Monday, January 31, 2011
Rebuilding Your Life after Rejection (Part 2)
How do you stop the “wearing away” of emotional erosion after rejection? How do you rebuild your self esteem and restore confidence?
Plant seeds of truth. After a devastating forest fire, erosion is contained by planting grass seed or building retaining walls. After a breakup, emotional erosion is shored up by planting seeds of truth and building supportive walls around your heart to retain the truth and prevent future erosion.
The seeds of truth come from reading and hearing God’s word, planting them in your heart and applying them to your life. In time there is growth, heart hedges holding your life in place—rooted and established.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ...” (Ephesians 3:16-19, emphasis mine)
Rooted in God’s love and what He says about you, you can stand firm when you feel like your self worth is being washed away by the strong winds of someone else’s unkindness or how your hair turned out that day.
When your roots go deep into the source of life, the water of God’s word you stay fresh and growing. Plant seeds of truth and as they grow, you will be better able to take hold of your true identity—what God says about who you are.
Know your true identity. What is your identity? It is what your driver’s license says? Is it what you tell yourself, what others say about you, or what the world thinks? How you see yourself affects how you feel and what to do or don’t. It affects your level of confidence.
So often we want to hide the broken and less-than-perfect parts of our selves. Yet as we come to realize that Christ loves us in the middle of our mess, that startling love helps us to accept both our strengths and weaknesses, both the dark and light, and our self image becomes less broken and more whole.
Self esteem is the value you place on how you see yourself. It’s how content you are with that image. Of course, self esteem fluctuates but if it is too high it can lead to a prideful heart.
Perhaps you’ve seen a woman who thinks she is “all that.” Her smugness and conceit is contrasted with the person who has low self esteem: she thinks she is “none of that.” She focuses more one her mistakes instead of what she does right. She is often sad or fearful, and her insecurity prevents her from speaking up, taking chances, or moving forward.
Whether it’s too high or too low, ask yourself if your assessment of your self or situation is accurate. Ask God to give you insight.
A healthy view of yourself is balanced. A woman with a healthy self-esteem respects herself. She feels secure and worthwhile because of what God says about her. She has confidence in relationships and in life and generally more joy. She knows she has significance; she matters. With her sense of worth and value intact, she sits up straight and walks tall. Her head up, this confident woman is friendly, gentle and kind. She makes eye contact when she speaks, and she doesn’t constantly apologize for everything she says or does.
After a breakup, you may feel like your self esteem has plummeted because often rejection can make you feel unwanted, unloved, or unworthy. It’s hard to learn to trust again and you wonder about your judgment. Often women wonder “what is wrong with me?” when in reality a man has not beheld your true worth. And neither have you.
It’s important to remember that your value as a person is not based on what one person thinks about you. As you allow God to shift your self esteem from how you see yourself to seeing your worth and value through God’s eyes a realignment takes place. God empowers you to see differently, you begin to act differently.
You change your perception, and you change your life.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.