I’ve been thinking deeply lately. (no jokes about seeing smoke allowed) This is part one of my deep thoughts…
Last week I wrote a list entitled “If you really knew me you would know that…”
It was a wonderful exercise, and it brought up an interesting discussion on self-esteem. Jane posted a question on her blog regarding the issue. I would link you to it, but her blog has gone private. Anyhoo, I was going to comment there, but too many ideas came to mind.
First of all, the word SELF-ESTEEM is a funny one. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t a word made up by shrinks. They convince us that we need this thing, this self-esteem. Without it we are lost souls who have no hope of loving anybody in our lives until we learn to love ourselves. We pay thousands of dollars in therapy in the endless pursuit of a made up word. I decided to look the meaning up. According to Wikipedia: In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth includes a person’s subjective appraisal of himself or herself as intrinsically positive or negative to some degree. To me, that means that self-esteem is both positive AND negative. If you break the word down to its individual parts, however, you get SELF and ESTEEM. We know what self means and esteem means to respect or appreciate. Okay. So, as Jane asked, why do some women respect and appreciate themselves and others do not? This is the complicated question that results in thousands of dollars spent at the shrink’s office. It has something to do with our inner little girl and other crap that happened when we were too young to have any control over our lives. Therefore, it’s not our fault and we should just move on. There. Cured. No? Ah well. Back to the shrink’s, I guess.
For me, the start of overcoming this lack of self-esteem is to talk about it to all who will listen. My friends were getting sick of listening to me ramble on so I started a blog to torture you lot with my tired little rants. Even though I joke, it’s not far from the truth. Except the part about my friends being sick of me. Right, friends? I am a strong believer in the Dr. Philism: “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. I am on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and enlightenment. As cliché as that sounds, I wholeheartedly embrace that as my truth. Sometimes I feel real shitty about myself and other times I feel like singing my praises to all. For instance, as much as I admit that I care too much what people think of me, my empathy and deep caring of other people’s feelings is a quality that I would not want to lose. I get angry quickly, and while this IS something that I intend on changing, my passion is something that I love about myself. I don’t mesh well with people who sit silent while there is a compelling discussion happening around them.
So, from time to time I will confess my shortcomings. I may sound like a pity party when I do it, but that is not my intention. I write about them because, I believe, it is how I will learn to overcome them. I also welcome words of wisdom and truth from you because, as I said, I am on a journey of self discovery. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s open season on Debbie. What I love is inspiration in the form of other people’s stories and experiences. Please, share them with me.
In closing, I will say that one of my best qualities is my ability to pick good friends. I don’t think that I have one toxic friend in my life. That says a lot about my friends, but it says a lot about me, too.