2 weeks to find my courage
I can remember being really terrified to do my first real post on here after my profile one. It mattered to me a lot. It is easy to not pay attention to what someone says if you feel they do not understand you or where you are coming from. I have written about some of these things on other forums and while I hoped they understood it did not matter to me if they did not. But here I found a group of woman who believe as I do about the world and our ability to change it for the better. So here I find myself rambling a bit as I try to express how much I love this community...
I think low self esteem is a very hard thing to fight and some of us have it battle it daily. It is the result of emotional abuse and I don't mean people saying something hurtful to you once in awhile but real abuse where any one thing may not seem so terrible but where it never stops, ever.
I can remember being a very young child and my father (and I will let you draw your own conclusions as to why he would make such a comment) telling me a story about an elephant. He said that the elephant is one of the strongest and most powerful creatures in the world. He said if you chain it's leg to a pole with a chain that is very strong then the baby elephant will learn that no matter how hard you try, how hard you fight, you will never get free. When that same elephant has grown to its full strength you only need a thread to keep it chained to the pole since it has learned that fighting is useless.
I think awareness of this idea and how, amazing as it seems, some people believe and do this, we are on our first step toward healing. It is a moment of great power and joy when you realize this and break that thread. The problem occurs when you realize you are free, truly free but have never been away from the pole you were chained to. You were never taught how to live as a free creature of nature and after that first moment of joy at how easy it was to break that thread that bound you to your past and find you are not sure what to do next.
We have to remind ourselves that while our bodies, minds, spirit and soul are mature our freedom is just a baby and we will stumble around and make many mistakes. We must treasure it and value it and help it take it's first steps. Like breaking that thread the quickness you can go from walking to soaring in the skies is quick. I think we can almost link our free-ness to our self esteem.
It is one thing to "know" stuff but another to believe it inside yourself. I think part of it is having to tell ourselves that life is a journey and to be mindful of what we seek out of life. If we search for truth and beauty we will find it. These are things that we know deep inside ourselves. I think we forget to believe it and in ourselves.
My girls ask me why I re-read my journal entries, usually before posting a new one. The first time I think it is a self-esteem thing where I am worried I sounded like a total idiot and everyone is too kind to tell me so. The next time I search for truth in what I said. I think it is important to be aware of ideas like 'sneakiness' and such that we can learn or see growing up. I always want to make sure my words had meaning. I also re-read my journal entries again to check for the structure of it. I have always taught my girls when we are doing our first drafts that structure and grammar are not important since what is important most is getting our ideas down.
I know I have low self esteem at times and at some times I feel like I might raise my hand and say 'do you mean me?' if someone were to ask about the world's biggest idiot. It is balanced by other times when I feel I can take on the world single-handedly, with one hand behind my back even. So, while I am still working on finding balance in my life and mind I tell myself to keep trying. It took me about 2 weeks to do my first post and I am a member of other forums so am not knew to public posting, but am glad I did.
While I tend to worry a lot about things, the girls laughed when I said I need to stop "over-analyzing" things since I began to worry I was talking too much about myself and they reminded me that this is sort of what my journal is for. Sharing my hopes, fears, ideas and humor with other woman around the world so we can see we are alike even though we are all so different. I can't remember where I read or heard it but it went something like 'all woman are the same but each one is different".
I think that idea has been part of our problems in the past and why we never quite reached our goals. "Divide and Conquer" is something that lets "them" whoever they are in your area remain around so long. That will change since we have changed. I love reading all the other posts even though I don't always respond to them. Lets discover ourselves and each other as we work to make a difference!
My girls always encourage me and tell me I can be the next "Immanuel Kant" (link to a page about him: http://www.island-of-freedom.com/KANT.HTM ) with my ideas. While I doubt I will ever be that intelligent and I am sure that Kant never had to deal with low self-esteem I hope to be at least interesting and sometimes inspiring...