“People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
And that light is Self Esteem.
Conditioning plays such an important part in one’s life that self esteem to develop where the conditions are unfavourable can be a daunting task and unless there is a cheer leader / motivator who can keep one going even during the most depressing stages, it rarely does. Till a major turning point came in my own life, I went through life with low self esteem because, society and some relatives kept pointing out that I was a school dropout – good-for-nothing, capable only of getting into trouble and having a good time otherwise. It was in retrospect that I realised that having that good time was my way of coping with the low self esteem.
My light did not shine till circumstances forced me to go to Business School. To go there however, I had to first get my undergraduate degree for which a great deal of prodding needed to be undertaken by a remarkable lady who was my mother. I have written about it elsewhere and do not want to bore my readers with that old tale.
Going to Business School, graduating from there and securing a prestigious position through campus recruitment changed my personality somewhat and my marriage about a year after graduation, to an amazing lady gave me such emotional stability that there was no looking back as far as self esteem was concerned. It was exactly the moment when she agreed to marry me that I changed and it was like the proverbial bulb switching on.
So, what did that big turn around give me that I did not have before? The knowledge that a very intelligent and mature lady would consider me worthy of spending the rest of her life with me. That never left me since then. Even during some of my most trying times, fortunately she was around those days, I never felt that there was something wrong with me. I had bad things happening around me, but I was not a bad person. And I had proof!
“Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment — the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.”
~ Jorge Luis Borges
And apart from being grateful for getting my self esteem, there was another development much later in my life that made me grateful for not taking the self esteem to its illogical conclusion of narcissism when I saw that acting out through another person. Had it not been for my own self esteem, those few years of living with that person would have destroyed me. That it did not and I am here writing this post is proof enough that a healthy self esteem does wonders for one.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my take on this subject which was chosen by me for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!