This morning I read the quote, “Write the book you want on your shelves.”  I do feel compelled to explore how a sense of worthiness develops.  The exploration is the writing.  

Because, if I could have one wish for my children, it would be that they have a deep and abiding sense of worthiness as human beings, as individuals, in relationship, and in the world.  I want each one to know they are special.

I want the same for my students!  

The problem is…I’m not always sure how that happens.  It ebbs and flows.  I can’t put my finger on it.  There isn’t a great formula.


My own sense of worthiness is scrapped together like a patchwork quilt.  


It is being formed on the wheel of trying to overcome and fired in the heartbreaks of life.

I’m reading Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  She is exploring the idea of resilience through unfathomable torture and hardships that our generation in the West has not encountered.

She writes, “…the guards sought to deprive them of something that had sustained them even as all else had been lost: dignity.  This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness; to be deprived of it is to be dehumanized, to be cleaved from, and cast below, mankind…without dignity, identity is erased.  In its absence men are defined not by themselves, but by their…circumstances.”

Have you ever been more defined by your circumstances than by your self?  I have.

Have you ever struggled to know you are worthy without having to win, be the best, work the hardest, or perform?  I have.

You see, I think we try so hard because if we don’t, then we can’t find that sense of worthiness!

Shame and worthiness expert Brené Brown says it is the exact opposite!  Worthiness comes from being vulnerable enough to embrace our imperfections.

Worthiness comes from overcoming.

Brown would say it isn’t a constant, it is a process to practice!

That’s a relief to me!

I kind of thought it was like soaring, but maybe it is more like waddling, on the inside.


Here is what I know for sure, as we practice, we are released into more joy, abundance, and love.  We can dance to “Kiss the Girl” in the kitchen while simply frosting our Valentine’s Day cookies!  We can find happiness.  It is in those moments that we are cultivating life!

I can point to some moments this week when shame showed up.  Can you?  Could you find a compassionate way of speaking to yourself about that moment today?  You may even want to pick up a journal and write it out.

Have you seen some resilience in your child as they work at overcoming their own challenges? How can you embrace their imperfections, the learning, and celebrate that resilience?

I’d like to take a couple more weeks to explore Worthiness.  Thanks for being on the journey with me!


PS  The duck is my totem animal!