A Trip Inside My Roller-Coaster Thoughts:
Self-esteem is how one views or feels about themself. But wait...what if I am not sure what all self-esteem entails? Someone has to explain this to me! But wait...if I am not sure what it is, how will I know when I have it or if I am doing it right? I mean, surely I can't call it!
Do you think...am I pretty enough? Am I considered 'in'? Wait...you mean to tell me there's a meter? Self-esteem can be high or low? Hold up...you're confusing me! So now I have to not only figure out how I feel about myself, but I also have to find its place on this 'scale'? I am not nor do I ever want to be considered the arrogant type and being too confident looks like hard work. I think I will just chill right here at the lower end. But wait...these high-level people seem to have it all together. I don't look like them...I don't have what they have...I couldn't be a high flyer if I tried! I just can't make the cut! I don't fit in! So I'm not gonna even try...forget how I look or who likes me. Wait...do I even like me? I mean, what's the point? I would have to lose so many pounds and rob so many banks to get on that high level. Man I quit!
You know what...being cute really isn't that hard. I mean, it may take a little more effort than I'm used to, but people notice when I do. Okay...so if they like me when I dress like this or pretend to 'fly high', then that's what I'll do! But what about the days when I don't feel like the extra effort? Will they still accept me then? Hmm...I notice that when I don't look cute I don't feel cute. Even when I have tried my hardest, my efforts go to waste because no one noticed. Why does this have to be so hard? I mean some people look better in a t-shirt and jeans than I do in a ball gown and tiara! So I'm still not doing this right! Ugh...I quit AGAIN!
You know, being down here on the low end of the meter kinda sucks! It just feels dark and gloomy, and I want better for myself. So let's try this self-esteem thing one last time. I am gonna be cute with or without an audience...in my jeans or my Sunday's best! I don't care about anyone but me and my fine self. I think I am finally getting the hang of this! Hold on...I still don't have any friends. What?! I was sure that confidence was all I needed to get this thing right! Ok...back to the beginning...what am I doing wrong?
Maybe I will try it every now and again...no need in finding a place on this meter anyway. There are too many changes! What do you mean I am cute...your just saying that to be nice! You don't mean it! You didn't say that the last time! Beautiful...who me? I wish you could see past this pretty top or this little bit of eye make-up! I bet you would change your mind! Look, this 'confidence' you see was practiced in the mirror at home and only comes out when I see you. It's not real! I hid it for so long, but now I'm tired. This is really draining me!
Finally Stepping Off the Roller-Coaster
So this is basically my trip on the self-esteem roller coaster. I found myself either trying to please everyone or trying to make sure I wasn't seen. I either tried too hard or not at all. I will never forget the day God whispered to me 'You are worthy of love'. Sure, I have heard it before but this time something clicked. It was as if I received love for the first time in that moment. Did I mention that I was 20+ years old at the time?
I had spent so much of my life wanting to be accepted and then rejecting the acceptance in an attempt to protect myself from people who only wanted the 'high flying' me. So, as of lately, I am seeing that my esteem is in more than a look, more than a compliment, more than acceptance...more than an attempt. My true self-esteem is only going to come from me being who I was created to be. I can't dress it up or put make up on it and be cool with it because inside, I still know it's not real.
A bitter pill I am choking down now is that it really isn't all about me. I can't DO me and BE me at the same time. DOING me requires extra work, whereas BEING me comes more naturally. I have found that I am liked more when I am not trying to be. Working extra hard to be liked and self-satisfied leaves me more tired than I want to be. It used to be really easy for me to wear masks and put on facades, but it got overwhelming about 2 years ago. I got so good at being 'fake-happy' that natural God-given joy still seemed like a chore for me, and I was tired of trying! I felt like I still had to work for it. Once I got a better understanding of God and His grace, joy not only seemed attainable, but desired. God is changing in my perspective and mindset daily.
I am glad to say that I have gotten off of the roller coaster...the ride stops here!
Use Acacia's Self Esteem story to become more confident by remembering these 3 things:
1. Don't make it your goal to "be liked' make it your goal to be who you really are, and the right people will like you.
2. True self-esteem comes from being who God created you to be.
3. Allow God to change your mindset and perspective daily!