Tuesday, October 5

I am worthy

if you're anything like me, you have been met with challenges throughout your life that have made you question your own worth.  like me, you've probably been through a multitude (100's?!) of therapeutic modalities to heal from traumas, abuses, injuries, and illnesses.  you've learned a lot and healed a lot, and you know that your life has meaning.  you have even experienced self love, and you believe in your own value.  still, self sabotaging habits find a way of popping back up, or those niggling voices that arise challenge your ability to fully succeed, setting off a tidal wave of worthlessness.
how do these worthless spores get re-planted if we've done so much healing?  no matter how far we go to dig them out, and pull and rip at them, why do they re-sprout?  just how deeply do their roots run?  how do they survive, unwatered, kept in the darkest corners, in the depth and cover of shadows?  can we remove them from cellular memory and create new neural pathways when our earliest, preverbal lesson was "you are worthless"?  

i believe thoughts and feelings of worthlessness are a matter of life and death.
  
worthlessness = death


journal detail
ⓒ2010
the topic of self worth has been coming up a lot for me, in conversations with friends, on blogs and in other readings, and it's really gotten me thinking.  when i'm experiencing ongoing pain i tend to feel pretty worthless, and as we've been undergoing this massive construction project, primarily for my benefit, rather than feeling excited and inspired, i have begun to feel guilty and unworthy - worried that i won't be able to use it to it's full potential, that it's all a waste, because pain has been steadily increasing, while i have been doing less and less.  my hands have developed additional conditions, even though i haven't been using them, and more surgeries are being recommended.  while my rational brain knows better, the parts of me still unhealed, blunder on, buying into self doubt.
i know where the roots of my damaged self worth began.  they started early, and were delivered powerfully, laid out during the first few months of life.  i remember clearly the bars of the crib surrounding me, the early morning light shining through the window.  i can see the nail bitten hands gripping the pillow as it was lowered and pushed into my face, and held... here my vision goes black and ends.  (this memory, experienced as repeated flash backs, was bravely verified, for which i am grateful.)  i have numerous memories of the abuses inflicted upon me by my mother, a then violent and depressed alcoholic, of many years.  and though she's recovered, and we've done a great deal of healing in our relationship and i love her, the early lesson i received was "you should be dead", and it was delivered by the person who brought me into the world, with life.  a pretty conflicting message to untangle.  
and even though my thoughtful mind is aware of all this, and i know i am safe and well loved and happy to be alive, my body hasn't gotten the message.  i've got an auto immune disease, which is basically the body responding as though there is a threat, so it sends out the army to attack and protect - but all it ends up attacking is itself.  then i get cancer, because maybe "you should be dead", and my body thinks i'm not really supposed to be alive after all.  that's what i've been thinking.  


i am healing
journal pages
ⓒ2010

perhaps a lot of bodies out there are doing this to themselves, with or without the help of the minds that live with them.   i wonder.  this article from USA Today made me believe i'm on to something: Childhood Trauma Stays With You, it can hurt health and shorten life. There is also evidence that we can go back even further, to the time spent in the womb.  According to Time Magazine this week, in The Womb. Your Mother. Yourself., the influences of the mother's well being during pregnancy help form a child's future health, their brain wiring, and human qualities.
over the past few months, i have been through a great deal.  there is no point to facing and living through life and death situations if we don't use them to deepen our understanding of ourselves, our place on this planet, and our connection to others, is there?  as I heal myself, my mother heals, and as you do your healing we come together, and the universal mother heals.  together we all learn how to share real nurturing with one another, to receive and give more fully.
my intent in sharing is to use my story for healing by bringing darkness into light, with hopes that others might feel inspired to look more deeply into their own stories, bringing them into light.  together we will deepen our belief in Self, shed the remaining strands of self doubt, hatred, and worthlessness so that we may embrace and step fully into our gloriousness!  no longer will I hide behind my earliest toddler declarations of "no see me!!"

see me
journal pages 
ⓒ2010

See Me,

here I am .

