What’s self-esteem got to do with it?

I don’t know why it is exactly, but I have found that the people with the healthiest self-esteem make the greatest friends, lovers and partners. I’m not talking about arrogant people, believe me I know enough of them. I’m talking about people who know they are both good and bad yet believe at the deepest level they are really good for people.

It’s a life changing moment when somebody wakes up to this reality, when they realize they were created so other people could enjoy them, not just endure them. Again, I’m not talking about arrogant people.

One of the most gratifying conversations I had recently was with a mate who was commenting on how I dealt with a problem she had shared. I wont tell you what the problem was  because it’s not relevant to my point, but my friend said she had appreciated the measured, grounded way I responded to her which didn’t dismiss her problem as being silly or trivial (which she felt it was) but I had appeared to understand her anxieties without telling her what to do. Really?!

Now that was pretty unsettling to hear I have to say. No one has EVER described me as grounded or measured.  I was far more used to hearing adjectives like ‘flighty’, ‘impulsive’ and ‘too directive’. So I found myself wondering what had changed in me that people are now picking up a different vibe?

Well I guess time and a slow dawning that the words of Psalm 139 – which were pointed out to me by a loving, Heavenly Father many years ago at a time when I needed some advice that was measured and grounded myself – had slowly seeped into my inner consciousness and increased my own self-esteem enough to know that I could actually be quite good for people.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 13-16) 

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, if our identity (who we know ourselves to be) gets broken, it affects our ability to connect with other people. And I wonder if in reality we are not all a lot better for each other than we think we are, but we just haven’t recognised it yet.

It is fair to say that in a lifetime we are not going to become perfect people, but I wonder how many of us are holding back on relationships because we think we have nothing to offer them that will make their lives better. I know I have felt that, and in some circumstance I still can think like that, but then I have to remind myself that my perception of me isn’t often what others see, no matter how well I think I know myself.