Self Esteem and Relationships

Image - girl on the couchIn my post on truths about relationships and soul mates, I included "Listen carefully when someone tells you she’s not good enough for you — this is truth straight from the source." I intended this statement to be ironic -- and I maybe I was a bit too clipped and cheeky... The original post was a topics lists for other articles, and this particular statement seems to be the first many people wanted to discuss further. So, allow me to elaborate.

image by Gabriela Camerotti via Creative Commons on Flickr

Three Potential Sources of Truth

You'll note that I used smaller-case truth and source in the my thesis statement -- not The Truth and not The Source.

Universal Source | Universal Reality | Universal Truth -- it goes without saying the Universe (God, Spirit, Source, the Creator) does not allow for any individual to be more worthy than another.

Your Source | Your Reality | Your Truth -- obviously, you're not judging someone you love as not good enough for you -- just the opposite. Your Truth reflects the Universal Truth.

His/Her Source | His/Her Reality | His/Her Truth -- the only other facet of what is true for an individual, is what s/he believes.

We're dealing with a three-legged stool here -- a perfectly sturdy structure, unless one of the legs is broken. No matter how strong the other two legs are, they can not compensate for or bear the load for the whole, and by so doing un-break or fix the weak one. It must be mended, healed, corrected.

Relationships are synergies -- where the total is greater than the sum of the individual parts. When I say "this is the truth" I mean you have been alerted to a powerful reality regarding the relationship.

When someone tells you she is not good enough for you, she is expressing her reality -- in which case it is literally true -- it becomes true -- for her. When someone tells you he is not worthy of your esteem, he is alerting you to his perspective -- the one from which he operates.

His motivations in communicating this may be:

  • to warn you. His intentions to let you know who you're dealing with may be lovingly motivated.
  • to prompt your affirmation. He may need to hear the message that his self-judgment is wrong; but he is seeking an external source of personal power, where he will not find it.
  • to manipulate you. He may consciously be playing you emotionally, in which case there are a million other problems with this relationship and you should certainly run like hell.

You are an individual expression of Divine Source; and so is anyone with whom you enter into a relationship. These sources are original, unique, yet identically balanced in their pure spirit forms. They have equal power to shape reality.

Someone who is operating from a reality where he believes he is not powerful, is not powerful. His beliefs -- the words he uses to describe and communicate those beliefs -- manifest his experience, his reality, and all the outcomes of those stated intentions.

He will make decisions according to his truth. He will take action according to his truth.

He will reinforce this truth in a feedback loop of self-fulfillment -- which in many (if not most) cases translates as his ego looking to sabotage the relationship rather than release the negative self it has become comfortable with.

Where does self-esteem come from?

There's an obvious truth in the prefix we attach to the phrase self-esteem.

Healthy self-esteem is discovered/formed at a very early age, when the child's ego both over-identifies as the center of the Universe, and looks for power and authority to come from external sources. This is why all forms of child abuse or neglect are so devastating and pervasive. But once individual wills are formed, in relation to others, adults must choose to continue giving away their power.

Even if you have been victimized, you do have the will within you -- at some point -- no matter what you've lived through -- to transcend it. To choose your reality.

You do not have the power to transfer self-esteem to another person. You may hold her in esteem, but you cannot make her feel differently about herself. Can you impact someone in a positive way? Of course -- indeed, it may be the reason why you are in the relationship. You can create a loving, safe environment in which she can change herself. But you can't change her. At some point, it is her choice.

One of my closest friends who is a psychotherapist describes what he "does" in his work as walking with someone wherever she needs to go. Not driving her. Not changing her. Not fixing her. Holding a space of safety and support in which someone may heal herself. Or discover the truth that she can accept and choose to be healed.

We are all broken to some degree. We are all here to discover our self-worth -- it may be one of the universal facets of a spiritual mission. We are the way by which the Creator experiences itself. In relationships, we act as one another's hand-mirrors, held up to the individual expressions of God within each one of us.

I'm not suggesting that you should not love another person who hasn't figured out how to switch this self-esteem -- this divine personal power -- into the on position. The one thing you can do is provide a working example of what it looks like to love yourself -- this could be especially powerful for someone who did not witness this as a child.

I'm not suggesting that you can't provide a loving, compassionate environment in which someone may heal himself.

I'm just stating that, if you are seeking to create a healthy, whole, mutually beneficial, equally balanced relationship with someone, and she presents you with her truth... Realize, with your eyes wide open, that this is as good as the truth.

God doesn't have a self-esteem problem.

Seek Wisdom -- Practice Love Slade's signature

Reading Testimonial Slade, I had a reading with you last year and the impact of the advice you gave me not only dealt with the issue at hand but is something i will take with me for the rest of my life. Stephanie

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