When Our Self Esteem Tanks

A silver-haired competent, creative man sat in my office with tears rolling down his cheeks.

His head bowed, his eyes closed, he shook his head “NO” as I offered him the mantra:

“I am precious and valuable.  I am enough.  I matter. Even if…”

His fingers clenched over his toned stomach.

“No?” I asked.

“No. I do not matter.”

“Ouch.” I said.

We sat and breathed together as I had taught him. In and out. In and out. Quiet. In and out. In and out. More Quiet.

“Lovingly accept that you do not feel like you matter.”
When we lovingly accept whatever feeling comes up, and breathe into it, it may well shift.

If we reason, analyze, counter that feeling, we will get blocked, resisted and land in a tug of war either within ourselves or between ourselves and another.
We sat and breathed.

I asked him when he had first experienced that he did not matter.
I invited him not to search for it, but the memory, time, experience come to him like a leaf on that river.

It came.

So did more tears.

He told me of his young four year old self being yanked up from his crying heap in the dirt, gripped by the arms and held eye-to-eye by his very disgusted-looking uncle and told to stop sniveling.

Breathe. Keep breathing. In and out.

“What does that little four year old need from you? How can you help him? What did he need back then? Imagine it and give it to him.”

As this grown man had the courage to go back in time and offer his little kid self the care and protection he needed in that moment, he shifted in his seat and visibly got taller, stronger, more integrated.

He wiped his eyes, blew his nose.

“Congratulations! You just proved to yourself you do matter.”

He opened his eyes with a shy smile said, “I guess I do.”

One thought on “When Our Self Esteem Tanks

  1. tomadaonline says:

    Love the bit about breathing.

    Like

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