Saturday, 27 October 2012

Recognising Our Validity.

What is self-esteem?  In essence, it is how much you like, accept and respect yourself.  Self-esteem refers to how you think and feel about yourself.  The more positive your thoughts and feelings are, the healthier your self-esteem will be.  Conversely, negative thoughts and feelings have a detrimental impact on your overall well being.  

Thus, self-image and self-esteem are intertwined.  You can think of your self-image as the marker on which the opinion of yourself is based.  In other words, a positive self-image is conducive to positive self-esteem.

Feeling good about yourself is a vital aspect of feeling in control of your life.  Other aspects of your life will feel the benefits.  More fulfilling relationships.  Allows you to set realistic expectations of yourself and not the perceived expectations of others.  Feeling good about yourself can give you confidence in realising your goals in life.

Having a low opinion of yourself can give you a distorted viewpoint on who you really are.   And the end result can be total lack of confidence, negative speculation and yes, low self-esteem.

Your self-esteem is based upon your life experiences.  If you were constantly put down, constantly criticized and told you were not as good as so and so, this will impact your self-esteem in a way that you start to question your validity.  If enough people undermine you, you can start to believe the hype.  Do not believe the hype.  If you have been surrounded by a positive environment, your chances of a higher self-esteem level are more likely.

Some Common Signs Of Low Self-Esteem :

.  Being overly self-conscious and a feeling of being inferior to others.

.  Unable to be assertive and prone to being hurt by criticism.

.  Incapable of making an honest evaluation of strengths, qualities and capabilities.

.  Struggles with accepting compliments or acknowledgement from others.

.  Struggles with a sense of self-identity and adjusts their personality to blend in.

.  Insecure, fearful and anxious in the company of others.

.  Fearful of opposition to their opinion out of fear of rejection.

.  Being a 'people pleaser' and finds it difficult to say no.

.  Replaying conversations in their head.  Thinking they said the wrong thing.

.  Avoiding new experiences because they think they will look stupid.

.  Feelings of frustration, bitterness and resentment towards others.

.  Distancing themselves from society and becoming reclusive.

.  More inclined to mental health issues and the usage of addictive substances to mask the pain.

Some Questions To Determine If You Might Have Low Self-Esteem :

.  Do you like yourself?

.  Do you think you're a good person?

.  Are you someone worthy of love?

.  Are you entitled to be happy?

If you find it difficult to say 'yes' to the above questions, you might be struggling with your self-image, your self-worth, your self-esteem.  I leave you to think this over and in the next posting, I shall discuss the various positive resources and distractions that can be implemented if you are experiencing low self-esteem.

We must understand that recognising our validity is something we must cherish, nurture and let blossom.  Peace and positivity, be with you.


57 comments:

  1. There's areas where I feel lack, but overall, I have a good self-esteem.
    Another sign is someone who is a bully - trying to raise his self-esteem by putting others down.
    It's an inner peace we all strive to attain.

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    1. Hi Alex,

      That's most positive. You do bring up a good point about a bully. In many cases, bullies have low self-esteem and find easy, vulnerable targets to try and deflect away their own insecurities.

      Sadly, some have the mindset that they don't 'deserve' inner peace. This is where we can help.

      Thanks Alex and from one hour earlier due to the clocks going back here, I wish you a most pleasant weekend.

      Gary

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  2. I read your questions and thought "duh". I can't imagine answering on the good side of any of them. The thought evades me. I really get uncomfortable if given a compliment. I have to wonder WHY they are saying it, then wonder if they feel sorry for me and are throwing me a bone. I'm pretty broken.

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    1. Hi lotta joy,

      And duly noted the irony in your blog name. A lot of us are uncomfortable with compliments. It's a real shame that we cannot accept a genuine compliment and just say thank you.

      There's a lot of broken folks. Maybe together, we can start trying to fix those breaks.

      You look after YOU!

      Gary

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    2. Ironic name, but I had to come up with something SO unlike me, just to throw some stalkers off my trail who were hell bent on making my blogging life miserable.

