Friday, 29 July 2011

Some Thoughts on Self Esteem

A few weeks before I began my summer classes I had stumbled across a website which involved the topic of suicide. Suicide came up a few times in my abnormal psychology course, and finding this website helped me to research this from an "insiders" view. I'm going to share this website here in this blog entry, but with the hope that anyone that follows the links from my site, will do so with respect for the family who was hurt deeply by what had happened. I know the few "regulars" who stop by here from time to time would not disrespect others, however, this information will be open to anyone and everyone who happens to stumble onto my site, just as easily as I find the various sites that I visit. Please, please, please, pay your respects respectfully.

My little excursion began when I found Dragonflies and Waterlilies. I read of a mother's cry for a son who couldn't bear to go on living. She gave a link to his online journal which ends on the day that he takes his own life. From his journal, I found this and this and some recipes that he enjoyed preparing for friends. I also found his dad's blog. I followed these links, and read and read and read, blog entries, comments, etc, to try to find out why... why such a nice young man who is bright and has parents who cherish him so much, would find life so painful and unbearable that he felt he had to take his life through suicide. Why?

I have come to my own conclusions about this, and anyone else who feels inclined to investigate into suicides will come to their own thoughts about it. I simply want to put it out there for others to ponder and pray about, and maybe it will help someone with some insight that might free someone else from the type of bondage and torment that this young man endured. I read the comments from his dad on his journal entries, and paid attention to how and who Mikael answered in his comment section. I read Mikael's thoughts about his mom, and of course, you won't get a full picture of all that went with the few comments on a blog, but they are pieces of a puzzle.

Something that Jred said, I mean quoted, recently seemed to strike me as another piece in this puzzle...and you may or may not agree that this might be at the root:

This law of the dying of self and the magnifying of Christ—is the secret of Christian peace. When Christ is small—and SELF is large—life cannot be deeply restful. Everything annoys us. We grow impatient of whatever breaks our comfort. We grieve over little trials. We find causes for discontent in merest trifles. We resent whatever would hinder or oppose us.

There is no blue sky in the picture, of which SELF is the center. There are no stars shining overhead. It begins and ends in a little patch of dusty floor, with gray walls surrounding it and shutting it in. But when SELF decreases—and Christ increases, then the picture is enlarged and takes in all of heaven’s over-arching beauty. Then the stars shine down into its night and sunshine bathes its day.

Then the life of friction and worry is changed into quietness and peace. When the glory of Christ streams over this little, cramped, fretted, broken life of ours—peace comes, and the love of Christ brightens every spot and sweetens all bitterness. Trials are easy to bear when self is small—and Christ is large.

This lesson has its very practical bearing on all our common, every-day life. Naturally we want to have our own way. We like to carry out our own plans and ambitions. We are apt to feel, too, that we have failed in life, when we cannot realize these hopes. This is the world’s standard. The successful worldling is the one who is able to master all life’s circumstances and make them serve him in his career. He is the man who "increases" until he fills a large place among men. The world has little praise or admiration for the man who "decreases" in his property, brilliance, power, or prosperity.

-- J.R. Miller
These days self esteem (or the lack of it) is lauded as the reason why people suffer the difficulties that we do. Is it really? Was Jesus and His word, the Bible, wrong? Jesus said we need to lay down our flesh, our "self esteem" and make our self worth based only on Jesus and His forgiveness and love. This world says we need to love ourselves first and then we can love our neighbors as ourselves, but the Bible says we need to love God first....who is right?

Last night I was pondering over some of these things, and I thought of how I often am guilty of praying "God give me this" or "Lord please help my friend pass her test".... forgetting the clause that Jesus added to His prayers, to say with really meaning it: "NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE"

Why do I pray for what I do? Why do I only want some of my friends to get the Lord's favors, and others to "get a lesson" that will set them straight? Is it to see that God's will is accomplished? Or mine? Who am I worshiping with that kind of prayer? My self esteem has no trouble exerting itself into my prayer time, so I don't think the lack of it is at the root of my trouble at all. If anything my self esteem is what gets in the way of truly loving and wanting what Jesus wants, especially if what Jesus wants would be things that would bring me pain and trouble in my flesh.

This creation is truly turned upside down. What we want to think is good for us might actually be our spiritual poison.

I would love to get more feedback and other insights that you may have into these things... I'm sure that I'm missing many pieces to this puzzle, perhaps a piece you may have in your hand... 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan, I've been soooo behind, will read soon, thanks for all your wonderful thoughts. Always encouraging me to hope and think.


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