Marvin Repinski: First priority: building self-esteem

Published 8:11 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

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“When Solomon had finished building the temple and the palace and all the other buildings he had always wanted, the Lord appeared to him.” (The Bible, I Kings 9:1-2)

Among the many attributes, the abilities, the dreams, the resources, and our goals, the appreciation we desire … the underlying foundation, may be a person’s self-esteem.

Recently a friend, knowing I do some writing for a newspaper, asked me, “What do you write about?” Answer: “My columns — at least my intention, is to write about the manner in which self-esteem is important and desired.” The larger story is within my ability, from a number of angles, to say something that will be on a palate, making efforts to better oneself.

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The following examples are drawn from the past few days of focusing on the themes of our personal growth, looking at ourselves.

OUR HEALTH: A Mayo Clinic pamphlet, “Headaches: An Overview,” is one of a number of similar booklets printed by the clinic. I point to this particular one as a resource that the many people I have counseled, have suffered with; some knockout kinds of pain. I suggest for our great well-being, we find resources to help us gain normalcy. Just a paragraph may aid a person’s understanding of our body’s functioning: “Pain in the face and head is carried by sensory nerves serving the muscles of the face and scalp, eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, blood vessels inside and outside of your head, the skull and the covering of the brain. The brain tissue itself is rather insensitive to pain.”

We can think better of others and ourselves when we respond to our ills.

ADMIRE AND ABSORB: An obituary in the Aug. 8, 2022 issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, tells of a person from which I want to learn. Anne Chapin Zink (April 28, 1935-July 25, 2022). Among many accomplishments, she was a teacher of high school math, coach of the girls tennis team, and with her husband, Phil, volunteer for Earth-Watch in Alaska. The obituary notice reads, “Although she endured life-changing injuries and recurring cancers, she never complained, made every day count, and rarely missed admiring the sunset … She will live on as our inspiration for facing fears, adapting to challenges, and embracing life.”

I’m taking several deep breaths just in viewing this woman’s kind of walking her journey! My self-esteem is lifted by saying to myself, “Marvin, get with it. You can make it; there is more for you to do! Self-esteem? I’m adding to mine!

RETIRE WITH HOPE: A minister friend of mine wrote in a Christmas letter, the following. It says to each of us, I believe, that we can survive whatever life throws at us. Please find ways to nurture your sense of self-worth — you do have worth.

Gordon writes: “Sara Jane and I will now be retired 20 years. On that same date, I will be 90. In the past year, I have experienced four surgeries.” I’ll insert the conclusion, “with best wishes” to indicate the esteem which is breathing in this letter  — Gordon refers to both shoulder surgery and hip replacement. He writes of his extended family. “Our oldest grandson is looking at colleges. I have been legally blind for the last five years. I listen to books provided by services for the blind and I enjoy that immensely and generally have five or six waiting to be heard. One book I particularly enjoyed was Jon Meacham’s “The American Gospel.” I am still able to take fairly long walks … enjoying life and hope you are too.”

Again, I’m just sitting here; catching my breath. Can we embrace our lives, count the positives, see some rainbows that will inspire us to nurture our lives, and build that self-esteem?

A prayer: “Remind us, O God, of the healing that is available through Your grace. Grant us opportunity to lead lives in fresh paths. May the word “Welcome” come easily to our lips.” Amen