Putting the Soul
back in Psychology!
Self-Esteem Vs God-Worth
Who has more Innate Value & Worth?
...The Virgin Mary Mother of Jesus Christ, or the homeless man who is addicted to drugs & lives in a cardboard box on the street?
Before we answer this question, let's learn the Truth about Self-Esteem.
What is “Self-Esteem”?
Self-esteem is: me esteeming myself by my own self effort. Good luck with that (sarcasm with eye-roll)! Trying to esteem ourselves has never worked in the history of humanity and never will. Those who believe we are capable of achieving "high self-esteem" by our own effort and/or through material and physical means, including other human beings, are lying to themselves and prove it doesn't work by the fact that they will keep trying to distract themselves from the reality of how insecure they still are by trying to make themselves feel superior in comparison with other humans and with either: psychotropic medications, illicit drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, sex, the weight room at the gym, and/or media entertainment, etc.
Self-esteem is: the pride, idolatry, and selfishness of basing my value and worth on myself:…on my productivity, appearance, and/or material possessions, and on what other human beings think and feel about me by needing to selfishly use other human beings to accept and approve of me…all to try to psychologically/spiritually love and accept myself through the world, including human beings, which doesn’t work, doesn't fulfill and doesn’t last.
"Low Self-esteem" is insecurity, which is pride, selfishness, and fear. People who are insecure are not victims to be pitied. We all cause our own insecurities. Insecurity is prideful because we believe we are right about these false perspectives and attitudes, both of ourselves and our comparisons with others, all of which are making us insecure. Insecurity is selfishness because we are primarily and only caring about ourselves when we are insecure.
When we are insecure, we are not caring about being loving/charitable to others in any way. And insecurity is fear, which is always selfish and prideful, because we are afraid of not being loved and accepted, afraid of being rejected, and therefore afraid of what everyone else thinks and feels about us.
The Media Fallacy (Lie)
According to the media, to have “high-self-esteem” you need to be one or more of the following...
- Rich [at least financially "secure", which means you can buy what you want when you want it.]
- Beautiful or Handsome and Sexually Desirable
- Well liked or Affirmed by other human beings
- Important Career
These lies taught throughout all entertainment media are just another of the many reasons to stop watching and listening to all entertainment media. This list does the exact opposite of what it promises, by leading you to increase your insecurity by you increasing your pride, selfishness, and fear, which is an increase in low self-esteem. How so?
It is a fact that we will never permanently achieve this supposed "high self-esteem" achieving list. And we can only maybe temporarily achieve it if we either, sell our soul to the devil, or harm ourselves and others through lying, and other forms of evil manipulation and injustices toward others, or exchanging our bodies as objects through giving sexual favors for things on this list (aka prostituting ourselves, which will make us feel even worse about ourselves and more insecure objectively).
In trying to achieve this list we are making the physical/finite more important than the spiritual/eternal, which is vanity and which is making ourselves more important than The Divine Creator; Truth/Love/Virtues, which is idolatry.
How we view/think/feel about ourselves and others is NOT a material/physical concept. It is an abstract immaterial/spiritual/psychological interior intellectual perspective, which we choose with our free will. And our intellectual perspective is either objective Truth or the absence of Truth, called falsehood.
It is impossible to fix an interior psychological (aka intellectual/spiritual) problem with external material solutions. This includes psychotropic medications, which are an external material solution.
Christian Community Errors
Unfortunately the majority of Christians function no better than the secular perspective. The Christian Communities believe the lies of the Media in what is needed to feel good about (aka "esteem") themselves, with a few additional fallacies. Along with the media's list, Christians will try to base their "self-esteem" on one or more of the following:
-Our positions of authority at work, at church, and/or in the family
-How admired and respected we are at church, at work, or by our family
- Our Works of Mercy / philanthropy, including how much money we donate
-Our Vocation in particular (marriage, priest, deacon, religious)
-Having Children (and how they behave)
-Level of Formal Education
-Believing we are Sinless or Holy
All of this list fails to work permanently to make someone feel "high self-esteem" and this list is also either idolatry and/or selfishly using others.
Correct Term and Definition
The correct term is “God-worth”!
God-worth is our unchanging infinitely high value, and worth that exists only because we exist being created in the Image and Likeness of God Who Loves us Unconditionally More than we can Imagine.