      Delete
  3. Excellent post!!! If we don't respect ourselves ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot...
    Prog on,
    Laura
    x

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    1. Hi Laura,

      Thank you. Yes, we have to respect ourselves and give ourselves the credibility we deserve. Onwards and upwards :)

      Gary
      x

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  4. There are days that I feel excellent and others when I feel like dirt. It always matters on the circumstances that I am in. But, mostly it is about how good I can hide my insecurities. I explain myself as an introvert in an extroverts clothing. I try my best not to let others define me.

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    1. Hi Arleen,

      Thank you for sharing. I can relate to the varying moods and no doubt, many others can. When one feels like dirt, everyday, all the time, then we know something needs to change.

      Very heartened that you try your best to not let other define you. Your individuality will shine through. Thank you.

      Gary

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  5. Replies
    1. Hi Delores,

      I think your sense of humour indicates it aint so bad, after all :)

      Take care, eh.

      Gary

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    2. Hi Delores,

      I understand that one. I use my alleged humour as part of acting out what I'd like to realise as something happier and light-hearted.

      Kind wishes, the tears of a clown...

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  6. oh boy i'm in serious trouble I kind of came down on the wrong side of these observation running to hide in corner now

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    1. Hi becca,

      Awe, dear lady, my answers to those questions, due to the battle with my negative inner critic, have me struggling to say yes to them. Together, becca, we can understand that we are all worthy of feeling better about ourselves :)

      You've got a lot going for you and please remember that.

      In kindness, Gary

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  7. Well, that sure made me double take. Thank you for this informative post. It really has a lot of points for me to evaluate in my life.

    Bert's My Vickie

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    1. Hi Vickie,

      You are most welcome for the information in this post. I'm sure that your evaluation will be cathartic and cleansing. We are all here for each other, my dear friend.

      With respect and good wishes, Gary

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  8. Despite how my blog sounds....I can say yes to all 4 questions. I know my own worth but don't understand why others don't seem to. So I continue on with my struggle not to care what others think. I know this is hard for me to explain, but I have finally come to see that I don't have to be who others expect me to be. And as you know...I am living with a brick wall of negativity that comes and goes at random.

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    1. Hi middle child,

      You mean, despite how your blog might sound based on your perceptions of it. On your blog, I see a lady trying to make some sort of sense of it all. Someone verbalising her valid hopes, wishes and dreams. I'm not surprised you can respond with a yes to those four questions. You know, despite the negative influences, your true self-worth.

      And thus, you need not live up to the expectations of others, whether perceived by you, or reality. You continue to understand your personal rights are not to be violated. Hopefully, those moments of brick wall negativity, become further and further apart. You have my ongoing respect and admiration.

      Gary

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  9. I love this post, Gary. I like that you left those four questions at the end for people to ask themselves so they could get an indication of whether they have self-esteem issues.

    Jai

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    1. Hi Jai,

      Thank you so much, Jai. Yes indeed, those four questions can be a measurement of how we feel about ourselves and if we need to evaluate some changes for the better. I think they are good to reflect over.

      Have a peaceful remainder of your weekend.

      Kind wishes, your way, Gary

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  10. Highly valuable observations, Gary. One most important fact to keep in mind is the immense power of "self talk" - whether positive or negative. It reinforces your prevailing feelings for good or for ill.

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    1. Hi Ian,

      I appreciate that and the observations are formulated from my own understanding of self-esteem and various sources I have worked with. Ah yes, "self-talk" was demonstrated in my previous posting. Thanks to the inspiration from Penny. Ideally, we strive to replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. It's a question of finding the balance. Thanks, Ian.

      Have a peaceful weekend on Vancouver Island.

      Gary

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  11. Hi Gary. What a useful post this is. I did recommend to a friend once that she should go to class to learn to be less self-assertive. In a similar way Mrs Bazza thinks I should lower my self-esteem....
    Seriously though, this is great because one would not always recognise the symptoms which you describe so it's very helpful for self diagnosis.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi bazza,

      Delighted you found this to be a useful post. Ah so that lady you mentioned demonstrated an ambitious approach to making folks pay attention to her. Hope she didn't argue over your recommendation. Heaven forbid, you are not bordering on having a superiority complex! Although, personally, I'm in awe of you.

      Of course and seriously, self-diagnosis, recognising the potential warning signs, can help promote healthier well being. Ideally, it can also confirm that you are happy with who you are. Thank you, bazza.

