Lately, I’ve been feeling extremely blessed. I moved to an amazing city, I have a great job, and I’ve been traveling to sunny beaches and yoga retreat centers. But something didn’t seem right. There was a feeling inside of me—a sort of guilt—that kept popping up every time I thought about the gifts I’m being given at this time.
I realized the feeling had a voice. A barely audible, gnawing, anxious voice left over from somewhere long past. Every time I experienced a moment of beauty—through a gorgeous sunrise, a lovely walk on the beach, or a deeply restorative yoga class—the voice would whisper things like:
“You don’t deserve this.”
“This isn’t going to last.”
“Why should you get to experience such an awesome life when the rest of the world is suffering?”
“Enjoy this while you can, because soon things will go back to being ordinary.”
My first instinct was to try to reason with this voice. I started getting into mental arguments by replying:
“I do deserve this. Look at how hard I’ve worked. Look at everything I’ve been though. If anyone deserves this, it’s me.”
But this line of reasoning left me unsatisfied. It felt superficial and full of ego.
I decided to meditate on my dilemma. I sat in the sand on a beautiful beach in San Diego, where I was attending an amazing conference—for free—and took some time to go within. I asked myself questions like:
Why do I feel like I don’t deserve to be on this beach?
Why do I feel like all of this awesomeness is going to disappear into a puff of smoke?
At first, my analytical voice replied: “You do deserve this, Bethany. You’ve worked your butt off, and now it’s finally paying off.”
Then, once my mind and body became very still, I felt the voice of my True Self. (I say “felt” here because I’ve realized that the “advice” from my True Self comes as feelings, nudges, and intuition, not as language. Language is of the mind; the True Self is of the heart.)
In that beautiful moment, my True Self “shot” a feeling through my entire body that resonated loud and clear:
“You are already worthy.”
In other words, no matter how hard I’ve worked, no matter what I’ve been through (or haven’t been through), I deserve to be happy.
Because I’m human.
Because I’m already worth it.
Years ago, when my husband and I first started dating, he said to me:
“I feel so lucky. I’ve found someone who’s smart, good looking, and funny, among other things. It’s almost like you’re too good to be true.”
At the time, his words crushed me, because I felt like he was right. The picture that I’d painted for him of myself was too good to be true. Because up until this point, I hadn’t told him about the years that I’d spent struggling with anxiety, depression, and an addiction to antidepressant medication.
This was a pivotal point in our relationship, because I decided right then and there, on what was probably our third date, to admit all of my deepest faults and fears. I told him that my heart was still mending from years spent in messy relationships. I admitted that I’d been on antidepressants for five years. I told him that I was planning to try to go off the medication soon, which would involve a whole host of withdrawal effects that he would have to witness.
I told him that if he wanted out, this was his chance.
But he didn’t leave. He took my hand, looked at me very matter-of-factly, and said: “Ok, where do we start?”
A few weeks later, I was browsing through a store and came across a card that said:
“Nothing is too good to be true.”
That was the first card I ever gave to my future husband. And its words still ring true for me today.
Nothing that I’ve been experiencing lately has been too good to be true. I deserve an amazing job, a loving relationship, and a fantastic place to live. I deserve every abundance, every blessing, every awesome experience that life has to offer.
So do you.
If you’re stuck in a lackluster job, relationship, or living situation, get out. Open yourself up to the idea that you deserve better, because you do. Regardless of what you’ve done (or haven’t done) in the past, regardless of how hard you’ve worked. None of that matters. What matters is being willing to take courageous steps toward living the amazing life that’s waiting for you, patiently, just around the corner.
When we take these courageous steps, doors start to open. Opportunities appear. Life starts giving us what we know we deserve. This quote by W.A. Murray from Stephen Cope’s new book The Great Work of Your Life sums it up perfectly:
“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s concepts: ‘Whatever you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’”
Follow your magic. You deserve it.
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.
Want to get happy? Check out Bethany’s online course, Creating A Life You Love: Find Your Passion, Live Your Purpose and Create Financial Freedom.
*Photo Credit: Tumblr