Our existence alone equals the highest value and worth. We have infinitely high value and worth simply because we EXIST! This Never Changes!…No matter what we do or don't do, have or don't have, and no matter what we or others say, think, or feel. No one can take our unchanging infinitely high value and worth away from us!
Back to the original question: Who has more innate value and worth, the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ or the homeless man addicted to drugs and living in a cardboard box on the street?
“And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-17 Douay-Rheims
“But God, (who is rich in mercy,) for his exceeding charity where with he loved us,” Ephesians 2:4 Douay-Rheims
Answer: NEITHER!...BOTH HAVE EQUAL INNATE VALUE and WORTH! Because it's not what we do that makes us infinitely valuable and worthwhile, it is us being Loved by and Created in the image and likeness of God that makes us innately valuable and have infinite worth! And God created us only to Love us!
We fail to base our value and worth solely on our existence from God because we do not know Him. And we do not know God because we do not experience God directly. Most of us were not taught how to experience God directly, and as a result, we unknowingly take our bad childhood experiences with our parents, other caregivers, and those in authority over us, and project all of them onto God and as a result, we don't want to have a direct experience with God or know Who He is. The parents, caregivers, and those in authority, including clergy and religious, fail to teach how to experience God directly, because they have not, don't know how, and were never taught how. This is one of the biggest problems throughout all of humanity and reasons for the rejection of God...we don't know Who He Really Is and we don't want to know.
Many of the Saints have written on their direct encounters with God and what they do when interacting with God. Even though these are typically exterior auditory and/or visual experiences, the rest of us can learn how to listen to and hear God interiorly from their examples. I learned how to experience God directly by learning how to listen to Him and hear Him interiorly through reading the writings of and trying to imitate the behaviors of St. Faustina. I would spend hours a day in Eucharistic Adoration trying to imitate St. Faustina in listening to Jesus, and because Jesus meets us where we are, He not only would obviously speak to me in my intellect of my Soul, He also taught me how to do discernment of spirits so that I would learn the difference between experiencing Him, myself, and demons.
Our False Beliefs Make Us Insecure
Beliefs and wants/desires, among other intellectual acts, cause our feelings. Therefore, another major reason that we do not believe and therefore fail to think or feel that we have infinitely high value and worth simply because we exist, is because we do not want to love and accept ourselves when we are imperfect or sin/have bad behavior, and we believe the lie that we should not.
We believe the lie that we should feel bad about ourselves as imperfect sinners, rather than only temporarily feeling displeased with ourselves for wanting and doing the sin (of commission or omission), and after repenting, forgiving ourselves as God forgives us while practicing trying not to repeat it. We fail to love and accept ourselves when we are imperfect or sin/have bad behavior and as a result we automatically do the same to others when they are imperfect or sin/have bad behavior. We also project this lack of love and acceptance onto God and onto others who do still love and accept us when we are imperfect or sin/have bad behavior.
For all these reasons, we do not want to become self-aware of and recognize all of our sins (interior and exterior) in order to work to change them because, among other lies such as but not limited to, "We will suffer more and feel even worse about ourselves if we know all of our sins and cooperate with God to change." Lies, which cause us more suffering on top of suffering. A major difference between us and the saints is that the saints love and accept themselves even when they sin and want to become self-aware of all of their sins (interior and exterior) in order to properly work with God to be freed of them.
Saints hate all sin, even small sins, including interior sins. Saints are not fine with their sins. They grieve and are sorrowful when they sin. However this sorrow and grief is briefly experienced and is coupled with feeling loved and at peace. Saints do not feel insecure, do not feel unlovable, do not feel afraid of rejection, do not feel self-pity, or feel rejected when they sin. Neither do Saints reject themselves when they sin. Saints still love and accept themselves even when they sin and feel good about who they are as a child of God, infinitely loved by Him. They still feel infinitely valuable even if they sin.
Another problem we have is that the only reason we do and even want to do what is right, good and true and not sin, is solely because we are selfishly afraid of consequences including, afraid of others rejecting us if we do not do what is right, good and true. In other words, we do not want to know or do what is right, good, and true unless we believe it will win us friends and influence people to give us our way, including preventing others from rejecting us.
This is not only selfishly using of others, it is a fantasy and lack of reality because no matter how we behave or not, people can and will freely choose to reject interacting with us for either a good reason, or no objective good reason but solely because they are selfish and unloving, with no love to give, while projecting that onto us.
