June 14      

Today's quotation:

The feeling that "I am enough" does not mean that I have nothing to learn, nothing further to achieve, and nowhere to grow to.  It means that I accept myself, that I am not on trial in my own eyes, that I value and respect myself.  This is not an act of indulgence but of courage.

Nathaniel Branden

Self-Esteem Every Day

Today's Meditation:

I really need to be able to depend upon myself if I'm to make the most of this life I've been given.  I need to be able to depend on others as well, but first and foremost, I need to be okay with who I am and confident in my own abilities.  If I'm doing something that's not okay-- something that's harmful or destructive to myself or others-- then I need to put that action or behavior in my past so that I can accept myself and respect myself.

It's strange how many people will want to put us down when we do feel good about ourselves.  Somehow, a person who isn't down on him- or herself is a threat to others, and those others feel a need to bring that person "down to their level."  They do this by calling names-- "arrogant" or "selfish" are two of the most common-- in order to "diminish" our self-respect so that they can feel that what we're doing right doesn't threaten to expose what they're failing to do.

But we can't heed their message.  Our first responsibility is to ourselves, for if we don't take care of ourselves we'll never truly be able to help others.  If we neglect our own self-image and self-respect, we can't help others to develop theirs in healthy ways.  And while we're trying to develop our selves, we need to make decisions that we know are bringing out our higher selves-- if we don't do this, then it's possible that some of those words of the other people will have a ring of truth to them.  As with so much else in life, taking care of ourselves requires a sense of balance, a sense of belief in ourselves and our contribution to the world.

"I am enough" doesn't mean that the person I am now will be enough in two or ten years.  We need to keep developing and growing so that we can meet new challenges in the future.  But our growth shouldn't result from feelings of inadequacy.  We are enough, as we are right here and right now, but even so there's so much more to learn.  Part of taking care of ourselves and maintaining self-esteem has to do with how we help ourselves to contribute to the persons we are.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy to feel that we're inadequate?  Who makes us feel this way?  How?

What does it mean to say, "I am enough?"

How would you define your "best self"?  How often does it shine through the you that others see each day?

For further thought:

You have to be true to yourself, but you have to be true to your best self, not to the self that secretly thinks you are better than other people.

Stephen Gaskin

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