65 comments:

  1. I see you Karen, and I know you are strong and you send a very powerful message into the world. Thank you. You are a very worthy person without whom this world would be much poorer indeed. (And you certainly deserve that beautifil studio space in the making!!. Yours to enjoy soon.)

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  2. thank you, i see you, i love to read you

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  3. I see you. And hear you. And resonate so strongly with this that it feels like serendipity that I stumbled across this today.

    Thank you for your bravery and your truth and your willingness to be vulnerable.

    You did my heart good today.

    Effy

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  4. i see you...loud and clear.

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  5. I see you and send you love & good vibes.
    Annie

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  6. I see you. You know you are not 'worthless'. In fact, maybe in some ways, you are the most important person in the world. Sounds like having a daughter like you, could save a mother. And I'm sure those actions towards you were much more a reflection of your mothers inability to cope and feeling her own sense of worthlessness, yet to you, she was the most important thing in the world. The world has a very clever way of hiding whats right in front of our faces doesn't it? Sending you cosmic hugs. xxJ

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  7. thank you so much for this. it matters.

    you are powerful now. and i see you.

    you are loved too.

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  8. I see you and love you, Karin xoxoxoxox

    I will write more later -- after I read this courageous post more thoroughly.

    Thank you so much for your merciful words -- My soul is gobbling up kindness these days, and so much of it comes in messages of love and compassionate regard from friends like you ...

    It's funny ... I've wanted to correspond again with you about our very early lives ... Last night I found a couple of letters that we'd sent to one another ... I will read them again, and perhaps we can carry on the conversation ...

    All love and blessings to you xoxo

    'til later ...

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  9. P.S. I also found a Christmas card that Renee sent to me last year ... I burst into tears ...

    xoxoxoxoxo

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  10. I see you and you are beautiful, sending you love and kisses... all is well always...

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  11. 2nd try! I am so glad you are finally finding the strength to fight the battle! I see you as a very talented young woman who needs to enjoy the many gifts she has been given and to encourage others to do the same! you're ok in my book!

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  12. I just came across your blog right now...and I "see" you dear soul. I send you lots of love and light and healing...having come from an abusive background myself...I can feel your pain. One step at a time...xxx

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  13. I see you, and you are full of worth, just a postlike this makes you so.

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story Karen. It is difficult to live in this world and we are all so brave to be here.
    Thank you for your beautiful art and your bravery and love.

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  15. I see you. I have been seeing you, your beautiful light shining brightly through all of the challenges, the pain, the healing the hurting, the creating and the loving. You are here for a purpose, Beautiful Karin and you are worthy and deserving of life and love. I am glad to be in the world at the same time as you.
    Big Love to you, my Friend.

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  16. I do think when we're younger we get our self-beliefs from our care-takers, our supposed nurturers and then there comes a time when we become the nurturers of our own wounded souls and realize our value comes from our own beliefs- that we were made in the image of God and have a unique and distinct future that no one else can fulfill. Then we can only use the painful things from our lives to form us into that evolving being that someday serves its purpose in spite of itself.

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  17. I see you dear Karen. You have certainly made a big impression on me. Thanks for sharing.... for inspiring .... for being a beacon to light the way.

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  18. Karin, I see you, a wise and compassionate person who has the guts to share what's really important. This "worthlessness" lives somewhere inside most, if not all, of us. Some of us know where it comes from , as you do, and some of us aren't sure, but I know that many suffer from it. We are all here to help each other heal and feel worthy, as you always do for me. I'm thankful that you're here.

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  19. you are seen. you are brave. you are loved.

    xo

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  20. Your strength has graced my life over the distance...Lyndon is growing stronger...such a fragile little spirit. Thoughts and words are so real...you are here to be YOU! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

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  21. Karin, hello dear one. From the moment I stepped into your blog, I SAW YOU. I knew you and I keep knowing about you which opens windows for me. I have always thought of you as a very strong person filled with passion and letting it all come out on your work. Your work pulls me in and when I come out, I am better for it. I know you, I feel you, and I am thankful for that. ::hugs::

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  22. Hi Karin I'm impressed by your blog and your openness and your way of expressing yourself through art.