      All the best,

      Gary

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  12. Ouch. This is close to the bone. I accept myself but neither like nor respect the woman I accept. And low self esteen is closer to no self esteem. Something I know I should work on.
    Brilliant post. Thank you Gary.

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    1. Hi The Elephant's Child,

      And I know you will work on your esteem. The only way from here is progress and inspiration. I send you some words of encouragement that tell you that motivation for a change in your life is the key. Thank you, my friend.

      In kindness and hope, your way, Gary

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  13. Dear Gary,
    Like lots of your reguar commentors, when reading through your list of signs of low self-esteem, I found that it described quite a few things that I tend to do myself. I think that I do tend to be a bit of a "people pleaser", because I don't want anyone to think badly of me. I think this is to do with my own past, and at least I recognise it so it is something that can be fixed. Also, as bazza says above, I think it is possible to be too assertive, and I find nothing more annoying than people who seem to be brimming with belief in themselves. It's just not English, old chap!
    Anyway, a very interesting post, Gare. And as Kathy Bates said in "Misery", "I'm your number one fan!" Sorry, didn't mean to scare you, my hairy friend.
    Very Best Wishes, your way,
    David.

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    1. Dear David,

      Yes, you can try to please too much and as you know, that can compromise how we truly feel about the situation. Going with the flow when you don't really want to, just builds up frustration. And I know you made some adjustments conducive to your own personal betterment.

      And yes, bazza and you are quite right in what you mention. Overly assertive people can be most stifling and may not respect your personal space. Yes, keep that stiff upper lip and just smile, smile through gritted teeth.

      I suppose this posting can get one to evaluate their lives, whether positive or negative or somewhere in between. Oh great, I'm stuck in cabin during a winter storm and my number one fan has tied me down.

      Thank you, David. You intellectual giant of a man!

      In peace and some fish n' chips, your way, Gary

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  14. I do hope people answer more yes's than no's.

    I definitely think surrounding yourself and finding yourself in a positive environment is a must. I know it's easier said than done - we are surrounded by trials and tribulations everyday no matter how "small" but they all impact on one's inner peace - it could be work, transport, neighbours, family, etc but I think if you don't find a little bit of happiness and contentment somewhere, it's just too awful. I think that's why I have animals around me. I feel only happiness when I'm with them.

    Take care
    x

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    1. Hi Old Kitty,

      And four yes's would be quite a positive outcome. Still, must be realistic and make adjustments accordingly.

      Absolutely, our environment is a vital factor of how we feel about life and ourselves. We need positive distractions and resources in our lives. Sometimes when one feels trapped in overwhelming negativity, it takes a lot of determination to bring about some changes. And bless our animals, treasured family members who bring us that loving, happy focus.

      Thank you, Old Kitty.

      And you take care of YOU :)

      Gary
      x

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  15. Going by this, my self esteem is higher than a totem pole. I have days when I'm down, but that's because all the aches have settled in for a good long stay and I'm finding it difficult to move.
    I do avoid some new experiences, but not all of them, mostly because they will involve places where there will be drinking and smoking and I avoid those because of asthma and migraine tendencies. This is the same reason that I distance myself from society. I get enough "second-hand smoke" at work, some of the customers positively reek of it, I swear they must live and sleep in their smoke filled clothes for months at a time.
    So all in all, I'd say my self esteem is very high. I've always liked who I am.

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    1. Hi River,

      That's most encouraging and enjoy the view from above the totem pole :) You have a healthy outlook and I admire that.

      I can certainly understand your reasoning for not going to places that you may be subjected to drinking and the passive smoke that is detrimental to your health. Nothing worse than the smell of smoke wafting from clothes.

      I am so glad you like who you are. I relate to that and deep down, I like who I am.

      Thank you, River.

      Have a peaceful and hopefully pain-free day.

      In kindness, Gary

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  16. This is very interesting - it's made me think a lot about how I see myself and I realise I still don't like me very much! I look forward very much to your next posting x

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    1. Hi Teresa,

      I'm heartened that you found this interesting. Let's hope you will start to like yourself so much better.

      In peace and hope, your way, Gary x

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  17. At 47 I've pretty much accepted who I am. It is what it is and there are more important things to fret over than myself.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Hi Shelly,

      That's really encouraging. If you don't feel the need to fret about yourself and you are happy and like who you are, then that's one heck of a positive result.

