In one way or another, we have all struggled in our lives with feeling “worthy-of”. Most often than none, we have had doubts about our worth in different areas and therefore we have questioned whether or not we are worthy-of something. Are we qualified for that job? Are we cut out for that promotion? Do we have the right or enough credentials as compared to others? All these doubts are perhaps easily dispelled by taking risks in the professional world in which others can reassure us of our worth. However, the worthy-of doubt and questioning are particularly dangerous when we question whether or not we are worthy of love or worthy of a certain person in our lives in the context of a sentimental relationship. The not-worthy-of complex usually leads to poor choices in relationships and a lot of heartbreak.
It seems that a lot of people are involved in toxic relationships these days. However, as bizarre as it may sound to the logical mind, perfectly fine and fairly intelligent individuals continue to choose to be involved in deconstructive relationships with people who “are not worthy of them”; or so we think. The problem may be that that person living in that toxic relationship may think he/she is not worthy of something better and therefore settles for the person who, although brings a lot of toxicity into the relationship, is at least available and showing that “at least somebody cares about me”. The other person in the relationship who is the cause of mayhem feeds off of the “not-worthy-of” person because he/she is also feeling that he/she is not worthy of someone good and constantly jeopardizes and antagonizes the relationship and the person who she/he feels is more worthy than her/him. In any event, both “not-worthy-of” individuals feed off of each other’s insecurities and low self-worth.
Often times, our not-worthy-of complex manifests in the way of rejecting someone worthy in fear that, if we give him/her a try our not-worthy-of truth will be revealed, leaving us exposed and reassured in our complex. For instance, we fear that if our “secret” not-worthy-of status (our past, our debt, the truth about how our past relationship ended, our professional credentials, our bank account or whatever that may be) leaks, the other person may reject us, thus validating what we already knew all along: that we are not-worthy-of. We fear that if we agree to be with someone leveled, intelligent, capable, available, whole, complete and sacred, she/he will flee when we get uncovered in our not-worthy-of state. Therefore, we reject the worthy candidates and choose the not-worthy-of like us with which our secret is safe.
When we start self-doubting our worth we run into deep trouble. Yes, self-worth is something that is constructed during childhood and if the foundation was weak, building up that self-worth can be an uphill and constant battle. And more than a battle, it may lead to many relationships in which one does not feel worthy enough to be with a worthy-of-us or worthy-enough partner. When we live in toxic relationships, both partners are lacking self-worth. Both the one receiving the toxicity and the one initiating it do not feel worthy of anything else, more or better. And the cycle becomes vicious and never-ending.