February 01, 2006
Survivors Thrive With Self-Esteem
In my group, we talked about this issue of self-esteem and honoring the self. We discussed how it is okay to be angry, as long as we express the anger responsibly. We talked about how it is okay to say no, without any excuses, reasons or apologies. We discussed our right to say things like, "I don't know." and "I don't understand." I guess healthy self-esteem is about acknowledging that we are, indeed, okay. We have rights and it is okay to assert them.
In my "A Day of Thriving" poem (located in the archives of my "Meditations" page of my website: survivorscanthrive.com) I note the following: "I'm assertive with others. I'm not afraid to express my feelings or voice my opinions. I set and maintain healthy boundaries." To me, these are all a part of having healthy self-esteem. For me, it was necessary to forgive myself for what happened to me. I also had to learn to love myself and believe in my inherent worth. Then, I was on the road to practicing the many aspects of healthy self-esteem.
I looked up some websites that have content that I found helpful in regards to self-esteem. The first, www.self-esteem-nase.org is the website for the National Association for Self-Esteem. This site defines self-esteem and gives healthy "self-esteem boosters" anyone can implement. They also include a self-esteem rating guide, books on the subject and a forum for discussion.
I also found a page I liked on the topic of assertiveness. It is at the "Coping" website here. The site's section on assertiveness talks about steps to improve the skill, your "assertive rights" and even includes a journal exercise about the topic.
Last, but not least, I looked up the subject of "boundaries." What are boundaries, anyway? I'm sure many a sexual abuse survivor has struggled with this issue. When we were being abused, our personal boundaries were extremely violated. As abuse survivors, we may have some people in our lives who are just downright toxic. In order to finally be true to ourselves and develop the healthy self-esteem we need, we must set firm boundaries with these people or protect ourselves and say goodbye. At the "Joy 2 Me and You" website, boundaries are discussed along with ways to use "I Statements" to express feelings. Link to it here.
Copyright 2006 by Marj McCabe. All Rights Reserved.
She now sets boundaries, has self esteem, and is thriving, hurray for her and others who are enabling themselves!!!
PEACE AND BLESSINGS
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