World English Dictionary

worthy  (ˈwɜːðɪ)
1. ( postpositive; often foll by  of or an infinitive ) having sufficient merit or value (for something or someone specified); deserving
2. having worth, value, or merit
n  , -thier , -thiest , -thies
3. facetious often  a person of distinguished character, merit, or importance

Word Origin & History

worthy   mid-13c., “having merit,” from worth (1). Attested from c.1300 as a noun meaning “person of merit


For much of my life I have struggled with this concept of being worthy.

As a child, I was the only girl in a single parent home. My mother was raised in the forties, a time when women were secondary to the amazing male. This she unintentionally passed along to me; coupled with the early loss of my virginity to a male who was allowed to dominate in our home, I felt completely unworthy of healthy relationships, honest interaction, and always sought to prove my worth, with much humility.

            To become worthy is a quest. Unexpected moments of grace are confusing and often send me into a very penitent time as a person who is not worthy does not deserve such kindnesses.

            Don’t get me wrong; I broke out in a very brash and austere manner. Partying, promiscuity, and seeking attention through chemical courage took me to places I could not go sober. I wasn’t worthy of being in those situations. I am a person who knows the deep dark side of life; I am  constantly pummeled by inner voices reminding me of the less than capable, less than meritorious, totally useless person I am  in the core of my being.

            I used to fight to the end of the chemicals and suddenly, sometimes, there would be a moment when, in clarity, I would wonder if the words, the learning, the voices were wrong…dichotomously there becomes a push and a pull to find worth…even though the unworthiness lives in there, rooted and feeding off of the horrific moments that continued and contine to define me.

            Dawn breaks and I discovered that worth resides alongside that uselessness. Humility and hope begin to emerge from the poo that keeps the sturdy foundation fertilized…but there is more than the worthlessness, there is a small root of worthiness as well.

             Imagine a tree, trunk grown to a small stem, grotesquely well formed. It grows alone for a season when a break in the upper part of the emerging tree squelches the growth for a season. The roots, ever seeking to continue growth, seeking life, pushes up a new trunk, one that, like the first-now-broken-trunk, seeks light and nourishment and plenty of…connection.

            A third season comes and the two grow, side by side, the second surpassing the first, yet not deleting it, not negating but definitely overshadowing and overtaking the original growth. New branches intertwining with the original, shame and hope, worthless and worthy, growing alongside and becoming a whole…

            The fourth season remains to be seen, but in the fodder, the poo of nourishment there is now a second set of roots that allows for different nutrients to be added to the health of the tree. No longer is the original taproot, ever seeking the depths of the past for strength, courage, definition, no longer is it the primary supplier. Instead, new top roots and stronger mid-length roots find sustenance in the mid part of the soil/  Time has given the soul more than memories of pain and repudiation of being; there is hope and true courage and sustenance apart from the origins from which the tree began.

            From the times of chemical courage come flashes of love, moments of acceptance, that can be built upon and through those dim recollections come moments of knowing that relate and allow the discovery of worthiness! There are even flashes of this from the darkest of times.

           Worthlessness can be a defining shell that creates a cavity for chaos, or it can be built through to strengthen and reinforce the courage and strength it takes to walk the path of  awfulness to the beautiful that is hidden alongside, unknown, unseen, except from a place of distance, through a fog of time, lit by the sun of life that overcomes to be recreated as a fortified, singular worthiness.

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4 Responses to …Worthless…Worthy…

  1. Jen says:

    I am constantly in need of remembering who I am….not what I feel like or what my circumstances say I should feel like. I am worthy and it is true…the poo helps build me up …and those paths have hidden beauty. I have always been worthy, just able to recognize myself at times. Thanks for your words here!

  2. What an amazing post! Women unfortunately often times feel unworthy. I was blessed with a good husband who encouraged me, instead of bringing me down. I was able to grow out of such feelings to the woman I am today. Thanks for sharing!

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