Updated: Aug 22, 2021
"Relationships and your community are like buffers to smooth you out the rough seasons and polish you up to cope and survive the harshness and sadness that life can bring.
Your relationships, connections, and spiritual community are your primary sources of health and happiness in your emotional life. Your relationships and belonging reinforces your sense of identity, builds your self-esteem, decrease your stress levels, and motivates you.
During the pandemic, so many people felt disconnected, lost, alone, vulnerable, and fearful. Your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health are at risk when you don’t have healthy and consistent connections.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God to be social creatures. When stress, sickness, trouble, loss, death, and setbacks knock on your door…your social buffers can help you survive, heal, grow, and overcome the hardships.
Because I had my “social buffers” around me when my son passed away from cancer, I believe I was able to survive that horrible pain because I felt soothed, comforted, seen, and prayed for by my social connections (my buffers). During this pandemic, I made a conscious decision to remain connected to my friends, family, and Women on the Grow tribe. I made calls, sent cards, text messages, etc. Every week for over a year, every Sunday, many women in my tribe chose to show up in my zoom sessions. The sessions continue and are open to you. We talk, share, cry, pray, and study together. I think I have only missed four sessions in over a year now.
I continue to hear examples of what happens when people are not socially connected. I recall talking with a woman during a counseling session. She shared that her adult son is mentally ill with violent outbursts and resistant to help. For some time now, her son is choosing to live outside in her backyard in an unsanitary environment. I asked her, “How do you feel telling me this secret?” She said, “I have never told anyone in all these years, and it feels liberating to finally tell my story.”
In the past few days, I have counseled with women who are healing from the stronghold of shame...:
A woman finally told her story of childhood abuse and alcoholism.
A woman told her story of ending a relationship with a toxic and married man.
A woman told her story of feeling guilty and ashamed about her shopping addiction and poor credit rating.
All three of these ladies are breaking the silence and taking their power back because of their shame.
I believe shame is one of the most significant blockages to us connecting with others. Instead of building bridges to connect with the right people, shame will have you building walls to keep people out. Too often, people suffer, hide and numb their pain in an addiction, disconnect, and avoid calls, invitations, and help. The voice of shame makes us feel; inferior, like a failure, worthless, like we are the only one, stupid, incompetent, guilty, and not worthy of God’s love.
As you and I learn to give voice to our story, our pain, our power, and our questions…shame has to scatter.
Just like financial capital improves your wealth ... your social capital improves your health. Be open to new opportunities, resources, people, places, and support. Be intentional about receiving, nurturing, and investing in your relationships with others. Your faith, courage, happiness, coping skills, confidence, and overall well-being will flourish. Hope, peace, healing, love, and new beginnings are possible. Stay in the light." - by Jewel Diamond Taylor, The Self-esteem Dr.
email - TheSelfesteemDr@gmail.com