Why is it that a very handsome man brings out the sense of unworthiness in me? Time to fix this problem!
Water is delicious, the way it eases hot skin on a summer day. Dipping into a cool pool brings all sorts of sensory delights to the body. Such was the heady condition I was in as I clocked up 20 laps one steamy December morning.
Alone with my thoughts, I finished lap eight and noticed the most handsome man entering the pool at the other end. I have no idea what age he was (the older I get the more I seem to have a diminished capacity to pick people’s ages) but he looked like the proverbial Greek or Roman god. Tall, lean and very fit. In my heightened state of swimming awareness, it was a fascination to observe how I reacted to this man’s presence at the pool.
I went from happily scooting along in my lane, smiling at people at the other end when I reached it, to total avoidance. I couldn’t look this man in the face. I pretended he didn’t exist. When I reached an end he was at, I would swing around immediately and start back without stopping to pause. I felt ashamed of being seen without make-up on, embarrassed by my pale, un-pool-goddess-like skin and hair bedraggled by the water. I felt unnerved and distracted by his very presence at the pool. It really was very strange.
Later that day when talking with my dear girlfriend and confidant Brooke, I mentioned this crazy episode and my most bizarre reaction. We shared a laugh, and the commonality that we both couldn’t quite cope with people we were attracted to; when we found ourselves very attracted to a good looking man, we bolted!
Do men behave this way over women? Somehow, I doubt it.
Some time ago I met a man whom I thought was quite ‘spunky’—to coin a lame phrase from my youth. In fact, he was so attractive that for the first time in my life I experienced the weak at the knees phenomenon. I had to lean against a nearby wall to keep from collapsing.
At the time we met I was feeling strong, independent and free. This, to my great good fortune, enabled me to be relaxed and pretty much myself, despite my jelly knees. The first few times I bumped into Mr. Uber Cool, I was my happy conversational best, and would usually come out of each encounter feeling like I held my intellectual own and glad I didn’t do anything embarrassing.
That was the first few encounters.
Unfortunately, as the encounters—and my interest in getting to know this man—increased, so did my sense of recluse and shutting down. My whole body language changed. I would sit hunched over my coffee ––classic ‘”please don’t hurt me, I’ve been hurt too much already” defensiveness. I guarded my conversation more and more, and then beat myself up after each interaction for what I perceived as embarrassing statements that made me appear shallow or judgmental. I overanalyzed my appearance and managed to find “legitimate” reasons a very cool person wouldn’t find me attractive.
You can imagine that after months of this sort of mental torture, I had gone from being strong, independent and free to an insecure jellyfish, too caught up in my own head. It isn’t any wonder Mr. Uber Cool just wasn’t interested—I was way overthinking it.
Ugh! What to do? If I am unable to relax around guys I am attracted to, the odds of a future relationship are pretty low.
Settle for men who are interested in me, but whom my heart doesn’t race for? No. I just don’t have that in me. Prep my mind for a lifetime of loneliness? Not a very appealing scenario.
I—like many millions of women around the world—feel unworthy of an appealing man loving me. And after only one failed longterm relationship, I am petrified, absolutely petrified, of stuffing things up again. Of burning myself out trying to be good enough, loving enough, beautiful enough, intelligent enough and on and on it goes.
So there you go; the reason is simple enough. I feel unworthy of the men I desire, yet at the same time I wish for the intimacy we all crave.
But what is the solution?
I need to retrain my brain to overcome this very debilitating and limiting belief. To become a woman who truly knows she is worthy of good things happening to her. Worthy of acceptance, of warmth, of being desired, of being known and appreciated and loved, just the way she is. It is a honourable goal and one on which my future happiness rests.
And so begins my journey of brain changing affirmations to alter the way I think—about myself and about the relationships I deserve. Affirmations such as these:
“I am a wonderful person capable of love and great success.”
“I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
My strategy is to repeat these statements as many times as I need to throughout each day, until all unworthiness (misnamed by some as lack of confidence) is left behind.
Where this limiting belief has come from I really don’t know. Honestly, it could be something as insignificant as not receiving what I had asked for of Santa and therefore concluding that I wasn’t worthy, or good enough, to get it. Or it could be the result of my past experiences with men. Who honestly knows?
The bottom line is, the limiting belief has got to go, regardless of where it came from.
I do know where my beliefs are headed now. It may take days, weeks, months or years, but in the end I will be fully enabled to have a beautiful relationship—because it is what I deserve, and because it is what I will know deep down in my spirit I deserve.
In the meantime, I chose to leave the pool man swimming his laps, enjoyed the handsome eye candy he brought into my day, and walked out of the swim centre into a new way of thinking. It is a new era. Bring on the spunky men!
Author: Kesenya Moore
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Google images for reuse