True Self-Esteem

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How one treats one’s body and psyche speaks volumes about one’s self-esteem: abusing body or soul with harmful chemicals, behaviors, work overload, lack of personal time and space all denote poor self-regard. All of these behaviors and attitudes reveal a fundamental stance towards the self that is conditional and devoid of true self respect. Self-esteem based on achievement has been called contingent self-esteem or acquired self-esteem. Unlike contingent self-esteem, true self-esteem has nothing to do with a self-evaluation on the basis of achievement or the lack of it. A person truly comfortable in his own skin doesn’t say, ‘I am a worthy human being because I can do such and such,’ but says, ‘I am a worthy human being whether or not I can do such and such.’ Contingent self-esteem evaluates; true self-esteem accepts.
Gabor Maté, Scattered

Painting by Celia Jacobs

What Do You Really Want Here?

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The key to any relationship is communication. And I’ve always thought that communication is like a dance. One person takes a step forward, the other takes a step back. Even a single misstep can land both people on the floor in a tangle of confusion. And when you find yourself in that position—with your spouse, your colleague, your friend, your child—I’ve found that the best option is to always ask the other person, “What do you really want here?” At first, you might notice a little squirming, a lot of throat clearing, maybe some silence. But if you stay quiet long enough to get the real answer, I guarantee it will be some variation of the following: “I want to know that you value me.” Extend a hand of connection and understanding, and offer three of the most important words any of us can ever receive: “I hear you.” I know for sure your relationship will be the better for it.
Oprah Winfrey

Photo via Birdasaurus

Let Fear Make You Brave

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When has shrinking ourselves because of fear helped us? It has never helped. Fear is an emotion that should visit and when it leaves, it should make you brave. It should make you want to do more, create more and learn more. Fear is normal but when we let fear stay too long, it paralyzes us.
Lara Witt, from “Decolonizing Poetry: an interview with Ijeoma Umebinyuo.

Photo via Clem-Style