In addition, there are those who believe themselves to be self-entitled in that they believe they are owed any type of relationship they want with anyone no matter how they behave, while they refuse to believe that they should not be interacted with and/or not be allowed to have a close relationship with others due to their grossly uncharitable behaviors. In other words they disrespect the proper boundaries of others.
Another part of the problem is believing the lie that Love is earned, which means that if we do not do what others want, then they will not Love us. Unfortunately because we are all, but one, selfish users, we do not want to Love others unless they are giving us what we want. This means we don't have any Love to give because we don't even know what Love is in objectively reality and don't know how to give Love. We believe so many lies about what Love is and is not and we think we are right.
For example, we believe the lie that how we feel determines if we are Loving someone or not. And worse, we blame our feelings on others of both supposedly loving or not loving another, and whether or not we feel Loved by another.
Best Tip to Stop Feeling Insecure
After years of learning what I have written in this article, I was walking down the streets of Mexico on my way to daily Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Adoration as usual, and I suddenly felt insecure about the people looking at me as they were driving past in their cars.
I was surprised by my reaction to them and immediately began doing the prayers that I teach to be healed, "Jesus I'm sorry I feel insecure and afraid of what others are thinking about me, please heal me, fill me with Your Graces, Virtues, Love, and Truth, and show me Your Truth about why I am feeling insecure and afraid of what others are thinking about me; Thank You."
This time Jesus told me that I was being self-centered in wanting their acceptance and approval and I was failing to care about them and failing to make being charitable to them my priority.
Immediately I began thinking about and focusing on giving positive attention to the drivers that passed by, smiling at them, and immediately all of my insecurity stopped.
Prayers to Experience the Love of God and Love Ourselves
"Jesus I'm sorry I do not love myself and others and do not know how to love, please heal me, fill me with Your Graces, Virtues, Love, and Truth, and show me Your Truth about how to Love; Thank You."
"Jesus I do not fully believe the Eucharist is You; if the Eucharist is truly completely really You, please show me."
"Jesus I'm sorry I do not fully understand the Eucharist, please heal me, fill me with Your Graces, Virtues, Love, and Truth, and show me the Truth about the Eucharist; Thank You Jesus."
“Jesus please help me experience Your Love for me; Thank You.”
"Jesus I do not know how to listen to You and hear You, please show me how to listen to You and hear You, and help me do so; Thank You."
"Jesus I'm sorry I don't want to listen to and hear You, please heal me, fill me with Your Graces, Virtues, Love, and Truth, and give me Your Grace to want to listen to and hear You; Thank You."
“Jesus, I’m sorry that I dislike/hate myself, please heal me, show me Your Truth about why I dislike/hate myself, and give me Your Truth, Love, Graces, and Virtues to replace “disliking/hating myself”; Thank You.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that I want to have wrong priorities, please heal me, show me Your Truth, and give me Your desire to want Your priorities; Thank You. Please show me Your Priorities.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that I don’t want to know the Truth(s) about myself and others, please heal me and give me Your Desire to want to know the Truth(s) about myself and others, and show me the Truth(s) about myself and others; Thank You.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that I want to believe lies about myself and others, please heal me, and give me Your Desire to want to believe only the Truth about myself and others; Thank You.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that I am afraid to know the Truth(s) about myself and others, please heal me, and give me Your Graces and Virtues, Courage, Strength, and Fortitude, to replace my fears and show me Your Truth about why I am afraid to know the Truth about myself and others, Thank You.”
“Jesus please give me Your Grace to Love and Accept myself and to Love and Accept others; Thank You.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that my perspectives and attitudes about myself, about You, and about others are wrong, please heal me, show me Your Truth, give me Your Humility, Wisdom, and Understanding, give me Your perspectives and attitudes about myself, about You, and about others; Thank You.”
“Jesus please show me how and in what ways You want me to pray/talk to You; thank You.”
“Jesus I’m sorry that I don’t want to do the work (psychological/spiritual work) necessary in order to Love myself, Love You, and Love others, I’m sorry that I want You Jesus to do all the work, please heal me, show me Your Truth about why I don’t want to do the work, give me Your Graces and Virtues, and give me Your desire to want to do the psychological/spiritual work; thank You.”
What makes you feel good about yourself?
If your answer is not something about God and your existence, first and foremost. You're getting it wrong.