    Sandra (the Netherlands)

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  23. I see you Karin bright and luminous like a summer sky, crystal clear like a still lake, thank you for touching my heart today much love-Seva

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  24. I see you, I hear you and I am inspired you. Sending healing thoughts and much love xxxx

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  25. I got chills in my body while reading your post. Once again, I fell we are at the same journey. those days I had also to declare that "see" too.

    I see you, and I don't know what else to say. I only hope/believe that the words I can't express will find you in a magic way.

    Big Hug from me.
    Love you.

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  26. Karen, you are so worthy and loved.

    Also, thank you for sharing an important truth: When exposed to the light, unwanted pain (the roots and trials you've shared about) shrivel up. Left in the dark, they can still creep back to life.

    Thank you, too, for allowing us to be a bit of sun and help those roots to their death so that you may live. You are so very, very important to so many.

    XOXOXO, sister!

    Liz

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  27. I see you & I like what I see.
    Happy days,
    Joanie

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  28. "the universal mother heals"

    i love this concept.
    i see you; those green eyes remind me of spiritual healing.

    .
    in my heart deep in, i think we are all so much bigger, healthier, POWERFUL than all that happens to us on Earth. Its just that we're leaning back, out of our orb of Clarity and Love while
    experiencing something of this gift of separation in time. Not always easy; but we do it for a reason. Soul linked, i think.

    Two things we rarely talk of yet--the shadow of concept "death" and the shadowy aspects of the word/concept "mother" . Both like portals into Earth.

    .
    A provocative post.
    Blessings

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  29. I see you karin and what I see is a beautiful woman. A strong woman. A brave woman. A caring woman. A creative woman. A worhty woman.

    xoxo,
    bridgette

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  30. Here you are beloved one...here you are, alive, alove, aspirit unending...
    I have a surprise waiting for you at my blog :) because you area also alight...a beacon for all who cross your path!

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  31. I see you Karin and I'm so touched by your words here. The quest for worthiness is one that's been mirrored to me over and over and over in the last several years, but never as succinctly as this. I thank you for your courage in sharing your story and so hope for the universal healing you speak of.

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  32. brave words - I see you too - you're positively shining :o)

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  33. Thank you, every one. I see each of you, my friends, and feel our hearts link in this truly remarkable universe, where all is possible! Thank you for helping me lift myself into my Truest Self, when I hesitate to do so on my own. I am grateful to be here now, in a time where we can do this great work together from all corners of the world!! I feel our cellular memory relearning, they vibrate with love and healing. I celebrate the worthiness in is all - the power of it to infuse our spirits with dreams, to grow, to attain, to expand and believe in the highest potential in all.
    with abundant love,
    Karin

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  34. Karin,

    What an amazingly courageous post. Thank you for blogging about unworthiness. I've been thinking about this issue as well, and have wondered why, after so much weeding, "those darn shoots" of unworthiness keep creeping back in. You writing and vibrant drawings helped me feel that same warmth, love and courage that you display so graciously and generously.

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  35. You are very brave. Bravery and honesty is worthy of so much. Thanks for such a thoughtful post. -J

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  36. Oh Karin! How painful indeed. The fact that you can freely talk about the painful past shows great healing and courage. Why do we hurt the people we love. Alcohol, drugs and other addictions is like the devil. I am so happy to see you being brave on top of everything else that is going on. You are so full of life and hope. The treatments, home construction, drawing, painting, writing. You have more life than some of us who just occupy space and do damage. Be strong and be brave. I am very proud of you and proud to call you friend.

    You have a beautiful house and yard!

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  37. The hand painting - it makes my hands hurt. So powerful!

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  38. A very original and creative idea.

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  39. What a touchingly honest post-strong, vulnerable and yet beautiful that you have found a special place to feel safe and be able to thrive. Thinking of you always and share in your journey to move forward- to an inspiring place to create despite physical limitations and medical issues. Hugs and smiles and special thanks for your inspiration always!!

