Self Esteem / Part 2
That statement bears a question that needs to be asked. What is it that we deserve? Here are some common replies:
• To have a good life.
• To have a good job and make enough money to buy what we want.
• For people to like me and to have fun.
• To have a good family and friends.
• To live in a nice house in a good, safe neighborhood.
All of these responses have something to do with gain because of action on our parts. In other words, we apparently deserve to reap what we sow.
As human beings, we are constantly in motion doing. Whether waking or sleeping, our time is marked by action. We eat, rest, play, work, think, do. And how we “do” builds our self-esteem. A person works hard at something, let’s say cooking delicious food, and feels good about themselves striving towards that goal. Even if the food sucks at first, we admire the effort. It’s the effort that is lauded. Working hard at anything, doing something with some modicum of effort is highly valued in our country and will produce a rosy glow of self-esteem. So even the bully in the schoolyard or the CEO’s office, who works quite hard at ruling those perceived as weaker, feels quite good about the effort and result. As does the politician who serves not the people, but, by putting their balls in the pockets of lobbyists, serves special interests. Robin Hood might have given the booty to the poor, but every thief feels good about the skill of the steal.
I believe it is a misperception that building self-esteem in a person is the panacea for correcting poor behavior. Or for developing constructive values that build compassion and a desire for caring instead of tearing at each other. Self-esteem does not know good or bad. A victim will choose to remain in the role of victim if their actions garner attention and gain. As does the bully. If we are led to believe that it is what we do to feel good about ourselves and get what we deserve, then high self-esteem will trump the cards every time. And I use the word trump very intentionally.
I don’t believe in building self-esteem to produce anything really except extrinsic reward. Because it has nothing to do with what we deserve. What every human on the earth deserves is love. I have stated before in an earlier post that it is our all-encompassing birthright. And we harvest love not by what we do, but through knowing our self-worth and being that which we know.
Self-worth is a powerful, guiding force. We come from Baby Heaven as a soul of light and are born into a literal miracle, our body. A living, breathing organism intricately designed to live on this earth. We are light. That is our worth. It is who we are. I do believe that our greatest individual gifts are lent in best measure to allowing our light to burst out and shine. That is our self-worth. To build a conscious knowledge of the light in ourselves and to foster that light in others. It’s not about doing. It’s about being. It’s like turning on a lamp in a dark room. The light in the darkness. See?
Please allow me to share my personal daily reminder of my self-worth that I’ve had posted on my fridge for years. I look at it most every day (because I love what’s in the fridge!). It is taken from the book, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, and quoted in the 1994 inaugural speech by Nelson Mandela. These words, at first, confounded my ego. Now they serve to dispel any shadow of doubt of my self-worth.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Let’s face it……Instead of DOING GREAT emblazoned on the bow of the ship, U.S.S. All of Us, let’s boldly paint, LET IT SHINE.
May you have all the love that you deserve.