Tag Archives: self esteem

Are you trading self-respect for fake protection?

51kzKRuJCYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Self-respect is defined by Nathaniel Branden as “the conviction of our own value. It is not a delusion that we are perfect or superior to everyone else. It is not comparative or competitive at all it is the conviction that our life and well being are worth acting to support, protect and nurture, that we are good and worthwhile and deserving of the respect of others; and that our happiness and personal fulfillment are important enough to work for.”

When a woman is forced into a marriage that she does not want, when she is forced to birth more children than she desires or is forced into aborting fetuses that are the “wrong” gender, that is not respecting a woman.

Some of these issues are couched in cultural language that makes it seem iron clad for women to “behave certain ways and accept traditional roles.”

I would like to float the idea that NOTHING is iron clad and traditions had to start somewhere, so we can be brave enough to make new ones.

This kind of bravery can only sprout from deep and abiding self-respect, nothing short of consistent self awareness.

We cannot fall asleep to how we live our daily lives, make daily choices and then wonder why our self-respect is in shambles.

“To appreciate why our need for self-respect is so urgent, consider the following : To live successfully, we need to pursue and achieve values. To act appropriately, we need to value the beneficiary of our actions. Absent this conviction, we will not know how to take care of ourselves, protect our legitimate interests, satisfy our needs, or enjoy our own achievements.” Nathaniel Branden

I urge you to read, no, to devour, Six Pillars of Self Esteem. It is by far one of the best books that anyone who has received abuse or is presently receiving abuse can read. It will give you the language to demand the respect you need for yourself, the respect you will expect from others and the strength to say NO, I will not accept disrespect anymore.

Love and light,



The dictionary defines flourish as: to be in a vigorous state, to thrive. To be in its or in one’s prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc. To be successful; prosper.

According to Felicia Huppert, director of the University of Cambridge Well-Being Institute, flourish means “having high positive emotion, plus being high on any three of the following: self-esteem, optimism, resilience, vitality, self-determination and positive relationships.”

When I close my eyes and think of the times that I have felt like I was flourishing in my life…I see those times when I had goals and was driven toward them. This does not mean that there were not challenges or obstacles that tried to trip me up. I remember significant challenges that at times, kept me paralyzed. I often felt like I was sinking and had no one to support me.

It was the continual goal setting that enabled me to move, creep ahead and slowly arrive at a better frame of mind.

A few days ago someone asked me how people get strong enough to handle emotional upheaval. I admitted that I had no magical answer except that it is a little like deciding to sink or swim. By this, I mean it’s a matter of emotional life or emotional death.

Sometimes giving up in the short run allows you to save what physical energy you do have and wait for a better time to invest it.

Emotional upheaval is never comfortable. You can learn, however, how to get increasingly more comfortable in your discomfort.
Being able to accept reality without wanting “magical” solutions is par for the course.

Practice makes you better. There is no perfection in the game of life.
Giving up in the moment does not have to mean giving in to whatever happens. It simply means retreating to refuel and recharge.
Be kind to yourself…you are worth it.

Love and light,

If I shave my head, will I still love myself?

A few weeks ago, I was watching the 10th episode of the Amazing Race where the fast forward called for the contestants
to shave their heads. The team who pulled this coveted gem chose not to use the fast-forward, which would have brought them to the top of the line.

Why did they not use it?

The female member of the team could not reconcile shaving her head because she had spent $500.00 on hair extensions.

I have been thinking about that choice quite extensively.

Here we have a woman who is an amazing athlete. She has survived for 10 episodes and has undertaken and conquered tasks that she could not have even imagined doing just a few years ago.

BUT how does she see herself?

She sees herself as the woman with a big nose and a need hair for extensions to look pretty.

As the whole world looks on and admires her, she sees nothing more than a big nose and her need for hair extensions.

What kind of message did she have to internalize for her to reflect so microscopically on her gifts? What kind of words had she been exposed to that caused her to digest all the marketing that we women are bombarded with?

I am getting old and much of that marketing no longer applies to me, except that they keep trying to get me to look younger.

I see the younger generation and I cringe at all the unlearning they must do to have a healthy acceptance of self.

I see the toddlers playing with dolls that have more boobs than an Amazon woman, and wonder when they will want their breasts enlarged.

I see all the beautiful celebrities who have undergone plastic surgery only to emerge looking like someone else.

I do not know what we can do as a strong feminine presence to stop this delusion of “what a woman should look like” but I do know that as thinking parents we must start pointing out these atrocities to our kids.

It is easy to think that they’ll figure it out, but will they figure it out before the scars of “not being good enough” make an indelible mark?

I am not saying that I have the answers.
What I do have is lots of trepidation about why, as a society, we are still so focused on outer appearances.

To that Amazing Race contestant, I say:
“honey, you are strong, beautiful and brave. Those things have NOTHING to do with your nose or your hair extensions.”

Oh, and by the way, that guy you are racing with showed the most love and acceptance any one could show under those circumstances. He accepted your decision without any negative comments. He is the poster boy for “support your partner, no matter what.”

Love and light,