Thursday, November 03, 2005

Let’s Discuss: Self-esteem…Trying to be “Good Enough” to Love.

Let’s Discuss: Self-esteem…Trying to be “Good Enough” to Love.

My first comment to this is “RELAX, there is no such thing as being perfect, nor secret scale to measure if you are good enough to love.” As far as I’m concerned, as long as you exist and aren’t planning on bringing forth the next holocaust, or a mass murderer, than you are definitely good enough to love.

Seriously, there isn’t such a thing, as being good enough to love. You should be loved just as you are; not because of what you can accomplish, or have accomplished in the past. There need not be any other reason than you exist, and are one of God’s creatures. To feel the love of others, you must first be able to feel love of self. If you are unable to feel love for yourself, from yourself, how can you possibly know what it feels like to be loved by others? How do you accept that love and trust, if you’ve never learned to love yourself? It sounds easy to be able to love yourself, but it can be the most difficult, and challenging task, set before us. It is too easy to believe those negative statements we give ourselves. We especially devour the negative things other people say about us. Can you even count the times you’ve called yourself stupid, for making a small mistake, or just being human? How many times have you felt like a loser or not good enough, because of minor errors or lapse in judgment? We would easily overlook in another person, but obsess and make into a huge problem for ourselves? It isn’t fair but we do it.

We can make great strides in our life and accomplish great things; yet, it isn’t the good things we do, that we remember and savor; it’s the mistakes or loss opportunities that we often dwell on. Instead of building up our self-esteem and self-images we constantly tear ourselves down. Why must we intensely focus on an extra fat roll, or some imagined imperfection? What is this endless pursuit for perfection that we are striving for? It isn’t there. It doesn’t happen. God knows we aren’t perfect nor doesn’t he that of expect us. If we were actually perfect, we could be God. Guess What? He isn’t looking for a replacement. When he does he’ll take out an ad. Until then don’t worry about it.

How then, do we begin to accept and love ourselves? First, we take stock. Not of what is wrong with us. What we didn’t do, or we should have done, but what we did do. We use compassion and look at all our positive traits and accomplishments. The key word here is compassion. To honestly value ourselves as human beings; not be drawn into the negative thoughts and tapes that run through our minds from the past. It isn’t just trying to put a good face on things. It’s just for once in your life to not judge yourself harshly but be to judge yourself as you would others… with compassion. If you allow yourself to be fair and honest, you’ll find that the list is actually a pretty long one because…face it you’re a good person. Yes, you have made some mistakes. You have some shortcomings… relax, your human; you can work on them; but only one by one. It’s ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are just life’s way of helping us to learn. Not, a weapon to beat ourselves up with. Next time you look in to the mirror; try it. Think of something good about yourself, then think of something you’ve accomplished; keep doing that until you realize what a valuable and lovable person you are. What if you can only think of one thing a day? Take it one day at a time but keep doing it. What do you have to lose? You have so much to gain.

I, personally, long held out hope of my family loving me, wanting me, and being good enough for them to love. It took me quite awhile, a lot of soul-searching, growing up, and some downright hard work but I did at last come to find out that not only was I “good enough” for other people to love...It was okay that I loved myself enough to finally put down the “stupid stick” that I was constantly beating myself up with. Take it someone who knows, it feels pretty darn good to be able to stop constantly fighting and swimming upstream trying to be “good enough”. I was good enough a long time ago. I just needed to lower that standard bar from perfection to okay.

by Kay L. Schlagel