Ep 04: Why You Can Stop Trying To Be A Good Wife

The religious beliefs I was taught as a kid were masked with love and grace. But I didn’t have to dig too deep to feel the underlying message of “You’re really not good enough unless you live up to the ideal image of a perfect wife and mother.”

Even when you leave religion out of the picture, as a culture we judge and criticize our fellow humans and ourselves way more readily than we see our worth exactly as we are.

And we worry that if we start loving ourselves too much … we might just give up on everything.  We might stop being kind to others. And we might choose to take bubble baths all day and eat oreos on the couch and forget about the goals we need to accomplish!

It’s time to smash those beliefs right now. Join me in this episode to learn how to flip the idea of earning our worth on it’s head!

If you want help implementing the tools I teach, I would be honored to be your life coach. Working with a coach helps you to create change quicker, easier, and with more fun along the way! Are you ready to create a more Joyful Love in your own Life and Marriage? Then  click here to find out more. 

What You’ll Learn From This Episode

  • How guilt and shame is holding you back from pure joy.
  • How to let go of perfectionism so you WANT to have intimacy again.
  • The key to accomplishing your goals is seeing how worthy you are now.
  • If you are worthy of love, exactly as you are … Is your partner worthy too?
  • Don’t wait for others to see your worth. Only one person needs to see your worthiness of love … that person is in the mirror.

Mentioned On The Show:

  • Brene Brown’s Book, The Gifts of Imperfection  https://brenebrown.com/thegifts-hub/
  • Mel Robin’s High Five Tip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TNS6ekLk3Y

If you’d like to ask questions or tell me what you think, send an email to podcast@rachaelcunningham.com

Go here to watch a free class and receive my weekly newsletters. https://www.rachaelcunningham.com/

Podcast Transcript:

Hi! This is Rachael Cunningham and you are listening to Joyful Love, Episode 4

Hello Friends!

Today we’re gonna talk about Deep rooted thoughts of unworthiness and the belief that we carry deep in our minds that we have to do more or be better to be worthy of love.

Worthy of loving ourselves… worthy of love from our partners … worthy of love from our parents, our kids and our friends.

You know, this is something we all struggle with, right?

There’s this space in between where we are today and where we want to be…. And in that space – we have this belief that we’re just not good enough until we get to where we want to be.

Whether that’s the health we desire, the body we desire, the job we long for, the relationship we want, or our ability to have even have healthy conversations….

When we remember our imperfections, and recognize how far we have to grow … we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough as we are.

If this sounds familiar to you… you’re not alone.

But I want you to start recognizing that this belief is holding you back from connecting with your true self … and it’s definitely hindering your connection with the love of your life too.

Ok… so I’m gonna let you into my personal brain for minute!  Your ready?

It’s an extreme example of viewing ourselves as unworthy…

It happened to me a few years ago, I woke up one morning to the thought 5 little words …. “I’m probably going to hell.”

Now it’s been a while since I shed the religious beliefs I was taught as a child … so when this thought popped in my head, I immediately was like, Woah, where did that come from? I don’t even believe in hell anymore!

When I was a kid, we went to churches that definitely taught the hell-fire messages. I remember watching the 70’s rapture movies …. Which were An evangelical take on the end of the world… And they TERRIFIED ME as a young kid!

Now I still believe in a higher power that is full of love and compassion and wisdom.

I’ve done a lot of work over the past 20 years to embrace the love and beauty of this world. And to understand that my spirituality doesn’t have to look like what I grew up with.

And those hell fire beliefs were long gone! … At least I thought they were long gone!  But when this thought popped in my head that morning, I realized some of those feelings of being unworthy and deserving of hell fire… are still buried deep in my thoughts.

So why does my brain want to go there … to the worst case scenario of unworthiness.

The root of this thought was I’m not worthy and I’m not good enough.

It comes from the more common beliefs that we all have on occasion like…

I’m not doing enough for my family.

I’m not caring for myself enough.

I’m not worthy of love.

What does my husband see in me?

And … even thoughts like, “I should have my life together by now!”

These thoughts are the epitome of self-loathing. And they creep in without our permission sometimes!

But I want to offer that just because a thought pops up without our permission does not mean we have to believe it. It doesn’t mean we have to hold onto it and suffer with it.

Now … I’m big on journalling … I like to write out my thoughts so I can look at them…

So that morning that this thought popped in my head that told me I deserved hell … I pulled out my pen and paper…. And wrote my heart out.

After journaling all the reasons this thought came to my mind, I was able to uncover the subconscious thoughts that were lurking deep inside still.

And I just sat with it for a bit. I felt the weight of those feelings.  I let myself look at the reasons I felt unworthy. I let myself cry.

And then…  I called bullshit on my brain, friends.

I said, Ok brain … I’m onto you. And I control you … YOU don’t control ME!!

The brain is a beautiful thing. It’s main job is to help us survive.

But the job of survival takes over and goes on overdrive. And it constantly looks for what is wrong in life.

So … thank you brain for keeping us as a species alive … but we don’t just want to survive. We want to THRIVE.

And if we don’t know how to watch our brain and call bullshit on it at times … it will keep us from thriving. And it will also keep us from having incredible relationships with our partners.

If I would have held onto that thought that “I’m not good enough. And I’m not worthy enough of Love”  it would have not just brought me down in that moment … but it would have prevented me from showing up with LOVE for myself and others.

We adopt these unworthy thoughts about ourselves and we hold onto them because we THINK if we just beat ourselves up enough … we’ll finally do better.

If we focus on our flaws enough … we’ll guilt our way into change.

We’re afraid that if we truly LOVE and respect ourselves as we are, we might get too prideful.

It’s no secret that humans are not perfect … we make mistakes … we’re still learning to show up as our highest selves.

But where we get it wrong … is in thinking that we have to beat ourselves up in order to learn.

We think we don’t deserve love if we are in the process of growing.

And that my friends is a belief that holds us back.

Believing we’re not worthy of love robs us of peace.

It blocks us from connection with our family and friends.
And it keeps us in grinding and hustling mode instead of enjoying the one life we’ve got!

Have you ever gotten so busy that you went weeks or months without talking to a good friend or family member?

Then you start feeling guilty that you haven’t spoken with them for ages?  So you tell yourself things like, “I’m a horrible friend.”

And you feel so much guilt that you put off the call even longer.

And the guilt continues … every week that goes by and you haven’t made that phone call is one more brick that builds a wall between you.  

The guilt doesn’t connect you … it keeps you disconnected.

And the same is true with spouses right?  

It may have been so long since you’ve had a date that you feel awkward even asking for one.

Or it’s been so long since you’ve had sexy times and enjoyed intimacy …  that it feels like one more thing you’re not worthy of.

As long as you keep telling yourself, “i’m not good enough. I’m a horrible wife. Why do they even put up with me?

Or.. “I don’t deserve to feel joy in my life and my relationship when I’m so selfish or lazy, or grumpy … or critical … or any other negative word your brain likes to feed you.

I want to flip this belief on it’s head right now.

We are imperfect humans … and that is exactly WHY we need and deserve love.

The moment you came into this world as a human being – you were worthy of love.


No one questions that with a baby do they? That baby is worthy of love and kindness and tenderness, and compassion JUST because they are a creation brought into this world.

They don’t have to do anything to deserve or earn love.  

We give it to them – just because.

They are 100% worthy and lovable simply as they are.

I want you to start here today with yourself.  YOU are 100% worthy of love just as you are.  No change necessary!

Now … this doesn’t mean your partner is going to have an easy time loving you … their ability to love completely is on them. Let’s leave that in their court for now! It’s not your job to change them. It’s not your job to get them to love you exactly how you want them to. I want you to let go of that responsibility.

And let’s not use your partners ability or inability to love as an excuse for you to not love yourself.

You might be worried that if you love yourself more, you’ll become selfish or prideful – or that you’ll stop pursuing your goals and learning in life.

Friend, This is the farthest thing from the truth!

When you love yourself FULLY – you reach your goals faster.

When you love yourself completely – you LOVE OTHERS completely.

When you have grace on yourself for those hard days? It’s much easier to have grace on others for their hard days.

When you love yourself completely, you’re not living in denial – you’re living in the truth.

The truth that you are imperfect. The truth that you DO have things to learn in this life. The truth that life IS a mixture of negative and positive … and you learn to hold space for both … sometimes at the exact same time!

I had some really good practice at this on Mother’s Day this year!  Mother’s day can bring up a lot of emotions can’t it? We want to honor our own mothers and we want to be honored for all we do as mothers … yet our brains want to lead us down the path of , “but I could be better.”  “I should have known 10 years ago what I know now.”  “I’m selfish, and I’m not a good enough mother.”

My brain offered me all of these thoughts on Mother’s day. And it was a great opportunity for me to use the MAGIC 3 letter word AND.  A – N – D … AND.

I do have things I wish I would have known earlier in my parenting journey … AND …. I show up every day with love and intention for my kids.

I still … after 21 years of parenting … have growth to do as a mother … AND … I AM a really good mother.

I also use this in my relationship with my husband.  

Sometimes I let my own struggles in life hinder me from good communication with my husband … AND I know the importance of a good apology and a strategy to move us BACK to loving compassion with each other.

I can hold space for both – the positive and the negative … because I am WORTHY of love exactly as I am.

And that love starts with me. I am worthy of loving MYSELF exactly as I am.

I’m worthy of a good night sleep.

I”m worthy of feeding myself well.

I’m worthy of prioritizing my self care to include exercise and rest.

I’m worthy of going after my desires, my creativity and dreams in this life!

When we truly believe that … we no longer try to hide our imperfections.  We bring them to the open. We admit them. We embrace acceptance of ourselves…. Flaws and all.

And We lose the need to shame ourselves and hide.

