118. Self Compassion

Poor self-esteem is an indicator of depression and positive self-esteem is an indicator of getting well.

The dilemma is when self-esteem is dependent on other people, events, and circumstances and not on yourself. “My best friend just yelled at me, and I don’t know how I will make it through this day.” I once worked with a student at the college I worked for who followed this pattern to an extreme. She would be on top of the world one day and down in the dumps the next because of an unpleasant letter she received in the mail, a harsh word from her mother, a poor score on a test, or…the list went on and on. Gradually, the “bad” things happening to her became

more and more frequent in her mind until her self-esteem became so low that she saw herself as a complete loser and went into major depression.

Blog 71 on this site is entitled Accepting the Universe. In it I said, “So what to do? The first thing is to accept the universe. I read about a person whose life was dramatically changed when he stopped feeling sorry for himself and being terribly upset when things didn’t go his way, and simply learned to accept the universe. It is what it is. You are living in the USA not Darfur (a good thing). You have depression and others don’t (you are a unique person).”

In Blog 72, I defined what it means to accept the universe: “I need to clarify here what accepting the universe is. God is the creator of the universe; we are the creatures. His thoughts are not our thoughts nor are his ways our ways. He is so far above us in holiness and grandeur that we can only bow humbly before Him and say, “Though I don’t understand your ways, yet I accept everything from Your hand. “ That’s accepting the universe as God made it, and trusting Him that He has everything under control, even the things we don’t understand, especially the things we don’t understand.

Does that mean we are to feel happy when bad things happen to us? By no means; rather, we are to accept bad things as part of the natural world.

He knows the worst about us and He loves us just the same. There’s only one who loves like that, and Jesus is His name.

Jesus also knows the trials and tribulations we are going through. He tells us in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in this world, but he has overcome the world. Don’t you see? Our self-worth and thus our self-esteem doesn’t come from what happens to us in this world. It comes from the love God has for us and His standing right beside us through all the ups and downs of our life. Trust Him. Have faith that you are a child of God, and if that’s the only thing you have going for you, that’s enough.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Living a Spiritual Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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