Self-Esteem

Are You the Victim of a Bully?Premium Content

I once thought a bully was a big kid shaking down a weaker kid for lunch money.

Now I know bullies are adults, too. They’re bosses, parents, teachers, spouses, neighbors, pastors, celebrities, and pro athletes. A bully is an insecure person who uses physical or emotional violence, or the threat of such violence, to exert power and control over others.

I can’t think of anything positive about bullies or their actions.

The bully hasn’t learned how to get what he needs—affirmation, love, self-worth—in authentic relationships, so he resorts to violence and threats. Bullies aren’t “real men” or “strong women.” They’re weak or unskilled in relationships, so they compensate with bravado.

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Teeter Totter ThinkingPremium Content


When I was a kid, I loved the teeter totter. Because of my weight issues, however, I was acutely aware of how my weight differed from most kids. The teeter totter was the scale; whoever was the heavier had the strength to hold the other occupant stranded in mid- air for however long he/she desired.

And usually that person was me, much to my dismay. After all, I wanted to be the dainty princess of sugar and spice and everything nice; I didn't want to be a bruiser or a brute.

I had a completely distorted and unhealthy perspective. And one incident, in particular, captured it.

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Vain Imagination (Self-esteem)Premium Content

Vain Imagination

As a little girl, I had one of those pink girly hand mirrors.


Its back had a girl's face on it, a pretty one, naturally. She had blue eyes, blond hair and an upturned nose. It wasn't exactly diversity.

Years later, I think back to playing with (looking at) that mirror; which side was more harmful to what eventually became my bad self- image. Was it that girl's face- or was it my own face staring back at me?

Vanity's not really a great Christian character trait...

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. Psalms 26:4

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Are You Eyeing Some Envy?Premium Content

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30

I love Sophia Loren; I love Jane Mansfield. So, when I saw a photograph of them together, the fan in me squealed. Perhaps you're familiar with the image. It's the two stars, seated together at a table at some Hollywood event. Sophia Loren's eyes look off to the side, staring at Jayne Mansfield's cleavage. Could this be, perhaps, an example of envy being photographed?

We know both women are popular culture and beauty icons; they're sex symbols. Ms. Loren, to this day, is an embodiment of exotic beauty. How many of us have unsuccessfully tried to achieve that dramatic "Sophia look," only to poke ourselves in the pupil with the liquid eye liner?

And, the late Ms. Mansfield's ample bust, supposedly measuring anywhere from 40D to 46 D, is frequently mentioned and even compared to that of Marilyn Monroe's figure. How many of us have stuffed our bras with tissue to look just like her? (Somehow, we never did).

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Discovering Real LovePremium Content

Writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!...But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! Jude 1b-2, 20-21, The Message


We are always changed by our experiences of being loved by God. As we Practice His Presence we will be gently challenged as to what we believe about love. Our wounds associated with love will be "being healed" as we practice his presence.

The first front of healing in our journey as Son's and Daughter's; is to become empowered to more fully receive love from Father. "Be Loved!"

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Back to School (Eating Disorder Awareness Education)Premium Content

This back to school season always strikes me with concern. Eating disorders are often triggered by the college experience. Statistics show some startling realities:

"As many as 10% of college women suffer from a clinical or nearly clinical eating disorder, including 5.1% who suffer from bulimia nervosa.
Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18% of women and 0.4% of men have a history of bulimia…"
(The National Institute of Mental Health, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)


Indeed, it was my reality. As a child and a teenager who always struggled with her weight, I determined college to be my "reinvention." If I could just be thin, I could be a new, better person. And so, oh, so slowly, I descended into eating disorders. I discuss it in my book, "Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder."

It started as a diet. However, it didn't stop there. Eventually I was engulfed in anorexia, culminating in an unhealthy low weight of eighty pounds, not to mention, weakness and dizziness just to name a couple of health issues I encountered. Furthermore, that anorexic condition eventually morphed into another dangerous disorder, bulimia; I gained one hundred plus pounds within a number of months. And, with that rapid weight gain, I experienced heart fluttering, shortness of breath and suicidal thoughts. Simply stated-I was miserable, unhealthy and out of control.

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Alice in Wonderland Solutions vs. Biblical SolutionsPremium Content

Recently, I watched the Disney animated version of the classic story, "Alice In Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll. The story has gotten many years of pop culture attention and references. The rock band, Jefferson Airplane notoriously captured the drug aspect of it in their song, "White Rabbit."

And, as I watched the film, yes, I was struck by the "drink me" and "eat me" scenes. Alice, bored with her current existence, encounters a utopia of Wonderland, but is faced with the obstacle of a locked door.

And her "solution" was to partake of these provided substances to alter her size. She believed she could, indeed, be "just the right size" and obtain her perfect life of this magical world.

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Self-image: The Bagel Forehead Premium Content

I don't know if you've heard about this recent beauty trend: the bagel forehead. That's right. I said the bagel forehead. Apparently, according to "National Geographic Taboo," people in Japan are getting injected with 400 cc of saline in their foreheads to create a bagel-like shape. It looks a little alien to me, but really, what have we done to ourselves, all on the name of beauty, appearance and trends? How much of that has been freakish?

For instance, let's take a hobbled stroll down foot binding lane, shall we? In 19th century China, young girls believed the beauty standard to be the tiny feet, inspired by the female dancers of that era. It then, like most beauty standards, became a sign of social class structure. In the name of being a "lady," a young girl's feet were wrapped, early on, to reshape the appearance. The goal was to even have toes fall off, all to acquire this specific look. The tiny narrow feet of the "ladies" were considered beautiful and a goal was to make a woman's movements more feminine and dainty. Hence, the hobbling. And that, of course, made it attractive to the men, taking on oppressive, sexist tones. The men could better control their wives if they could not literally run away, right?

Ah, yes, beauty is pain, huh?

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Casting off the Burden of Self-Indulgence

Proverbs 18:1 NRSV
The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgment.

"Prayer opens a whole planet to a man's activities. I can as really be touching hearts for God in far away India or China through prayer, as though I were there. Prayer puts us into direct dynamic touch with a world. A man may go aside today, and shut his door, and as really spend a half-hour in India -- I am thinking of my words as I say them, it seems so much to say, and yet it is true -- as really spend a half hour of his life in India for God as though he were there in person. Is that true ? If it be true, surely you and I must get more half-hours for this secret service. No matter where you are you do more through your praying than through your personality." ~ S. D. Gordon

There is living and then there is living. In other words, there is existing, having our physical bodies be in a certain space and time, and then there is the purpose and focus for our living where our thoughts and priorities dwell. One can live alone physically and be in touch with the world at large through prayer and focus and concern. And one can live in the midst of the largest metropolis and be solely centered on her own agenda and concerns.

How is Your Thinking?Premium Content

As a man thinks…

Recently, a young girl, struggling with eating disorders, posted a sentiment on Facebook, entitled, "Welcome to my head." Here were some of the things comprising it:

Worthless

Ugly

Fat

Weak

Stupid

Failure

Never good enough

It's sad and frustrating to see this yet again and still. It can be so naturally built into us, can't it?

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