In the middle of my 20’s I went through a break up that rocked my world. It was the biggest struggle of my life getting over it. I had lost all sense of who I was or where my future was headed without this boy in it. I was a big ‘ol mess. Having been raised with copious amounts of understanding who I was- I’d never really faced the challenges of a loss of identity, or had factors confusing that knowledge for me. I didn’t even really know how to identify the problem, I just knew I was not myself, far from my best self, and extremely lost. It was overwhelming and I wouldn’t wish that kind of nightmare on my worst enemy!!
Just like the book Dr. Sax wrote for the boys (see boys post here)…he wrote one for the girls and the four factors driving their crisis. Again he supports a message that is extremely applicable for women of all ages. Particularly one factor that I feel very passionate about…
Esteem; Where a girls self worth is coming from and where it should be coming from. Girls act stupid because they don’t know who they are. Fix this…and I think you fix the world!
Well months after this horrible breakup of mine, I was with my old Beehive teacher Debra, who had become a great friend of mine. She taught me a lesson that day that changed my life. A lesson that once I fully grasped and understood- was a turning point for me.
She told me that my self worth couldn’t come from a boy. Things might not work out between us. She told me my self worth couldn’t come from how much money I made or my job. I might lose it. She told me my esteem couldn’t even come from my husband because, – he could leave me, or die, or make poor choices. She told me the source of my esteem couldn’t come from whether or not I was skinny, or pretty, or un-wrinkly – what if something happened and I became deformed? Debra taught me that the only place my self worth could come from was the one and only thing I had full control over…and that was… my standing before the Lord! Everything else was out of my control. Tragedy, misfortune, and unpredictability could strike at any moment with any other factor. If my esteem were based upon those shaky foundations than I was going to be screwed when things didn’t go my way. But if at the end of the day I could with full confidence stand tall before the Lord then I should and could- feel like a million bucks!
What a lesson! It took a while for it to really sink in. In fact for the next 6 months I repeated “My esteem only comes from my standing before the Lord. It’s the only thing I have full control over!” hundreds of times in my head. This was a principle that I knew to be true, then I began to understand it in a whole new light, and finally I began to live my life applying this truth in every aspect of daily living. I came again to be able to discern fully who I was as a daughter of God, and from then on out have determined that to be the one and only source of my esteem. There are a lot of other great things in life that I consider to be a nice cherry on top…but they are not the source of my esteem because I don’t have full control over them and they could be taken away at any moment.
If there was only one thing I could chose to share with the whole wide gigantic world, it would be this lesson! So obviously I was obsessed when Dr. Sax had so much to say regarding the misplaced source of worth so many women struggle with.
“If your daughter can develop a sense of self that is deeply rooted, then she will grow up to be a resilient and self-confident woman. …A sense of self is about who you are, not about how you look or what kinds of grades you get or who you’re friends with. Emily defined herself as the smart kid. Melissa was Jessica’s BFF. Madison was the cute one. Take that away, and each girl’s sense of self collapsed.”
This little excerpt is from the introduction of Dr. Sax’s book, “Girls on the Edge.” The rest of the book goes into great detail of what factors he feels the loss of esteem can be attributed to and how to fix them. Fascinating…and SOOO accurate. It all boils down to esteem! We gotta know who we are, and then act accordingly! Trust me girls – you want to learn this lesson if you haven’t already. And boys…trust me you wanna marry one that has!