Today’s Token is Esteem (self & relationship). See how you do.
Low self-esteem is associated with isolation. Put another way, the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to engage in meaningful relationships. This inventory will help you identify feelings and behaviors that may contribute to your self esteem as well as the regard you have for your relationship. At the same time, it will help you recognize areas that you might need to address further. Remember that how you feel about yourself is directly proportional to how much you have to give to the relationship and how much you can expect to receive in return.
With each item below, check the ones you think are characteristic of how you feel most of the time and put a circle around the box around the ones you would like to improve. See how many of the items resonate for you. By reviewing these questions, you are initiating the process of building a community of respect.
- Do you accept yourself for who you are, even if there are ways you hope to grow and change? Are you ever able to put your needs first before taking care of others?
- Do you try not to compare yourself to others?
- Do you make your own decisions?
- Do you grow from your mistakes rather than punish yourself or let the mistakes prove your unworthiness?
- Do you forgive yourself when you do something of which you are not proud?
- Do you manage your critical self-talk?
- Do you believe you are good enough?
- Do you find as much about pleasing yourself as you do others?
- Do you respect yourself?
- Are you able to learn from your mistakes?
- Are you able to achieve the things that are important to you?
- Do you realize that you are responsible for changing what you do not like about your life?
- Do you like who you are?
- Do you do your best to take care of yourself physically, socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?
If you have more circles than checkmarks, consider the fact that low self-esteem may be contributing to how you perceive your relationship right now.
- Do you like who you are when you are together?
- Do you try to be an honest with yourself and your partner?
- If you find you are making excuses for your partner’s behavior, can you then intervene appropriate and address the situation?
- Do you feel you are able to protect yourself from others who might hurt you?
- Do you balance your own needs with those of your partner and family?
- Do you know what it means to honor your partner?
- Have the two of you been behaving, thinking, and speaking in ways that demonstrate mutual regard?
- Do you try not to control your partner or not allow your partner to control you?
- Do you feel respected by your partner? In what ways? Why not?
- Do you feel good about how you’ve been contributing to the marriage?
- Do you feel good about yourself when you are not with your partner?
If you have more circles than checkmarks, consider the possibility that your regard for your relationship is suffering. If you feel this is a temporary state, in response to the recent depression, you might find that some of this evolves into a more comfortable state as you proceed in the days ahead. If, on the other hand, you feel that your disregard for the relationship is a chronic state with deep roots, I would urge you to take a serious look at how you feel about your relationship and assess whether you are committed to doing the work that needs to be done.
© Tokens of Affection:Reclaiming your Marriage after Postpartum Depression (Routledge, 2014) Kleiman w/Wenzel