Last weekend, I took my first course in Life Coaching. While the creator of the course, K. C. Miller, was giving her introduction speech, I got really teary-eyed. I thought I was able to blink them back well enough, but K. C. locked eyes on me and said, “I appreciate that you are having a physiological reaction. Would you please share with us?” And then the crying hit my throat, and I knew I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to.
What got me so worked up was K. C. Miller’s philosophy that, “There are no extra people.” It’s simple and short. But the meaning is so potently beautiful, I couldn’t help but break into tears.
I am someone very familiar with feeling “extra.” I didn’t think I had a purpose or a reason to be alive; most of the time I just felt like a burden on my loved ones. I still remember the day I had an insane breakthrough with my therapist, Joy, when she told me, “You matter, Jordan.” It was the first time I had ever heard it, which maybe isn’t so unusual. It isn’t exactly the sort of thing you go around casually expressing to others. But for me, it was life-changing. Before that, I didn’t know if I mattered. In fact, I doubted that I did. In this pivotal moment, I realized that I didn’t have to earn the right to matter. I didn’t have to earn my worthiness. Every single person matters just because they exist. By extension, that meant I must have to matter too.
While in class, there was a lot of sharing (as is to be expected from a healing arts school). I listened intently to the stories of my peers. The boy with the mohawk covered in tattoos. The pretty young yogi. The blue-haired witch. The ever-giving mother. As I listened, I was brought to tears more than once. Throughout all of their trials- be it with addiction, abuse, grieving a lost loved one, low self-worth, poverty, and more- these beautiful humans still found their way to a school where they could learn to heal themselves so that they could then help to heal others. How amazing is that??
I thought, “There isn’t a person alive that you couldn’t love if you heard their story.”
Life Coaching isn’t really about giving advice or sharing stories. It’s about asking the right questions. The goal is to help your client discover their own answers through self-reflection. On the last day of class, K. C. asked us to contemplate, “What is the one most important question that we need to ask ourselves in order to heal and move forward?” Fucking intense, man.
Initially, I came up with, “Why do I think I don’t deserve to love myself?” You see, even with the important realization that I matter in this world, actually loving myself is still a work in progress. Some days it is so easy, I don’t even have to think about it. Some days it is so hard, I don’t want to think about it or I’m afraid I’ll break down. While I meditated, though, another thought hit me. “Why do I deserve to love myself?”
Even speaking the question aloud, I felt insecure and undeserving. But I don’t believe that narrative anymore, so I am here to answer my question.
Why do I deserve to love myself?
- Because I am brave.
- Because I left home so I could spread my wings.
- Because I lost myself, completely.
- Because I tried finding myself in bottles of liquor, in strangers’ beds.
- Because I have had my heart shattered by an ex-love.
- Because I allowed myself to love again (and again and again…)
- Because I am a Scorpio.
- Because I put so much stock into astrology.
- Because I’m a good ass friend.
- Because I’ve been a bad friend at times, but my apologies are sincere.
- Because I am the absolute best gift-giver you’ll ever meet.
- Because I feel things so deeply, and it’s fucking hard.
- Because I love learning.
- Because I hate being told what to do.
- Because I believe in love and equality between genders, races, and religions.
- Because I can’t keep a hairstyle for more than six months.
- Because I’m, like, really funny sometimes.
- Because I’m an introvert to the max.
- Because I have anxiety.
- Because I’m so. goddamn. awkward. sometimes.
- Because I won’t let my depression win.
- Because I understand those who do, and I love them anyway.
- Because I have zero sense of geography, even in my own neighborhood.
- Because I’ve gotten too drunk and said too many things I can’t take back.
- Because I’ve cried myself to sleep more nights than I can count.
- Because I find answers in poetry.
- Because I find meaning staring into the ocean’s vastness.
- Because I keep trying to grow things, even though I have a brown thumb.
- Because I’m a fucking dope wife and an even better fur-mom.
- Because I know the world is mostly good.
- Because I know the world is entirely deserving of love.
- Because I am always striving, always expanding.
- Because I was born worthy.
- Because we all were.