Posted by on January 10, 2013

“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” —Anonymous

Self- esteem is a tricky subject. Have you ever tried to encourage someone with a low self-esteem? It’s like they don’t even want to hear anything good about themselves. They’ll even argue about it. 

Sad Teenage GirlI did a little research, and actually telling someone who suffers from low self-esteem how great they are really doesn’t help them. Some of these people believe that at their core, they are bad, and it takes work (on their part) for them to see themselves accurately. One of the first steps in this work is for them to call into question this false picture. Believing they have a right to feel good about who they are is a new concept for them, but they can do it. It takes fighting off the put-downs and harsh self-critiques, and letting the good in. 

Sometimes this stuff is easier to see from the outside, so I wrote two separate journal entries for the same fictional person to depict the difference between someone with a low self-esteem and someone who has a healthier view of themselves.

Sally’s Journal (A) 

Today started poorly. I didn’t get up when I wanted to. I’m so undisciplined. If I’d gotten up in time, maybe I would’ve actually had a quiet time and remembered to fill up my water bottle for the day. So besides being groggy, I spent the day being dehydrated too. 

Businesswoman Walking Carrying a BagI wore my new skirt to work today. I actually thought I looked good, but no one seemed to notice, so maybe it doesn’t look as great as I thought it did. Or maybe they were all just so distracted  by my chubby, white legs that they never even got to my skirt. 

Work went okay. I just know I’m not going to get that promotion. Why would they pick me? They’ll probably want to bring in someone new who isn’t boring and quiet. 

I ate cold pizza cause there was a line at the microwave and the two people behind me were in a hurry. It wasn’t so bad. At least I didn’t forget my lunch. 

My new Kindle is working well. I played thirty rounds of Bejeweled before dinner. Words with Friends isn’t so hot,  though. How is it that someone with an English degree loses every game by at least 100 points? I feel stupid every time it says the word I put in really isn’t a word. As far as that goes, I should probably stay away from Facebook. Seeing how wonderful and beautiful all my friends lives are going isn’t really making me feel any better about the fact that I live alone with my water dragon and need something to seriously whiten my teeth. 

Ugh. 

Penny sent me an email today. She said all these great things about me and our friendship, but she just doesn’t know. If she knew what I’m really like, she’d not say any of that. Although, maybe she does know something because she put “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” at the end of her note. Maybe she was trying to point something out to me about my sinfulness… 

Sally’s Journal (B) 

Woman Turning Off AlarmThe verdict is in. My alarm clock is officially not working correctly. The snooze only went off once. It’s a good thing I woke up when I did. I missed my quiet time, though. I prayed in the car on the way to work. That’s not a bad idea to do anyway. Lots of crazy drivers out this morning. 

Work went well. I wore my new skirt. I love it. It was almost too comfortable though. Expandable waistbands are genius! Of course, I’m not so happy with my winter pounds (and where they choose to show themselves), but I know I can fix that. Getting back into my routine will help. 

Still no news on the promotion. They said they’d do interviews this week, so I asked Dr. Randolph when my interview would be. Tomorrow morning at 8 am. (Better fix my alarm clock.) I read over the job requirements again, and I meet every one of them. No, not just meet them, but exceed several of them. I can do this. Now if they’ll just be able to recognize that. 

I ended up having lunch with the two supervisors behind me in the microwave line. I know, weird, right? We were all in a hurry, so we just stood around the microwave heating our food and munching away. One of the girls had beaten me to the water fountain earlier, so we’d already met. They were surprisingly nice. 

After work, I started a book on my new Kindle. I love it. Of course the games tempt me, but so far I’ve stayed away from Bejeweled. I know what that game does to me, so no sense in even going there. Words with Friends is fun. Carol beat me again. But now that I know Qi is a word, I feel armed and ready for a rematch! Didn’t have much time for any other social media. My “to do” list took a huge hit, though. 

Penny sent me an email today. She’s a precious friend. It’s hard to believe we’ve been friends for ten years now. She’s loved me through a lot of bad stuff. And I’ve been there for her. To think, my best friend used to be a contentious lizard. Now there’s Penny and my small group and some people at work. Who would have thought? Maybe soon I’ll even be able to talk to that new guy in the singles’ group! Penny sent a good verse to memorize…“while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” That’s so true. He loves me completely and forgives me totally. 

Can you see the difference in the two entries? How does the person in entry A get to see herself like the person in entry B? It takes work and a commitment to the truth. It’s not really a question of trusting God more or praying harder. Everybody needs to do those two things. It’s about love. You know, loving others AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.

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