What’s your earliest childhood memory? The earliest memory I have is when as a toddler between the ages of three and four years old, in a yellow and white dress with white ankle socks and black shoes with straps, there I was, in the center of the room, smiling and looking around, as all eyes were fixed on me. It was my birthday. I was the star of the show and surrounded by my loving family. I knew then, as best as a toddler could know, that I was special and valued. So, regardless of the challenges that I’ve faced from that moment forward in my life, I’ve always felt a bond of security and assurance with my family and that is essential.
What’s your earliest memoir of yourself? Is it one filled with warm memories that are rooted in love, appreciation, self-assurance and belonging; which are the building blocks to a healthy self-image? Or, has it been tainted with abandonment, painful adjectives and phrases spat at you from dysfunctional parent(s) or care provider(s) such as “you’re stupid,” “you’ll never be anything,” “you’re just like your loser mother,”
”you’re as hopeless as your dog of a father”! For some, maybe there weren’t any vocal outbursts.Perhaps you experienced cold or distant parent(s) or care provider(s) who could not develop a loving and warm relationship with you due to the emotional runts they’d become as a result of a lack of love and affection during their own formative years.
Self-esteem simply means the value one places on his or herself. Whatever the earlier experience – whether a warm, loving and supportive family, or painful and distorted memories of constant ridicule, belittling, etc. – the personal growth and development of one’s self-esteem can directly impact an innocent and impressionable child and will influence the success or failure of all their future relationships from childhood through adulthood. Where this value comes from and how it is applied is pertinent. Right now, today, whoever you are, can you reasonably conclude that your life has value, purpose and meaning? If not, why? If so, who molded you? Who’s responsible for your shaping? Who has fueled, coaxed and nurtured the building blocks of your self-image? Has it been fractured?
In Psalm 139:13, King David acknowledges God as being in complete control of his fetal makeup in his mother’s womb. It’s God he credits with his formation first before singing his admiration to Him. He says “I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are they works.” Here, David identifies God as the source of his confidence and the one who placed value on him even before he was lovingly placed in his mother’s womb. Isn’t that good to know?
Even though, at times, you may experience or encounter a little self-esteem fracturing here and there, take comfort in the Word of God whereby it reminds you that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).