One of our common character flaws screams, “They don’t love me, so, I must not be worthy of love.” Not true!
This whispered lie (“If they did love me, they would (or wouldn’t) be doing this, saying this, etc.”) sets us up for failed relationships, addiction, codependency, and lots of “not enough” suffering. But, if we’re lucky, we embark on a quest to heal such “unenforceable rules.”
We come to realize we have no control over how others treat us (especially our loved ones). As we let go of the selfish need to have things “our way,” we learn to turn to the only reliable source of love: God, Higher Power, and the healthy people who stream that divine love into us.
An Example of Healing “He/She Doesn’t Love Me”
Quite often, our families of origin couldn’t give us the love and acceptance we so desperately sought. So we launched on a lifelong search, “looking for love in all the wrong places,” or “going to the hardware store expecting to buy milk.” And our many disappointments only reinforced our false belief that “I’m just not worthy of love.”
Years ago, one of my sponsees was working on Steps 4-6 and discovered that she had set herself up for a life of victimhood by believing the whispered lie, ‘Noone loves me (in the way I want).”
At the same time, she was taking a course that asked her to request from her loved ones a list of her positive attributes. As she read her mother’s list, it felt “like a stab in the gut” because it referred to her relapses, and implied she was better at loving her pets than her family. When my sponsee asked for feedback, here’s what I wrote:
- Yes. There it is in black & white. It verifies what you’ve perceived all along. Ouch.
- She’s right in implying that your family relationships have been out of kilter. Alcoholism and old whispered lies (character flaws) do that. That’s why we’re seeking healing through Steps 6-7.
- This is perfect step 6 timing. The perception of “not being lovable” has run its course and is ready to be removed by God. And in Step 7, Higher Power will help you to see it differently,
- Remember that she’s been scared witless by the relapse this past year. She’s human, and she’s a mother who loves you desperately, while struggling to handle her fear.
- Please do this
1) Bless her & pray that she have everything that will make her happy
2) List all of her positive qualities.
- Next time we meet, we’ll be saying the Step 7 prayer about this and some other things you discovered in your fifth step. Good Work!!!
- We’ll know this pattern is healed when rather quickly, regardless of what she says or does, you’ll be able to see the love under her words. It may take a little time, but it will happen. Freedom from resentments…Yay!
My Worth Is Established by God
Early on in the process of healing my low self-esteem and distrust of love, I learned to say this “mantra” over and over again. It really helps me, even today! “Only God establishes my worth.”
We can take this to the bank, because we will receive this love not only from God, but through the people He/She picks. Quite often these are not family members or others your self-centered ego tells you “should” love you. They’re the perfect people, and I’m so happy to be one of lucky ones God selected to love my sponsee and all of you! 💕
My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)
Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.