Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Self-esteem: That old internal parrot

Dave Walker has done it again! Judging by the responses to his latest post You are not good enough, there are enough 'internal parrots,' critics, censors, (tick your metaphor of choice) around to fill an aviary. Sadly, many, too many, of us struggle with poor self-esteem.  Miracle of miracles, I'm in a good place at the moment; yet there've been times when  it only takes one or two negatives to knock me off my perch.

Is there any cure?  From my own personal experience, I'd say time,  prayer, yes, but combined with a listening, non-judgemental ear; somebody who'll welcome me into a safe space where I can indulge in an attack of verbal diarrhoea  tell my story without someone rushing to fix/firing scripture verses at me willy-nilly. Who'll meet me where I am, not where they think I 'should' be.  If you search carefully, there are people around who're trained to do just that; they're  known as spiritual directors or spiritual companions.  Three cheers for them, and that host of retreat leaders, clergy, counsellors, pastoral people, prayer partners, and friends. They're worth their weight in gold.

Oh, and  an extra three cheers for the commenter who said: Sometimes the only thing that can help when you are lost in your own life is the sight of someone else jumping up and down shouting “help! I’m lost!” So, so true.

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