There are very few of us who don’t have or haven’t had self-esteem issues. One of the consequences of suffering from low self-esteem is a loss of personal power. If my self-esteem is operating at sixty percent then forty percent of my power is not available to me, but where has it gone? It means that others and particularly some significant other will hold that power that is rightfully mine. My inner void means that I am now dependent on their approval to feel validated for who I am. If he or she is smiling towards me I feel good but if they are a bit crunchy and having a bad hair day then I get out my comb. The fear of what others think becomes a limiting factor that prevents me from saying and doing what is true to myself. Aiming to please becomes the goal of my life and fear of failure prevents me from ever beginning. We make conscious choices as to how we are going to relate to another. Can we not also make a conscious choice as to how we are going to relate to ourselves, whether to be our own best friend or our own worst enemy? Only the person who is close to himself or herself is capable of being truly close to another.
By Fr Jim Cogley