Beyond Blue reader Barbara (formerly Babs) nailed the purpose of the self-esteem file in her letter to Margaret on the combox of my post “Margaret on Releasing Fears.” Articulated so beautiful, Barbara says this to Margaret:
You mentioned that a lot of your problems centered around your dad. So have mine. But this is what has helped me the most through difficult times: I remind myself all the ways I have experienced God’s love and provision, in nature, and through other people (you, for one).
When I first started, I couldn’t think of anything — not because there were no experiences, but because I’d made myself rather insensitive to them. But just like Therese’s self-esteem file, I’ve been piling up my experiences of God’s provision, and when I get scared, I pull out a few recent examples to calm myself.
While our dads were not trustworthy, God is. And we have to remind ourselves of that. At first, it seems like merely an intellectual exercise, but the more we practice it, the more our emotions are bathed in it, and it is the emotions that need healing.