a different way to heal your self-esteem 2012This article should have been titled “How To Increase Your Self-Esteem”, but I decided that instead of merely INCREASING one’s self-esteem, one should HEAL it completely in such a way as to forever cast away one’s futile efforts of increasing something that can never really be increased enough as to satisfy our wants.

To say that our self-esteem is low is to compare it to something higher.  But to be able to attain that higher degree could only mean that there is still something beyond that.  How high is high enough?  How much increase is really necessary?  In truth, it is not an increase in self esteem that we should aim for, but a complete healing of our wounded sense of self worth.

You Need To Rebuild From The Ground Up

Before we could attain true healing, we must first recognize our wounds. Before we could rebuild our sense of worth, we must first acknowledge how broken it really is.

Where is your self esteem founded? How firm is that foundation from which it is currently built?

Are you confident because you are beautiful? But what if you mingle among others who are more beautiful than you?  And for how long will you stay that way?  What happens when you grow old and that beauty fades?

Are you secure with your success? What if the business or the reputation you’ve built suddenly falls?  What are you worth by then?  For how long could you hold on to your riches?  Can you still enjoy any of it as your body rots in the grave?

All our efforts of increasing our self esteem is futile for in the end, all such efforts lead only to fear, the fear of losing everything we have ever gained.

There Is a Different Way to Heal

The healing of our wounds can no longer depend on the external actions we take such as working harder, eating healthier, or studying longer hours.  The only way to healing is to be healed from within because our wounds are not wounds of the body, but of the soul.

Deep in one’s soul, we feel a great emptiness and uncertainty.  We feel compelled to measure up to the standards of other people while at the same time, not being able to measure up to our own sense of wholeness.

We try to be strong, yet it seems we could never be strong enough.  We even try to be good, but we could never be holy enough.  We are always followed by our sense of shame, and so we hide ourselves with masks of perfection and of beauty.   Beyond that mask however, we feel inadequate, and we feel tired of trying over and over again.

How We Could Achieve Healing

Healing begins when we STOP our frantic efforts to keep up with others.  Healing begins when we are able to face our worst pictures of ourselves and still believe that we are worth something.

What are you worth?

You are worth more than you ever thought yourself to be.  You are worth more than your body or your intelligence or your strength.  You are worth more than your success and your riches.  These things are given you but they are not the essence of who you are.

Your real worth is your likeness to God Himself. It is that spark which came from ancient times, that breath which made you think and move and love.

Because you can be a vessel of God’s joy, you are worth something.  Because you can be an object of His love, you are worth so much more than all the stars combined.

Your worth is not in what you possess, but in Him who possesses you.

Your worth is not in how you can cover up your imperfections, but in how God can make you perfect by receiving all that He could ever give to you.

Only in losing everything can you realize how broken you are.  But only in being broken can you be healed by knowing how valuable you are to the only One who can heal you.

Below are common areas of our self esteem’s woundedness.  Let us try to find their healing by bringing them to the light of God’s love for us.

Common Areas of Our Woundedness

1. Beauty

Even the most beautiful among us will grow old someday.  The beauty that we envy now is but a fleeting joy.  Others are not more worthy to be loved just because they are beautiful.  We become beautiful because of God’s great love for us.

2. Intelligence

Our intellect, no matter how advanced it may be is nothing as compared with the minds of angels.  And angels, no matter how great their wisdom may be is nothing as compared to the depths of God’s wisdom.  God can grant us an insight we could never find in all the books of the world, but this is not the reason why we should feel more worthy or less worthy in His Presence.

3. Strength

We have but a limited time on earth. The healthiest and the strongest among us cannot even live beyond two centuries.  To base our worth with our physical strength is to look down on people just because they are disabled or sick or dying.  Every man has God’s dignity in him no matter his physical strength.

4. Wealth/Success

The material things we own will someday rot and decay.  Nothing can last forever except God’s love.  Wealth does not indicate that one man is better than the other for we know not where such wealth has come from.  One man may be silently accomplishing God’s will in His life and reaping eternal fruits that have not yet been revealed in the current time.

5. Social Skills

Other people may be better at mingling in social events and in communicating with other people.  They appear attractive, they attract the admiration of many.  But not everyone who is praised is really good.  Many are even criticized for standing up for the truth.   There are people who are not adept at socializing with other men, but in their silent prayers, they can reach God’s Presence, and in this, they can find their joy.

6. Talent

What is talent?  It is but a gift from God, and for this, no one should boast.  Each one is given a unique gift for in truth, we are God’s wonderful gift to each other.  Let each one mind his own and improve the gift he is given.

7. Goodness/ Holiness

Only God is good.  No person is really holy no matter how good he or she appears to be.  If we had no need to be saved from ourselves, Jesus wouldn’t have died for us all.  Let none boast therefore that he is kinder or braver or more patient.  We do not earn God’s love with our goodness.  We become good because God has guided us patiently towards the path of His goodness.  All that we can offer God is our gratitude for all the MERCY that we have been given.