To be completely honest with you, I am currently reading a book about the nature of self esteem and how to improve it. And, no matter how cheesy this book can get, and no matter how tedious the exercises they have me do seem, this shit is legit. At first, I felt ashamed when people saw what I was reading, but now, I feel like I want to hold this book up in the air in the middle of a crowd and yell “Y’ALL DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW ENLIGHTENED I CURRENTLY FEEL!”
There are chapters in this book that I truly believe were written because the author met me in passing, or in a past life. Imagine, if you will, a girl reading alone in her apartment. She is all cozy on the couch with her reading light and her blanket, and the unspoken self knowledge that her self esteem is abysmal. Then… she reaches a section of the book that is just all to relatable and she stands up, throws her blanket across the room and yells “GET OUT NU UH”. Then, she puts the book down because she is truly convinced the book is bugged. This girl that you were asked to so vividly imagine… is the same bitch writing this blog post. Let me give you an example of how this book describes me so accurately.
There are 9 distortions that your mind may expereince that are manifestations of low self esteem. Of the 9 distortions this book so eloquently writes out for you, the one involving “Emotional Reasoning” is the one I read that made me stand up and yell when I was alone in my apartment. It involves the belief that your feelings are fact. This can mean anything from “I feel fat so I am fat” to “This person makes me uncomfortable for some reason so they must be a bad person”. Furthermore, self esteem that manifests itself in emotional reasoning hinderances cause you to be ruled by your emotions. It even makes your emotional responses unpredictable.
Reading this made me feel two very different ways. 1) It made me feel a huge sense of relief because some of the issues that I have are not due to the fact that I am utterly insane and 2) the fact that the way I act and am feeling is literally defined in a book about low self esteem is a huge sign that I need to get my shit together.
From the day that I was born, I have always worn my emotions on my sleeve. If I feel like crying, there is no controlling it, the tears will pour out. If I am mad at someone I can not act like I like them, I seem to have no choice than to be dangerously authentic. My strong emotional capacity is something that has always stressed me out and made me self conscious. However, it is extremely important that I realize all of the things that it blesses me with. 1) It gives me the ability to empathize with literally any emotion that someone is feeling, and that makes me a very approachable person, and one day it will make me an excellent social worker 2) It makes it impossible for me to suppress and stuff feelings forcing me to deal with them 3) it allows me to feel things and experience things at such a deep level.
With that said, in order to reap these benefits I must regulate the control it has over me. My failure to do so, thus far, has cost me a lot, more than I am willing to give.