Seriously, you don’t need it, so stop worrying about whether or not you have it.
If you’re engaging in activities that you value as much as you are able, that’s a better way to go then worrying about your level of self-esteem.
Because one day you feel great, right?
Your work, your life, your relationships — all is good.
And then the very next day, none of it makes sense: your foot’s in your mouth morning ‘till night, and all it is, all day long, is mistake, fail, mistake, fail.
(That was me yesterday: Foot in mouth ALL DAY LONG. Also bumping my head multiple times; also getting a rejection email about a grant I had no doubt in my mind I would get, then didn't; also dropping a big dollop of mayonnaise on the floor; also knocking over the cat food as the cat was eating her lunch; also messing up on my taxes; also putting my glass of water on the counter but somehow missing the counter entirely, and gravity, god damn gravity, taking that glass full of water straight down to the floor, which then shattered, right on top of the mayonnaise).
I’ve stopped worrying about whether I have any self-esteem or not, and instead, I do what I value: dancing, spending time with friends and family, being outside, reading, writing, drawing — more dancing. Pretty standard stuff.
I also think getting older helps with the whole self-esteem thing. It used to be more often than not, that my self-esteem was pretty low. But I have enough history behind me at this point — enough hard and fast evidence -- to demonstrate that I’m basically doing good enough, most of the time:
I do my work, pay the bills, haven’t had a bout of road rage in a long while, and most days, I eat my greens.
It does make me perk up a bit when I remember something a friend said to me awhile ago, when I was in a moment of debilitating self-doubt:
“The great masters have been riddled with self-doubt since the beginning of time, so you must be on the right path.”
I have no idea what great masters he was talking about, or if there is an iota of truth in that sentence, but hey, I’ll take it.
So my question to you is:
What do you value?
What is meaningful?
Where do you find connection?
Lie down on the floor, the one your feet are on…now if you can.
Imagine the floor is soft, the earth is soft, your body is soft.
Bigger too, your body is — imagine.
Imagine the imprint your body is making on the soft earth: where it is weighted, where it is not.
As you begin to move, notice how the imprint of your body against the soft earth changes as your weight changes.
All you need to do right now is notice: your breath, your body, your sensation.
Over and over again.
Stillness, movement, stillness, movement.
Self-esteem, be damned.
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending