This is a vulnerable story from my childhood and I am keeping some details vague for the protection of others privacy. My intentions of sharing my perspective is so I can integrate the lessons and trust that some who reads this will relate to their own reasons for not seeing their value.
Most of my life I have felt unworthy to be recognized as exceptional. What comes up for me is that some people may think I think I’m better than them so I don’t talk about this. Until today….
I hid from my specialness, my too muchness, my ability to shine and stand out. I have qualities which attract others, I can’t say exactly what they are as they are innate to me.
I am all of these things however in the past I didn’t feel safe to own any of them.
The judging critical voice in my head says: “It’s not ok to be better than others, especially when you are publicly acknowledged.” “I am vain, seeking attention, oh look at me, I’m extra special.” This means I am not like everyone else, which means I do not belong.
Do you believe it? I did, it was deeply ingrained into me. I learned this false belief early on.
My whole life my value has been pushed down BY ME because I had a belief that this part of me was wrong to be special, noticed, the best, celebrated.
There’s always a story to our false beliefs, since I was little I was the favourite great-grandchild, I was made a big deal of, given gifts, taken places, bragged about to others, and often my sibling was not included.
My grandmother noticed and made a big deal about it not being fair and she made sure it was fair, my sibling got everything I got and we all knew about it. Of course this was fair, but the messaging sunk into both of us deeply.
We were just kids and like siblings do, we had rivalry throughout our childhood. I don’t remember how I felt about this favouritism until I was 12, and when I realized I didn’t like it.
Before that I didn’t know any better. Our parents were separated when we were young and I spent a lot of time over the years at my great grandmother and became her favourite.
In reflection I realized my great grandmother and my grandmother had their own rivalry between them and we were caught up in their unhealed relationship. I don’t blame them, they did there best with what they had to work with.
However it did a number on me and my sibling, all part of our soul adventures to feel separate, alone and not enough but nonetheless it affected both of our self-esteem. For them I’m sure it wasn’t fun being in the shadow of the favourite child and not feeling enough or lovable.
For me I have struggled with feeling worthy of receiving without giving, of being who I really am and owning it. I overcompensate to feel worthy of receiving what comes to me or what I work for and even though I have been recognized for my exceptionalism I always felt someone else would be more deserving of the recognition than me.
This recently happened again, I was being praised for being me and I felt uncomfortable to accept their praises. I thanked them for the compliments and was told in no uncertain terms, these may be compliments to me but to them they were truths.
That statement hit me hard, I wasn’t owning the truth in the value of who I am. I wasn’t stepping into my greatness because someone else is greater, or not, and then I’m full of myself for shining and seeing myself as a valuable asset worthy of being recognized.
So in sharing this story I am reflecting again that it’s time to step up and show up fully as me. If others feel unworthy or think I’m bragging that’s on them. I can no longer dim my shine so they feel better.
I am not helping anyone when I shrink myself and if I don’t own who I am someone else will and they may mis-represent me.
P.S. this actually just happened as I am currently being impersonated on Instagram and this isn’t the first time I’ve been impersonated. See my short video here sharing another vulnerable story about my learnings from that soul adventure.
Time to shine bright! ????