      Of course, my posting is to try and hopefully be of some comfort or confirmed reinforcement of someone's positive focus.

      Thank you, Shelly. Thanks for the hugs and if possible, British chocolate, greatly appreciated :)

      With respect and kindness, Gary

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  18. They say the older you get, the wiser you get - and the more secure in yourself you become. True. Now that I'm an old bag...hehe...I used to fit the description you detail, and it's a horrible way to live.
    Healthy self-esteem and happiness to you

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    1. Hi Kim,

      Always wondered who "they" are :) And with age comes wisdom. Then again, not always true and our wise thoughts may be clouded by a distorted view of the self.

      The most important thing is that you are secure about how you feel about yourself. With such wisdom and the learning from life experiences, I know you will never let a negative environment steal away your right to a peaceful, positive life. Keep focusing on that new start you so crave, my good friend.

      In peace and positivity, your way, Gary

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  19. At an earlier section of my life, I would have checked YES next to all those symptoms. It took some serious business with depression and people dying that made me force a change. I still have to give myself a good kick now and then.

    Thank you, Gary, for this post. It is so valuable and addresses some so-very-important problems.

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    1. Hi Susan Kane,

      Thank you for such a candid response to this posting. Change takes courage and determination. You are clearly demonstrating that and you have my utmost admiration. And yes, every once in awhile, we have to shake of the dust and continue on.

      I thank you, Susan. This is clear display of all of us trying to be here for each other. Understanding and awareness are powerful resources.

      In gratitude, your way,Gary

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  20. Hi Gary - this is a great series because we can use your words and thoughts, which are so valuable, when thinking and dealing with others.

    I'm fine with myself - but not everyone is happy with that .. and then I'm not happy with their perception. I do find that people don't put themselves in others' shoes and so can't understand the place the person is coming from ... it's something I've learnt in the last few years .. to take something positive out of the negative and give back the positive.

    It's what we do and think that matters - we can't and shouldn't dwell on others' perceptions or thoughts or words of us.

    Bullying comes in so many guises - big and threaty and thuggy, control and authority ... I experienced these during my mother's illness - it was a challenge to put it mildly ... some I could counter, some I just have to accept that's their thinking - however unfair it (appears only!) to me ... it was excruciatingly unfair. Luckily I didn't get the thug type variety ..

    Selfishness and lack of thought apply so often - people don't and won't think for a few seconds ... why is that being said, or being done that way .. they don't gently question to find the underlying cause. Reacting gently is a wise retreat ..

    These posts will help so many ... great articles - many thanks - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary,

      You are very kind and I thank you for your most articulate and thoughtful response to this posting. I hope this series will bring further understanding about our interaction and perceptions with others.

      You have a healthy outlook of yourself. As you know, others perceptions can be distorted. One has to not make assumptions and those that do, should really try to 'walk a mile in your moccasins'. To return a positive out of a negative is a great attitude.

      Those bullies you speak of. Invariably, bullies have esteem issues and like to think, by being overbearing, that they can mask their insecurities through a form of intimidation.

      Cool, calm and the gentle approach to selfish situations, can sometimes get the selfish to rethink their stance. An open mind is a wonderful thing.

      Thank you, Hilary.

      In gratitude and peaceful wishes, your way, Gary

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  21. I don't like myself very much, there is more to criticize than to admire...but the good thing is, that I've learned to take one step at a time. Thanks for the lesson Gary :).

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    1. Hi Petronela,

      My dear friend, and with your evaluation, which may be more of a past environment influence, you are understanding that there is a positive focus forward in all those steps you take. Thank you and focus on that positive.

      In peace and hope, your way, Gary

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  22. I like to think of myself as a work in progress. I'm improving with age. I also hesitate to look back at some of those horrible moments when I was soaked in poor self-image. Wish I could hug that young girl now.

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    1. Hi Joylene,

      Your work in progress and improving with age, attitude, is most healthy and encouraging. Of course, this posting can look at the now and if one is content with their self-esteem level. I'm gratified to know that you are enhancing a better self-image.

      I just want to inspire those that need some support and need to understand that a positive outlook you aspire to, can be of great benefit. Give yourself a hug, Joylene.