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  40. What a beautiful post, full of passion, strength and wisdom. I LOVE the hands.

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  41. You are brave to face this head on and brave to share it with the world. Seems to me these are both actions of somebody already in the process of healing!

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  42. My post for today for Illustration Friday is dedicated to you. Tsup!

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  43. Karin, Karin, hello, dear Karin.

    I see you and hear you and feel you. Your words and paintings have gripped me tightly, and I cannot find the right words to tell you how much I am moved. But I can say that the power of your images is only a fraction of the power you have within your soul.

    A long, warm embrace for you. xoxoxoxox

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  44. I'm struck by the picture with the swirls of energy in your hands. I did something very similar on a wall where I worked because I felt so abused there. I often looked at it and thought "There is healing in my hands". It kind of became a mantra in my mind. Best of luck to you and with your healing!

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  45. Dear Karin, I don't often visit a blog for the first time and am so deeply touched and moved! Your pictures are so powerful and your words even more so. Here you are and I am glad I see you!! Hugs, Silke

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  46. Karin you are an incredible strong woman...I see you and feel you...I know you can rationally understand the words about alcoholism and depression but the child in your heart is strong enough to say See Me...I am a lot to think about my dear sacred sister. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandz Stewart

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  47. ah karin, this was so hard to read. i am so sorry this happened to you. i am a therapist these days and i sometimes daily witness the kind of trauma and courage and honesty you have shared here. our bodies don't forget. even when we repress the memories, we don't forget.

    i will tell you this: you are not alone. you are a wonderful person. and when you are ready, you might look into a form of therapy called EMDR. it is tough but it is based on reprogramming your mind so that you do not respond to current triggers from a past place when you had to endure.

    (email me if you want).

    in any case, karin, you show up and you stare down the fear. that is courageous and affirming and inspiring. please give that little girl who is you a hug from me. tell her she is safe now. tell her she can trust you totally.

    and karin, yes, i hope next year. that would be wonderful. ♥

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  48. Hello Karin
    I've come over to visit from Ces's blog. I'm glad I did as I've found both your words and art moving! You do seem like a strong person - that's so important in the fight - but here's wishing you a little extra too. Caroline

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  49. So much of what you say
    Means SO much to me today
    I pray your pain goes away

    Karin, You are a 'special' Peep--my first time here, sent by you-know-who, the Ces-tial one among us, who brings her light to which and who-ever she touches and beyond...

    Your blog is one to which "I'll be BACH!" (punch line to musical joke...

    PEACE!
    Steve E (Member of BBB)

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  50. When I finally realized that I was worthy of God's love and forgiveness., I put down the bottle, tossed the pity party into the lake and found my purpose. Thanks for your transparency and for sharing your wonderful talents. God loves us!

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  51. i see you on this screen, i see you in your artwork, i see you when you are not doing artwork, i see you in my heart, i see you in my thoughts, i see you as part of the great universal mother - helping to heal others, i see you as a soul sister, as a deep thinker, as much more than your body. i love you

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  52. Worthy, the universe says YES!

    and I say yes, because I would be less without you and the soul engery that you beam out

    now laugh, my word verification is

    corkstub: to seal a short bottle

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  53. Hey K
    Worth...you got it goin' on
    xoxo

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  54. I see you, I hear you, and I cherish you and your walk through this path you travel for all of us!
    Karin you give light to the dark and the dark will not survive in light.
    Bless you Karin and your precious gifts.

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  55. I like how you've expressed yourself here.

    Recently, I actually stepped back and looked deeply into my early upbringing and have finally acknowledged the whys and fears of feeling positive about anything I produce.

    It takes the weight off and we all should really see all this earlier, rather than later.

    As they say though, better late than never.

    Cheers!

