Do You Deserve To Be Happy?

When good thing happen to you, are you afraid that the other shoe is going to fall? When you hear of upcoming good things in your life, are you certain that something will get in the way of it manifesting -- that it's too good to be true?

A lot of us with Borderline Personality Disorder have a difficult time believing that we are deserving of good things in our lives. Dr. Marsha Linehan says that everything "has cause." In this instance, this means that there is a reason (or multiple reasons) why you believe you are unworthy and that it's just too good to be true that something could go your way or go right for once.

Many of us have experienced a great deal of disappointment in our past. People we trusted to care for us and protect us let us down or violated us in some way. Things that were supposed to go well didn't for reasons beyond our control, especially when we were children. We've had our hearts and spirits broken (but not destroyed!) many times.

A close family member remembered and recounted to me how her father would get very angry and cruel with her mother on the child's birthday each year, and her father would, inevitably for some reason, take out his anger by smashing and destroying the child's beautiful sheet cake that her family and friends were coming over to enjoy. The child felt betrayed and humiliated. How could her father do this? How would she explain to the guests who were coming over?

How awful for a small child to see this and try to make sense of it. It doesn't even make sense to me as an adult. Can you imagine how this must have affected her? Birthday parties are supposed to be fun times for young children, not traumatic times.

Incidents like this leave a mark and can cause us to later become very skeptical when happy occasions or events take place or are due to take place. Our hearts may even become cynical around having expectations of receiving or being worthy of goodness.

If this sounds familiar to you, start by just noticing and acknowledging that you have some struggles around believing you deserve and can receive goodness in your life with no strings attached and with no drama or trauma to follow or spoil it. By doing this, you are using your Wise Mind to accept where you are at right now. Realize that, as a child, you had no control over much of what happened around and to you. As an adult, you do. You are more empowered than you ever have been.

If it's not too painful, consider acknowledging and accepting some times in your life when things you expected to be good experiences were sabotaged and you were disappointed. Remember how old you were, and picture yourself comforting that part of you. Reassure her that while this painful event took place and was disappointing, life has and will continue to present opportunities for you to genuinely experience goodness in you life. Then, be open to this.

You *do* deserve goodness.
You *do* deserve things to go right for you.

You can internalize this message by perhaps having this mantra -- these cheerleading statements to help change your mind:

I deserve goodness.
I deserve for things to go right for me.
I am receptive to goodness in my life.
I welcome goodness into my life.
I release disappointment from the past and am open to good experiences now.

Consider writing these down, and when you have breaks, read them a few times. Set an alarm to go off every few hours on your phone, and have each alarm show one of the cheerleading statements. You are worth this investment of time, and over time, it will make a difference.

I hope this was helpful to you in some way.

Thank for reading.
More soon.


  1. I can REALLY relate to this post. (Once again!) I find myself actually noticing that when I experience a good emotion, I am expecting it to end. I actively say to myself internally, "this will be very fleeting".

    Now that I think about it, after reading your post, I realise that the feelings I am having behind those thoughts are "don't trust this, it won't last, you or someone you love will ruin it, you will fail, like always".

    I knew that when I felt good emotions I reminded myself they'd go away, but I did not know I was actually sending these deeper messages to myself about past failures and hurts.

    This post made me realise I need to do some work on learning to enjoy good emotions, and not spend the whole time remembering past pain and preparing for it to occur again. A bad experience in my past has no bearing on my future. In fact, I can now see I have been drawing these links between totally unassociated events. (As in, I have a lot of hurt in my past romantic relationships, but I presently tell myself not to enjoy a movie or a good day with family. Totally unrelated!)

  2. I 100% relate to this post. im always waiting for something to go wrong....within my relationship i tend to stir the pot if we have a few good days....nothing ever really works out the way it is intended. im starting to think that i am the reason things go wrong....negative thoughts =negative outcomes?



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