I recently found out February is self-esteem month. By now, it’s no secret that I’m an introvert and proud of it, but I was wondering how that relates to self–esteem. In the past few years I’ve been on a self-awareness and spiritual development journey. It was during these years I truly began to understand who I am, where my character and personality come from and how much of both determined the choices I’ve made for my life.
It was revealed to me that for a number of reasons the choices I’ve made and the roads I’ve taken were based on my spiritual, mental and emotional health levels. In fact, my life experiences have shaped my choices more than my personality and character. I allowed the events I’ve seen, heard, and underwent to identify me; therefore, I had not been living according to the light that was imbedded in me from conception. I used to even hate taking pictures. I didn’t believe my likeness was worth capturing. I now know I was wrong about me, but apparently I had a great deal of learning and understanding to do.
Now, back to how this relates to self-esteem. I love my mother and father and I’m grateful for all they have done for me, but I was not given the tools to develop a healthy mindset about myself from either of them. Not because they were bad people, but because sometimes parents don’t think or can’t see certain needs of their children. I think because I was never very vocal about my needs, wants, and issues my parents assumed everything was going okay for me–but things weren’t okay. I suffered in silence without honest reason. Because of my silent suffering I was cursed to end up struggling with self-esteem issues.
One thing I used to tussle with is how much of the person I truly am is natural born and how much is nurture bred. I used to think; If only I were more outgoing my life would be better. I could not say for sure that I was not a true introvert. All I knew was most times I enjoyed time away from people. Most times I preferred being with myself. Most times I am content with no outside contact with the world, unless its cyber contact of course (curse of the social media addiction).
Realizing I can still be an introvert and feel good about myself, I found how I feel about me is not determined by my capacity or desire to connect with other people. I still know how to connect with other people, it’s just that most times I prefer solitude. Moreover, I prefer not to maintain useless and empty relationships. I may call to check in once in a while, but I don’t call just to talk (I’m sorry people, I just don’t). I am okay knowing I don’t need to see you every day for me to help you as a friend in need and vice versa.
Self-Esteem is about knowing, understanding and believing in your worth AND the worth of others. I now know my worth is not in how many people I can get to show up at a party, crowd a table, or request me on social media; but how many people I can create true, meaningful and equally respectful relationships with.
My self-esteem and self-love are a work in progress still. I understand now that who I am as an introvert, is who I am as an individual. What I believe about myself has nothing to do with how I think as a friend and a person with positive morals and values. I’ve always had positive morals and values even when I didn’t have a positive view of myself. Not all introverts have low-self esteem though. It wasn’t until this current growing point in my life that I realized I didn’t become an introvert as a means to protect myself from people who may or may not intend to hurt me (I built walls just for that purpose). I’m a natural introvert because it works for me as a person who enjoys privacy, quiet, peace and most importantly, space, my own space and lots of it.
Here’s to self-esteem, love, joy and happiness and most of all, solitude.
Happy Self-Esteem Month