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  56. karin, your thoughts are fascinating. things are crazy demanding for me right now but please don't let my response fall in the cracks. you make me want to research this mind-body reaction carefully.

    love to you, take care

    kj

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  57. I am so very grateful and honored to have all your thoughtful responses - thank you so much for your support and witnessing. I continue to assimilate my deepening understanding of how my personal sense of worth and healing, down to the bones, works!
    kj, no, your comment hasn't fallen through any cracks!! I addressed them via email, but will reiterate here that my understanding of EMDR is that it is amazing for healing things like PTSD and acute panic attacks, neither of which happen to be concerns of mine.
    A gateway of dialogue with my cells? to reach them and communicate that they have no battle to fight (ie regulate the autoimmune system) is what I am seeking. The closest I've felt to achieving that has been through forms of hypnotherapy and deep meditation - where I have felt a sense of disintegration, experiencing each cell of my body as it moves through the vastness that is our universe...

    soooo, here's to all our worthy selves, I celebrate you all!! xoxox Karin

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  58. I SEE you as a WELLth of Worth!
    Thanks for sharing your story, because we all heal from it.. step by step we move forward and your brave soul leads us. As one heals, we all heal.. ART heals!
    Namaste'

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  59. I think many people can relate to your story. And in relation to it, a thought came up. My PE once told me that cells of the body are programmed. Consciously, subconsciously, from within, from outside influences. And apparently, the programm in the cells, "remember" trauma. It takes reprogramming. Which sounds easy, but as my PE told me, "we" don't know yet HOW to reprogram cells. Positive thinking will contribute, as will a healthy diet and life style, clean air (so lots of contact with nature). But apparently altering habits seems the most effective tool in reprogramming. The cells need to be shaken and confused before they are open to a new programme, so to speak.
    Your story relates to that, I think. And I relate to it very much and find myself and my body responding to past issues way stronger than ought to be. But what to do with the theory of reprogrammin cells? How can I do that? How can you do that? Where to begin when even science hasn't begun to figure it out? It's a tough theme in our lives, I think. And you've also brougth up an interesting issue.

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  60. I see you dear Karin and you're beautiful.
    Thank you for posting this, it moves me deeply, and brought tears in my eyes. I still think i'm worthless even if my concious self tells me otherwise, i can't get rid of these negative thoughts. I had an abusive childhood too. I also have an auto immuun disease (MG) and what you write about it intruiges me. The body who thinks it is under attack.

    I love your strong posts, your words of wisdom which keeps me thinking and your beautiful, strong art.
    Yes you are worthy, very much so and i thank you for being you and bring compassion and comfort with this beautiful blog.
    xoxo Monica

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  61. how courageous you are, someone at the front of an endless line of people, holding a lantern as we walk on a path through the darkness. stars shine brightly, i see you reflected there, and in the moonlight, i see you blazing more brightly than the lantern you carry. i see you and i see me in you. i relate so well to what you say here, it touches me in all those places you speak of. thank you karin. xo

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  62. I love to see you Karen, to read you and to feel you in my heart. The walking wounded scatter seeds of love and healing before them and others benefit. Thank you. Pen x

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  63. Jamie Louise10/27/10, 2:40 PM

    This was the most profound post to have stumbled upon today in my journey of healing through art. I also suffered unspeakable abuse my entire childhood, married an abusive man for 20 years who took my children away a year ago to hurt me. Is it any wonder I also developed a severely disabling & painful autoimmune disorder? Talk about worthless, I have been so ready to check out of this world so many times. I am slowly healing though art, meditation and the guidance of my energy healer. She uses energy healing, acupuncture and other modalities that are helping to reprogram my cell memories. She reminds me that the human body renews each and every cell every 90 days or so, making it possible to recreate ourselves and heal old wounds. This gives me hope. I am walking in light these days and hope to be a "wounded healer" myself someday helping other women to come into the light.
    Thank you for your courageous sharing.
    Jamie

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  64. Like Jamie I stumbled upon your entry this morning - from Laura's blog. I was scrolling down the blogs she follows. "Beyond words"... I thought I like that - I am a photographer- not very comfortable with words. So I clicked over- and oddly I have read this post of yours somewhere before- but did not respond. I have seen your art before. I see you- Blessings as you reclaim your house - and more importantly yourself.

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  65. Blessings. I love your art. Happy Holidays!!

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