Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned self-worth?

by midlifecrisisqueen on May 21, 2013

Lately, it seems like everywhere I turn I see friends who suffer from terrible self-esteem.

Why do so many of us feel like we must provide endless services to our family, friends and lovers in order to “earn” the right to be loved?

Where did we learn that love and respect can only be earned?  Shouldn’t caring and love from others be given freely?

I find this all so sad because I see myself in all of this.  This is how I used to feel too, so self-sacrificing for those around me in hopes that they might eventually find me worthy of positive attention, affection and acceptance.  This I called selflessness, because I had no way to value my own Self.

It was only after I hit rock bottom emotionally that I finally found hidden treasures within.  My intuition and inner wisdom demanded a few major changes.  I suddenly found deep sources of caring and compassion for myself.  This required me to demand more respect from everyone I knew.

Self-love is the source of all respect from others.  If you treat yourself badly and “give yourself away” to others as if your time and energy is worth nothing, they will treat you accordingly.

I found I needed to jettison most of my previous friendships, and seek out a whole different class of people after finding self-compassion and respect in my 40s.  I finally knew my own value and would not be disrespected ever again BY ANYONE!

This is only one of the many ways we can change in midlife, by becoming more clear about how we need our life to be NOW.

To learn more about mastering difficult life transitions you might enjoy my books: Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside! and my new one: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife. 

To find a new faith in love try: How to Believe In Love Again.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucretia Donahue-Reed May 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

Oh, yes. Near the end of my marriage, I realized my spouse had much control over me by my need to always have his approval. I thought if he disapproved, I needed to work to fix it. But he started to treat me with disdain more frequently and I began to see the unreasonableness in it. During an argument, he used the phrase, “Respect has to be earned!” Oh, No! If someone doesn’t treat me with respect, I don’t need to be around them! Put in a positive form: I will only allow people who treat me with respect to be a part of my life.

Tammy May 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more, Laura Lee! Self esteem is a tough cookies to diagnose. It’s hard for many to have it and harder still to keep it. It is all about value. And as you so eloquently pointed out, if we don’t value ourselves, it’s unlikely others will.

midlifecrisisqueen May 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for your GREAT comments Lucretia and Tammy!

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