How to Love a Woman Who Feels Unworthy
How To Love A Woman Who Feels Unworthy
I think Kelsey won the “Most Delusional Award” last night on The Bachelor. Call me crazy, but I sort of enjoy watching this show strictly for entertainment sake. I mean, yes, I do believe in hardcore love and if you want to get into a serious relationship or married, by all means date your ass off in order to find Mr. or Miss Right. Navigate the masks, fear of rejection, false pretenses, narcissists, and the looney birds. I do believe if you hang in there long enough and work the numbers, you’ll meet someone right for you.
I get the dating game, but the Bachelor just cracks me up over and over. I’m still shaking my head in awe over Kelsey’s statement:
“I’m just…isn’t my story amazing?! It’s tragic but it’s amazing. I love my story.”
Omg! Who says that?
Thought that was an interesting part of last night’s show, I was actually more interested in Chris and Carly’s date date with the sex- I mean love- guru. How very awkward, yet it got me thinking about why the love guru was having them get so out of their comfort zones. I can’t imagine the embarrassment they both felt as they were centimeters away from each other breathing heavily. (I hope mouthwash strips were handy) I mean, the only way I’m going to be breathing heavy that close to someone…well, that’s another story.
What struck me was when Chris and Carly had to share a mask that each of them were wearing. A fear. A concern. Something that they felt that if they shared, they would become very vulnerable and we all know it’s tough as hell sometimes to be vulnerable because many view it as a negative thing.
Carly said she felt like she was unworthy to be loved.
The unlovable woman.
The woman who has battled some sort of traumatic event in the past, has been emotionally neglected, verbally or sexually abused, or just beaten down by a society that puts too much emphasis on outward appearance.
It broke my heart to hear her say she feels unworthy to be loved.
She feels unloved.
It breaks my heart and angers me because this is a feeling MANY women struggle with.
It’s a feeling I struggled with for decades.
Carly mentioned that if a man gave her attention (emotional and physical), she would then feel beautiful.
That sounds amazing, but I dare say to Carly that if she feels unworthy single, she’ll most likely feel unworthy in a relationship. Why?
True worth does not come from the words or actions of another person. “Feeling” worthy and loved has to come from your own self. Your core self. The self that you’ve been piling layer after layer of shit on over the years.
Negative thoughts. Self-loathing. Self-sabotage. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Lovers. Addictions. And on and on.
I know this all too well. I’ve been there. I felt unloved. Unimportant. Unworthy. Like a failure. Sure, I wore a great mask and most everyone thought I had my shit together, but all that mask did was keep me in my own dark, cold prison.
It was there that I slowly died a grueling death. Well, not me, but my ego. My shadow.
When my pain got too great for me to handle, I confess I wanted to drink. I wanted to numb the pain and say fuck it all. Just fuck it. Isn’t that what many of us like to do? I did cope by drinking occasionally, but for some reason I knew that coping with it that way would be the end of my entire being and dammit, I wanted to be genuinely happy. I didn’t want to be a prisoner any longer!
So I opted to begin a journey inside. I vowed to excavate all the shitty layers and revisit old wounds from my childhood. I determined to buck up and do some things different.
And it took a solid year of hardcore work, but I did it with the help of a trained counselor, regular meditation, journaling, the best friends, sister, and neighbors ever, and a twinge of hope.
(Isn’t my story amazing?) 😉
While going from self-loathing to self-affirming IS an amazing story, I share this because I know too many women who are still stuck in that feeling unworthy mode.
They feel unloved by themselves (some hate themselves).
They feel insecure and unloved by others.
They’re in a battle for sure. They don’t know how to open up.
How to be vulnerable.
They’re afraid to face the hurt, disappointment, pain, agony, grief, past, etc.
How do we love a woman who feels unworthy?
I’m sure we all know women who are struggling. Just as Carly opened up last night about this very thing, maybe some of us can become transparent and admit that we too struggle with feeling worthy and valued. At times, we feel utterly alone- even when we have friends and family.
Do you have someone in your life who is guarded? She’s put a five foot wall up around her heart and she’s determined not to let you in. She’s hard. She’s independent and she’ll be damned if she’s asking you for help. She’s scared. She feels like if she lets her mask fall to the floor and her heart become pliable, you’ll rip her to shreds. You’ll laugh at her weakness and run like hell. You might even feel like YOU have to become vulnerable and that doesn’t sound appealing to you at all.
Here. Give these tips a try.
- Give her some space.
Listen, be patient and let her have a little room to breathe. If you go all “you gotta do this…” commando on her, she’ll freak and shut down. Again, be patient. She’s fragile. She’s aware of her vulnerability and she needs you to be delicate with her.
- Show her unconditional love.
Unconditional means “having no conditions”. If she keeps her heart locked, love her anyway. If she won’t open up when you want her to, love her anyway. If she tells you that you should leave her the hell alone, love her anyway. Authentic love keeps loving even when conditions don’t suit you. Unconditional love will eventually break her walls down one brick at a time. Don’t take everything so personal. Be confident in yourself and just love.
- Let her figure things out.
No one could MAKE me feel worthy and loved. Sure, people loved me. My family, friends, and lover. They adored me, but I couldn’t feel it. Why? I didn’t really love myself. I hated when people would say, “You can’t really love others well until you love yourself first.” Hated it! While I do believe we can love others even when we loathe ourselves, I also believe that the quality of that love can become so freaking amazing the more we adore ourselves. Let her figure things out. Let her let you in slowly. She’s not going to thrust open the gates in a moment. Earn her trust and trust the process of it all.
- Be realistic.
Look, maybe she will never feel worthy of love. I don’t know. If this is the case, you must be realistic. It’s not your fault and if she is the object of your romantic affection, you might seriously have to move it along at some point. Not every cold heart will be melted warm. Not every hurt woman will do the work required to heal. There’s no shame in being honest with yourself and your loved one when you feel you’re no longer compatible the way things are going.
If you happen to feel unworthy and you feel you don’t deserve love or respect, my heart goes out to you. It’s a lousy, empty feeling for sure. But I want to encourage you because you can begin a new journey inward to get to the root of such feelings. You can unearth the junk that’s blocking your amazing beauty residing at your core. You can awaken to the reality that you are not only worthy of abundant, magnificent love, YOU ARE LOVE!
Yes, you can. Perhaps it’s time to reach out for some help. Begin the journey.
I value, respect, and love you immensely.
Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and transpersonal spiritual teacher. Her teachings have helped millions of people experience emotional healing, relationship repair, and spiritual awakening. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked 12 years in the mental health field before diving full-time into writing.
She runs Rediscovering Sacredness, an online portal that offers inspiration, essays, resources, and tools to help heal inner pain and experience more peace and joy.
Her books include Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose, Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal, and a collection of poetry entitled, The Pain, It Shapes Her World.