In the dawning of a brand new day, I have a question for your ponderance: If I were to behave toward you the way you behave toward you, would this be a good thing? You don’t need to answer this question aloud. However, it might help you get a firm grasp on the gravity of the question if you do so.
self-esteem |ˈˌself əˈstēm|
Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect
Over the last five decades the term self-esteem has been thrown around very loosely and usually with regard to women. Edging into the 60s, women, more and more, sought a certain freedom. This was a freedom from the perceived chains that bound them for centuries to home, kitchen and family. In most countries, for decades, women were thought of as less than second class citizens. They had no rights. They could own no property. They, in essence, belonged to their father and then to their husband. Their job was to stay home to cook, clean, mend and tend the children while the men went out to earn the living. It is difficult for one to feel any self-respect when constantly being told by everyone they are not worthy.
Of this, I speak truth. I am a child abuse and bullying survivor. From a very young age I was told I was no good and would never amount to anything. These mean, hurtful words stayed with me through my life and, while I have gained respect for me, those words still return to haunt me when I am most vulnerable.
Here, I am reminded of a quote from the movie First Wives Club, “You don’t need self-esteem, you’re married.” This throws us back again to the times when women were expected to be married and stay in the background while their husbands handled everything else. A side note, I was pleased that the person who made that statement to her daughter in the movie watched as her daughter ignored her and grew as a person, then she decided her daughter was right.
In the animal kingdom, the males are the more beautiful and ornate creatures. In the human realm, the women are thought to be the more beautiful and are expected to adorn themselves and make sure they look the best they can, especially while they are cooking, cleaning and tending the children. They are ornaments that the men wear on their arms when they go out in public.
Just in case you are believing this post is directed at women for the purpose of man-bashing, let me correct you. I have just cited what many societies have believed and practiced for many years. There was a time, eon ago, that women and men were equals. They worked, raised their children and even fought side-by-side. Religions teach that women are lesser and should be protected by man. Evolved civilizations see all human beings as equal.
Be ye male, or be ye female, this post is for you.
Let me make one point very clear – YOU ARE WORTHY! Surviving abuse and bullying of any kind can cause great rifts in a person’s psyche. As previously stated, mine is still mending. I began by having the word ‘Believe’ as my mantra. It is not directed at a religious belief, but a belief in myself that had been lacking from childhood. It has taken a long time and hard work to get to where I am now. I have also found that I have a few intimate friends who really do love and support me and reassure me that I am moving forward with my life.
I cannot sit here and give you the old hocus-pocus of “You are what you believe you are” and it is “Mind over matter” or any of those other corny clichés we have heard all our lives. You have to decide for yourself what works for you. The question I asked in the beginning can be a start. I found myself vulnerable recently and the old ways began to seep in. I stopped and thought for a moment about how I would feel if people I knew spoke to me the way I just spoke to myself. The answer was, “I would hate it.”
No human being is born unworthy. We are all beautiful. We all have potential. We all deserve love. Get to know the real you. The you that was born untouched by the cruel harshness of other people. That person is still inside. That person is worthy of YOUR love.