Let's talk about the Six pillars of Self-esteem. Why? Today, during our home school session, Raven was watching a video where a man was getting arrested for asking question in a school meeting and she turned to me and asked: Why is everyone just sitting there? (The video will be posted below) I said great question Raven. The discussion was long, but it boiled down to one thing: People are afraid to stand up. But why? Well, because many people lack true and genuine self-esteem. You must be pretty confident to make a stand---but alas from the time of birth, many of us were taught: to Shut-up, do as we are told, don't ask question, be obedient, and be frightened of the whip ---which can harm our self-esteem.
Nathaniel Branden wrote a book on the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, I would like to share some of that message as a means of helping my fellow humankind know that they are worth it! That's right: You are worth it!
The practice of living Consciously
The practice of Self-Acceptance
The practice of Self-Responsibility
The practice of Self-Assertiveness
The practice of Living Purposefully
The practice of Personal Integrity.
Note: It is the Practice of....Self-Esteem is not an idea...It is a Practice, an Action...You must work at it.
"What determines the level of self-esteem is what the individual does. A practice implies discipline of acting a certain way over and over again-consistently. It is not action by fits and starts, or even an appropriate response to a crisis. Rather it is a way of operating day by day, in big issues and small, a way of behaving that is also a way of being."
To begin. A great tool is to use is the Sentence-completion. Basically you take a sentence stem: Living consciously to me means.... and you create 6 to 10 complete sentences. The only rule is that it needs to be grammatically correct.
Me: Living consciously to me means I will give myself permission to stop and smell the roses, even when the world seems to be falling all around me. Living consciously to me means that I smile when I pass someone on the street and I say, "Howdy!"
So what does living consciously mean to you?
(Consciously is an adv. conscious is an adj. meaning awake and aware of one's surroundings and identity. Aware, knowing. Intentional. Aware of, concerned with. See also: AWAKE, AWARE, DELIBERATE, WILLFUL, STUDIED.)
Self-Acceptance. Ah, the hardest of them all. "We can run not only from our dark side but also from our bright side-from anything that threatens to make us stand out or stand alone, or that calls for the awakening of the hero within us, or that asks that we break through to a higher level of consciousness and reach a higher ground of integrity. The greatest crime we commit against ourselves is not that we may deny or disown our shortcomings but that we deny and disown our greatness - because it frightens us. If a fully realized self-acceptance does not evade the worst within us, neither does it evade the best."
To Sum up Mr. Branden's 2nd pillar: "My refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself."
Me: I like wearing red lipstick and long socks and shorts...and that's okay, because it feels like me. Sometimes people laugh at me, that is their problem, not mine. I like me, just the way I am. I am failing at my Walipini, but I am also having some success. I am not ashamed to admit this failure, because I know with each failure I learn something and I can take that knowledge and run with it. Mark my word, I will continue working on it...even if I fail a million times. I am not ashamed that I am horrific at grammar, I work on it and one day, though I won't be perfect, I will have improved. And, best of all, I am a great story-teller, each book I write carries a piece of my soul. :)
Self-Responsibility. If you are a grown up, you need to act like it. You need to come to a point where you say: I am responsible for my choices and actions.
"Responsibility. Break it up into its two little word-segments: response-able. It’s simple: We’re
responsible when we’re “able to respond” to life’s challenges as healthy, autonomous human
beings. NOT as victims, blaming this or that for our challenges or feeling shame or guilt for
not living up to someone else’s/society’s standards, but as individuals who own our abilities to
manifest our desires as we engage in life."
Self-Assertiveness. The fourth pillar is: be real. (To women: If a man calls you a slut... get the F out of the relationship. And in the very least don't tolerate it. To men: If a women is cruel to you... get the F out of the relationship, and in the very least don't tolerate it, speak up, tell them how you feel.)
Living Purposefully. Use your power to attain goals. Study, love, Have a family, earn a living, start a business, write a book, share, love....whatever...just give yourself a purpose. What is your purpose?
Mr. Branden points out: You need to also ask yourself: What must I do? e.g.: If your goal is to have a successful relationship you must understand and ask what you must do. "Purposes unrelated to a plan of action do not get realized. They exist as frustrated yearnings."
Personal Integrity. Without practicing personal integrity, all practices will begin to disintegrate. You must ask yourself this: Do your ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs AND behavior all line up? Example: If you believe in freedom ... Yet voted to FORCE someone to do something against their will... You are not being or living in integrity. This is a hard step to take. You must first understand what your ideas, convictions, standards and beliefs really are before you can begin to measure how you are doing. I don't believe in spanking, anyone who knows me knows this, and guess what...In my 38-years of life, I have never once spanked or hit a child. ... Side Thought: I just figured something out about myself as I am writing this. Interesting.
All Right this is turning into a long blog post, and I know how people hate long blog posts. So I will leave a link to his book and end with the following statement by Nathaniel Branden, something you might want to think about to help you in this journey of life.
"Live consciously - take responsibility for your choices and actions - respect the rights of others - and follow your own bliss." ... "“Discussing the complexities of moral decision making in a lecture once, I was asked what I thought of Joseph Campbell’s counsel to ‘Follow your own bliss.’ Did I believe it was ethically
appropriate? I answered that while I liked what I believed to be Campbell’s basic intention, his
statement could be dangerous if divorced from a rational context. I suggested this modification
(if I were forced to condense my ideas on morality into a single sentence): ‘Live consciously--
take responsibility for your choices and actions—respect the rights of others—and follow your
own bliss.’ I added that as a piece of moral advice I loved the Spanish proverb ‘Take what you
want,’ said God, ‘and pay for it.’ … But of course complex moral decisions cannot be made simply
on the basis of statements such as these, helpful though they may sometimes be. A moral life
requires serious reflection.”
The Video that Raven and I were talking about....You might also ask: Why is everyone just sitting there?