Our imperfections become one more thing to LOVE about ourselves!  They are part of our story – part of our journey – not something to be hidden, avoided, and criticized.

I just finished re-reading Brene’ Browns book, the Gifts of Imperfection.

She says, and I quote:

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Brene’ goes on to talk about how shame, blame and withholding affection damages the roots from which love grows.

She says that Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged and healed.

To acknowledge our imperfections and to begin healing ourselves fully … we must first start with the truth that we are – as is – 100% worthy of love.

I don’t care if you’ve spent the last year sitting on the coach, letting everything fall apart around you — or if you’ve done another version of that by working non-stop so you don’t have to make time look at your relationship — or somewhere in between — YOU are worthy of love, right now, exactly as you are.

You’re as lovable as that newborn baby.

Now … here’s some more juiciness for you!!!

If you are 100% worthy of love … where do you go from there?

With that foundation… that you are worthy as you are … You start watching your own thoughts… you watch yourself think … it’s very meta, isn’t it? To watch yourself think?

But that’s exactly where we start – by bringing awareness to our thoughts and then purposefully choosing which thoughts are gonna move us forward in love and which ones are gonna hold us back.

SO Question your thinking. Just because a thought pops in your head, doesn’t mean you have to hold onto it and believe it.

You CHOOSE the thoughts you want to keep to propel you forward in life.

And second, you don’t wait for everyone else in your life to figure out how to show you that love before you love yourself.

You start with showing yourself that love that you deserve, right now.

Take a good long look in the mirror.  I’m serious… Look yourself straight in the eyes, and give yourself some love.

I just did this today…. I looked at myself in the mirror – deep into my own eyes … and said, “You’re doing a GREAT job, Rachael”

This isn’t something that comes natural to me!! I grew up with abuse and shame … and my inclination is to beat myself up too.

But I’m telling you now… it feels so much better to recognize your own greatness than to beat yourself up!

I love the way Mel Robbins says to high five yourself in the mirror. What’s your version of this?

Start showing up for yourself as a person who FULLY and completely knows to her deepest core that she is worthy of love exactly as she is now.

Now it may have been a while since you’ve genuinely loved yourself as you are.

You may be scared to stop beating yourself up. You may have so much fear of staying stuck that you think loving yourself will keep you stuck longer.

I promise … it’s the opposite. The act of loving yourself as you are is exactly the thing that will get you unstuck.

So let me help you get started.

There are many ways to love yourself.

You can say no when you need to.

You can stop comparing yourself to others.

You can be present in the moment and stay present in your conversations with your loved ones …  instead of letting your mind wonder to worry and criticism.

You can be honest with yourself.

forgive yourself.

You can decide to do something JUST for fun this week!

Take a nap or a bath.

Or spend an hour brain storming that creative project you’ve been puting off!

There are a million ways to love yourself  and you don’t need an excuse to do so.

YOu can choose to love yourself in thought, feeling and action simply because you are a human worthy of love.

And when you get really good at this … watch yourself create a better relationship with the love of your life?

Because the more you love yourself….

The more you will find deep understanding that your partner is also worthy of love – exactly as they are.

In all their forgetfulness.

In all their hard days.

In all their stressed out meltdowns.

In all their imperfections …

They are still worthy of love and kindness simply because they are a human on this planet.

And when you get really good at loving yourself and honoring your own needs and desires in this life – showing love to your partner – is simply an extension of that.

When the basic foundation of YOUR life is to accept and trust yourself – that will bleed out into every area of your life – from accomplishing your goals – to creating a beautiful relationship with your partner.

Loving and accepting yourself as you are doesn’t hold you back — it propels you forward.

NExt time your mind goes to criticism – whether it’s about yourself or your partner … Allow yourself to interrupt that criticism with the lovability factor.

The fact that You are lovable exactly as you are. Your partner is loveable exactly as he or she is.

Love heals.

Criticism tears down.

Compassion allows for wisdom to rise in us.

Blame blocks our curiosity to connect with each other.

So – you are lovable, right now exactly as you are.

And in turn … your partner is lovable, right now, exactly as they are.

You are complete – as you are. You don’t need anything outside of you to complete you.

Did you hear that? Let it sink in. Deep in your bones, friends!

You are 100% complete … right NOW … simply because you are here!

You know, so many times we are so stuck in our deep seeded thoughts and beliefs that we need help in seeing the blind spots.

Having a third party help you to watch your own brain and get unstuck is exactly why there is so much power in coaching.

If you want to get unstuck in your life and marriage …
pop over to rachaelcunningham.com to find free classes, get my newsletters, and even to book a free consultation with me when you’re ready.

A more Joyful Love … for yourself and your partner is available to you … YES! YOU!  So go get it!

And … y’all know I love to hear from my listeners.  

SO Feel free to reach out and tell me what you think .. ask questions … tell me what topics you’d like me to talk about … I wanna know it all!

You can send me an email at

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Okay! So much love to you this week!

Go out and love yourself and your partner up!!  You both deserve it!

Enjoy the Show?