Self Esteem is a hole that might just not get filled. Ever.
We continue to dump more and more into it. But the “bottom is out of the bucket” so to speak. Lot of filling but no filling at the same time.
I think these words by Father Richard Rohr however offer a critical shift….
John of the Cross [author of "The Dark Night of the Soul] understood the true meaning of humility, which is not self-deprecation or low self-esteem, but a simple acknowledgment that I am very small, quickly passing, and insignificant as a separate self. That is just objective truth. Our dignity and sacredness precisely comes from our connection. With this deep and experienced and inherent connection, John was free to rest in a union that could not be taken from him.
So we find self esteem far differently than how we imagined. We find it through connection. Through connection with God and others, connections through which we find our true selves. And a miracle – that kind of “finding” comes because we are not actually looking any more! The self esteem question now asleep. We are too busy joyously connecting to give the question time anymore. And we know this: “The Lord is present with you the moment you start to love the neighbor.” (Secrets of Heaven 904)