This morning I was speaking with a friend on the phone, when they brought up the topic of self-esteem.
They were struggling with an issue, related to their own low self-esteem, and wanted my advice on how to stay in a “good” place.
Right before I was about to answer they said, “I know you never have these moments and that’s why I called you. Your self-esteem seems so intact.”
I actually laughed.
I do have a tendency to come off self-assured, to smile and “act as if,” to seem to be moving forward without doubts, but that is years of spiritual footwork doing the talking!
Told time-and-time again by my best female mentors to:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
Just like any human being: I struggle with self-esteem constantly.
Always the over-achiever, always the stoic one, always acting the authority figure, all good qualities to have, but often masks that I learned to wear, over the course of my life, to hide my own fears and flaws, and protect myself from being hurt or humiliated.
I shared this truth with my friend.
Her relief flooded through the phone.
There is a closeness in knowing that we are all in the same boat.
An intimacy that comes from sharing our most vulnerable truth with those we love and trust.
By being honest about my own self-esteem, my friend now knows that we are in this together, that we will share our struggles along our spiritual paths, and that doubts related to self-esteem affect us all.
“Dear God, help me to have faith in the gifts you gave me. Let me be strong when the need arises… let me be vulnerable when it brings me strength.”
D… This feels very familiar. Friends / family feel open to ask for advice and want to see me, and are also so supportive right now with comments like ” gosh, you’re doing really well”.
And I do feel “like myself” some of the time.
But, I can look fine and simultaneously be feeling that my self-esteem is out there waiting for me to find it again!
They used to having a saying in the 12 Step Programs: Don’t judge someone’s insides by their outsides…. 🙂 I often thought someone was totally put together and that I was just a big old mess and then I realized…. we all have our struggles…. and though we may seem well put together on the outside…. we may still be suffering on the inside. I make sure today to always share my own personal struggles with others… and how I’m working my way through them. We are all in this together 🙂 D.