Self-esteem : The ability to trust one’s mind and know they are worthy of happiness
It wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t even know the definition of self-esteem. But had you told me the definition alone, and I would have demanded to know the name of the ability, and more importantly, how I could acquire it.
More knowledgeable since then. I have developed an outlook of my own where I view self-esteem as a seed planted in us at birth. The conditions we go through from the day we take our first breath, to our first step and onwards, all determine the quality and rate of its growth.
Personally, mine flowered relatively well. Unfortunately this was due to overly sheltered conditions. The good intentions of my protective parents prevented me from progressively adjusting to the harsher climate and conditions of ‘the real world’.
When I hit a certain stage and realised that life wasn’t all roses, I started to whither.
Endless job rejections, a break up, friends drifting away, feeling unfulfilled with my work. What I know now as the normal seasons of life, I felt then was too much to take. Worst of all, I took everything that was happening as a direct measure of my own worth.
Things went dark for a while and I wont go into too much detail. I will say that a change of perspective was the much needed ray of light.
People just don’t get along and they split up, it happens. No one is better, and no one is less, together they are different. The economic climate is unpredictable and out of your control, so finding a job will be hard and doing a degree never guaranteed anything. Every rejection you get, so do hundreds of others, so its not personal. Friends leave overtime, but better ones come along . Regardless if you feel behind, you’re only competing with yourself as everyone has their own individual race to run with their own set of obstacles.
Reciting positive thoughts helped. But there was something else that regardless of external factors, made me feel good about myself from an internal source.
It was the words of my favourite poem Desiderata as pictured above. Which showed me the power of words and inspired me to start writing.
These words illustrate the most important fact that the complexity of the world makes every detail beautiful in its own way, even if it is considered a flaw. Everything plays its role and purpose to add variety to this world, and that includes us.
When I look up at the night sky and understandably fail to comprehend the depth of space, I feel the same as when I’m at the beach on a sunny day and likewise, fail to comprehend the depth to the ocean. You can fill this lack of knowledge with wonder, or you can fill it in with faith.
Personally, I just feel lucky simply for the chance to exist. It’s also hard not to feel part of something greater. Religion will tell you that you’re the son or daughter of a god. Science says that the elements that make the world, make us.
Regardless of which view is adopted, it’s simply a feeling of belonging. To a world so vast, we are no more than children, and like every child should be, loved unconditionally simply because we exist.