jen says:

    I will admit to feeling totally unworthy. I try to kid myself that I am worthy but I always come back to feeling unworthy. I know if it contributing to my being single. I write about feeling unworthy a lot and deep down inside, I wonder if I will ever truly feel worthy.

    • S. says:

      Hi Jen,
      First, thank you so much for commenting. I have been following you over at http://www.losingtheshadow.com but have been remiss in commenting much because I have not figured out how to use my wordpress info at blogger. Do you know how??
      Thank you for admitting that you too struggle with your self worth. I think that it is somewhat an illness of out time. We have a weird view on the worthiness of people that more often than not is based on things that don’t really matter, like money and physical appearance.
      You hit the nail in the head for me when you said that you don’t know if you will every fell truly worthy. I echo these feelings, and even when I think I have taken a couple of steps forward, I end up sliding back into unworthiness.
      However, I can tell you that you are worthy. You write beautifully and honestly and I think that is worth it’s weight in gold. (Here is the whole I can see worth in other, but turn a black eye to myself.)
      Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so so much.
      Best, and love,
      xoxo – S.

  4. Love the post! One thing I have always hated about the English language is how to say how much money a person has you say “So and so is worth $X”. I think that’s horrible. Or at least my Spanish mind find it horrible to use the that word to say how much money a person has.

    Anyway, you are worth a lot!

  5. lifeandothermisadventures says:

    Hey lady,

    Have you ever read Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart? I found it to be really, really helpful. Realizing that everyone has really negative thoughts and feels unworthy, helped me put things into perspective.

    If there are some things your partner isn’t responsible about, like money, it’s not a bad idea to separate for a while so he can get his stuff together. You need to take care of yourself, too, especially with everything you’ve gone through. But please don’t think that your “baggage” should keep you from being loved – every single one of us has baggage.

    “Maybe the first step to a more healthy self-worth is to admit that the negative thoughts and feelings I have towards myself, my relationship with C. and my lack of successful recovery are valid and okay to feel. Most people would need to work through anger and frustration if they went through what I have in the last two and a half years. Why would I be any different?” – I couldn’t agree more. You deserve some TLC for all you’ve gone through!

    • S. says:

      Hi Daring,
      Thank you so much for your well thought out and rather thought provoking comment. I have no read ‘When Things Fall Apart’ but will search out a copy and read it, thanks for the suggestion!
      I completely agree that C. needs space to grow up and find out what stress is actually like. While I have made the decision to move, I also told him that we have an expiry date, meaning if things aren’t what they should be or what I deserve in one year, I will be leaving.
      He didn’t take it too well to begin with, but I think he has accustomed himself to the whole thing. I just can’t waste more time if there is no future for us.
      Once again, thank you for your wonderful comment!
      I hope all is well, and I am loving that you have a new beau who treats you beautifully! 😀
      cxoxo – S.

    • S. says:

      Hey Ms. Life,
      I know, I know! It has taken me too long to reply!
      I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have read “When Things Fall Apart” but it has been a good many years. It was on the reading list for my first year English seminar. At the time I read it I was critically reading, rather than reading for enjoyment. I will pick it up soon!
      I really appreciate all your advice and especially that you took the time to write out such a thoughtful comment.
      I hope to hear from you soon, and now that I am laid up recovering for at least six weeks again I have tons of time to catch up and comment on all the wonderful blogs I have been neglecting, like yours!
      – S.

  6. singingbones says:

    Thank you for your honest and heartfelt post, and esp your thoughts about what it means to be ‘worthy.’ I feel this is a topic which many women, in particular, grapple with in their lives, myself being one. I want to remind you that the ‘100%’ true beliefs you wrote about yourself are simply that: Beliefs, not facts, and a belief can be changed, and ought to be when it no longer is in harmony with who you are.
    I also think that you are very blessed by having such a kind-hearted and supportive father (and mom, I guess?) whom you know you can count on to help you when or if you want it. That is a true blessing in anyone’s life! SB

    • S. says:

      Thank you for your wonderfully thoughtful and supportive comment.
      You are right, I do need to realize that my beliefs can be changed. There are no universal truths. I have been trying to harmonize myself and my beliefs with not much luck! I am stuck on who I am and what I want.
      I know I am blessed when it comes to dad. (and mom too, although she struggles with her own issues and is unable to offer much emotional support.)
      My dad told me when I started high school that if any guy ever hurt me he would buy a 24 for every guy on the Sr. Boys football team to kick the guys ass. He wouldn’t do it himself, as he didn’t think it would be fair to pit his paternal rage against the one who hurt me.
      Again, thanks for reading!
      – S.

  7. backonmyown says:

    You are worthy. You are enough.

  8. This is one hell of a post first of all and if there was ever a time its contents applied to me it’s now. I’m suffering from a severe case of the ‘not worth its.’ Money issues, age, a decline in readers on my blog have all made me want to just give up I realize that’s not an option but what you wrote rang so true. Wonderful writing.

    • S. says:

      Hi Susannah,
      Thank you so much! Coming from you, wonderful writing is high praise indeed!
      I think most of us un-delusionals have issues with self worth at one point or another. You are an amazing woman, one who I admire greatly and I read along everyday.
      I have wondered if stats are actually accurate, I always read posts from my email so I do’t think I am counted in the stats. Besides, a handful of loyal and honest readers are worth their weight in flippant, critizing, negative readers.
      Tons of love,
      xoxo – S.

      • Every day? You poor thing. I do try my best to entertain and I’m coming up on a year’s worth of posts so I may change my rhythms a bit. Post less often.

        I love your writing as well. That’s a wonderful essay. Can you print it out – cut and paste it into your email so you have a copy. Lots of info in there. It was a written introspective if I may butcher the English language once again and a very valorous one at that. Be proud of your prose. It’s not easy to be so candid and I can tell something else, the best writers are.

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