      In kindness and gratitude, Gary

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  23. This post touches me in more ways than you will ever know. I grew up with a Mother who called us "the three living abortions" and constantly told us we were fat, stupid...we were always told how we were never wanted. To this day I battle with feeling "good enough" It is a life-long struggle that will never end but it DOES get better!

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    1. Hi Caren,

      I respect your painful candour. I know it can be most traumatic to dredge up such pain. Yet I know you realise the severe impact the past can have on us. So, you know that what you and your siblings endured was not a real reflection on you all. We fight those ingrained feeling of not being good enough and find a way to raise our valid self-esteem. Nobody, but nobody has the right to devalue your thoughts and feelings.

      I admire your courage and determination and yes, it does get better because we know we are better than negativity.

      Thank you, Caren,

      Much respect and admiration, your way, Gary

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  24. Hi Gary,
    I can identify with every single thing on that list and am finding it increasingly difficult to answer 'Yes' to any of the questions, but with help from those around me (and further afield) I am slowly adapting back into positive life. It will take a while, but I hope that I can make that journey.
    J
    p.s. If you get a chance Gary, could you visit my new blog 'Fragments of the Past'? Just click on the link below.
    Visit my new blog 'Fragments of the Past'

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    1. Hi John,

      I know of your struggles, my friend. I'm so heartened that you continue to embrace all the positive resources and distractions available to you. You surround yourself with such support and I know that you can take away the energy of the negativity that tries to sabotage your right to a peaceful, happy life. Your journey along the positive pathway grows in strength. Like so many, I applaud you along that route.

      I shall, most assuredly, check out your new blog. Thank you, my friend.

      In peace and inspiring wishes, your way, Gary

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  25. I just read your post on Self-Esteem, and decided to go backward. This is an excellent topic that can't be reiterated enough. These feelings start in childhood, and could last a lifetime if overlooked. Thanks Gary! Julie

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    1. Hi Julie,

      Thank you for commenting on this now previous posting. Indeed, often self-esteem issues can be traced back to childhood and the way we were treated. I know that in my case, my low self-esteem, did start at a very early age. And I then gave others permission to confirm that I was stupid and my dad was correct. It's something I have battled all my life.

      Thank you, Julie. This is quite the topic with so many different aspects being shared. This is a most profound meeting of the minds.

      With respect and positive wishes, your way, Gary

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  26. Hi Gary:
    Wonderful post!!! You have created an amazing article that is thought provoking and deals with such an important topic. Thanks for sharing this important information. I have to say that I answer a strong YES to all your questions. Great questions!!!!

    You are the coolest!!!
    Suzanne

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  27. Hi Suzanne,

    Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog, answering on Gary's behalf:) He's gone for a nap. I know that Gary, just like I am, will be delighted with your most upbeat comment. He realises the importance of doing our best to maintain a a healthy mental health balance. And a strong YES! That is well cool. Okay, I shall have to admit, for a human, Gary is pretty cool! :)

    Have a lovely weekend in beautiful Victoria.

    Penny on behalf of her human, Gary :)

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  28. Great post, Gary. I was never a fan of the societal trend of concentrating of "building up self-esteem" in all children, regardless of whether or not they'd actually done anything worth patting themselves on the back for, if you know what I mean. That led to a number of people believing they were "entitled" to deference, and to a certain lack of empathy towards the needs of other people. However, a true sense of self value is essential in maintaining some sort of equilibrium. Oddly enough, I went through some really tough times as a teenager, and yet, most of the comments in my yearbook referred to me as being the person who was always smiling. Kinda like the song, where one whistles when afraid, and learns not to be afraid by virtue of whistling, I suppose. Anyhow, great post.

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  29. Hi Susan,

    Totally understand where you are coming from and you have added another thoughtful dimension to this. I consider understanding the needs of others goes hand in hand with our realistic sense of a balanced self-value.

    And the perception others had of you, which reflected in the comments in your annual, were very different to the underlying feelings you were contending with. I was the "class clown". Although I took delight on making others laugh and smile, nobody knew of the inner torment. Me thinks we are sensing a gift of empathy from your good and wise self. Thank you, Susan.

    In positivity and hope, Gary

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I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.