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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, September 5, 2020
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with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

The basis of a healthy self-esteem

Rock & Refuge

Everyone should have a healthy self-esteem. If we don’t have it yet, then let’s develop it and help everyone else to have it. A healthy self-esteem is important since only then can we have a good understanding of things and work properly as well.

Without this healthy self-esteem, we can either overreach our capabilities or underestimate our potentials. We can either overdo things or underperform, become either overconfident or mired with doubts, etc.

And the basis of this healthy self-esteem is none other than our dignity as children of God, made in his image and likeness, endowed with intelligence and will that enable us to know and to love, and capped with the tremendous divine gift of grace that would raise us up in such a way that we can participate in the very life of God!

We need to continually reinforce this fundamental truth about ourselves in our mind and heart, and express it consistently in our thoughts, words and deeds. We have to find a way to make this basic truth about ourselves operative in our life.

That is why it’s important that we always bring in the fundamental truths of our faith to tackle this problem, and to let them shape our outlook, attitudes and bearing.  If these truths of our faith about ourselves do not or hardly play a prominent role in developing our life, then we have reason to think that we are prone to exaggerate or to underestimate our self-esteem.

Imagine the following truths of faith: We have been created in the image and likeness of God. We have become the masterpiece of all his creation. We are the only ones, together with the angels, who can know and love God and thus enter into his life.

We are always children of God because even if we have committed sin and strayed from him, he continues to love us and would do the most complicated process of saving us by becoming man himself, enlightening us about who we really are, and assuming all our sins by dying on the cross.

If we can only believe that God truly loves us no matter what, then we would have no reason to have an overblown sense of self-esteem or a low one. On the contrary, we can show confidence and joy lived in great humility, since we know where everything in us comes from. We can even have a healthy kind of superiority complex, despite our worst condition in our earthly life.

A healthy self-esteem will always be characterized by the endless expressions of love. There is always concern for the others.

There is willingness to serve and not to be served, just like the attitude of Christ. Yes, a healthy self-esteem is not afraid of the effort, sacrifices, pains, etc., that would be involved in pursuing the impulse of love.

A healthy self-esteem would make us ever dynamic, with a great zeal to reach out to the others, and most especially to God. It would inspire us to be very creative and inventive if only to meet the demands of love.

A healthy self-esteem is never proud. It is humble, and it leads us to know how to give ourselves to the others without expecting any return. It enables us to adapt ourselves to the way others are, without feeling in any way diminished.

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