Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

The Self-Esteem Forum: Where Next?

On another housekeeping topic, I wanted to let you all know that we are not going to hold the fifth Self-Esteem Forum in May. The first four were very successful. However, there were too many folks who didn’t follow through on the commitment of penning a letter of affirmation. Larry and I split that responsibility for the first two months, and then I bailed and let Larry write all of them the last two months. Now that he has a job and a girlfriend (The nerve! Really! To get a life!) he can’t keep up with that responsibility.
So we are going to brainstorm (and I would very much like any input you have!) about how we might go about this in a better way.
One idea I have is that we have a committee of letter-writers to compose those that slip through the cracks. Or perhaps to pair people off, instead of doing the round robin we had, so that the assignment is to get to know each other and become pen pals of sorts.
I also think monthly might be too often. Perhaps we should hold a quarterly forum, so that people have the chance to really get to know each other in order to write sincere letters. My thinking is that we should take the summer off, and then resume in September with a new format.
Again, your feedback is appreciated!

  • marilyn

    therese i agree that maybe not once amonth with all the new people it is harder to wtite about a person and it seems that some people are just passing through and looks good for the moment.allso i think takeing the summer off may be good because we seem to do better in the summer but need more suppot in winter months.blessings marilyn

  • Anonymous

    I am glad to see such creative and supportive use of the internet. However, in Ecclesiastes, there is a time ofr every purpose under Heaven. May I suggest this idea as a possible help? I don’t look for self-esteem from others or what I do (although any of these things may be positive). Actually, a supportive significant other or counselor can help. I don’t mean to sound flip-but if you have been redeemed, and you know you have, you know God dwells within you. You know that your worth is determined not by how you view yourself, but by how God views you. You were important enough that the Son of God and Lord of Lords could come to earth and die and rise from the dead for you-and you know that God will never abandon you or leave you orphan. One of my favorite songs is sung by Gillian Welch, called Orphan Girl. What this suggests is that flexibility in language and use of terms allows for the same word to be used in different contexts to say different things, by the same person.
    So I may know all of the above, and feel adandoned at times, and need to remind myself that life is important, and worth living-but when push comes to shove, if the ground of your being is in God, you can always pray. In your own words, or no words at all. The key is knowing who you are in Christ-Thomas Merton wrote about this subject in ways that allow for greater intellectual sophistication than Christianspeak will. And what is prayer? Addressing your thoughts to God. Talking to God in your Spirit. I learned a great lesson in prayer from a resident in a facility for a diagnosed and troubled population. A strong believer, and one of the “little ones”. He asked me to pray with him, and I knelt by his side at his bedside.
    If I could believe what I am saying here my own life might improve. One should be willing to take one’s own advice, or not give any, methinks. So be it.

  • Anonymous

    A great site on my tube is called mind power . It has great videos with current songs as well as affirmations.
    Whats neat is I have a few favorite videos and when I’m down I can play the song on my mp3 and get a positive association.

  • ilibertyi

    Teresa, I think the quarterly idea is great. It was really hard to write a letter for someone who does little posting. It made me not want to participate again. I would like the time to get to know someone well before writing their letter. Perhaps setting up the penpal idea is good too. I think the majority of BBers are great at sending little notes of encouragement all through the year. Those should go into our SEF also. Thanks for addressing this tough but tender topic.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    The SEF Forum has given me several new BB fiends with whom I have developed a kind of penpal relationship( on an ongoing basis) Each has hav begun contributing to my life in her own way, and I hope I’ have to each of theirs,For this reason alone, I hope we don’t “throw out the baby with the bath water.” Any of your suggested changes is amenable to ne, Therese. Blessings on both you and Larry for providing us with the four forums which we’ve already had, and count me back in when you decide to reconvene. I’ve told Larry and let me share with you as well that I would be willing to write two letter if the need arises; Larry had to “pitch hit for me one month, and I really appreciated that. Besides, I’ve enjoyed writing the letters as much as I have receiving them. One idea for fuyure “research projects: My most recent letter riter noy only visited my home page, she took th time to read and respong to each of my journal entries as well, which I know gave her a better “picture of me. It might be that you’ll want to limit participation to those who DO (at least occasionally) write in their journals. I don’t lways make it daily, but at least a weekly entry would provide the reasearcher with up-to-date info about their “subject’s” current status and/or personal struggles. Maybe that would be too um, dare I say…”elitest”, but thought I’d toss the idea into the mix. Music and prayer are helpful tools for me as previous posters have shared, but the new relationships and the SEF letters have been a real boon to me as well.

  • Anonymous

    Hi All,
    My strong belief is the SE forum was a great boost in a number of ways for a number of people, including myself. My personal work schedule and location have changed so I have very little time to call my own. I can’t participate at the moment. But the idea of a quarterly effort has merit. God bless each of you.

  • Dylan Croft

    I have only participated in one SEF session, and I found it beneficial to both receive and write the letters. The person I was writing to had few posts and little information on the home page, but I requested her to be a friend and we corresponded. She also started posting more. It definitely raised my self esteem to be able to write that letter. I would be willing to write another letter if needed. The other options also seem feasible. I just hope that the SEF letters don’t stop altogether. They are truly a valuable tool towards self esteem, and I gained a wonderful new friend.

  • Larry Parker

    I do want to clarify one thing:
    I have absolutely enjoyed moderating the Self-Esteem Forum. I know it has done wonderful good for many of you, as expressed here. It has for me too.
    But after writing four letters a month — and being threatened with more — even a professional writer can run out of “amazings,” “wonderfuls,” “incredibles” and “remarkables.”
    And no one deserves to get a self-esteem letter written in a state of burn-out.
    But my main concern is, we have to look out for each other better. Too many people “dropped the ball,” not remembering that to get a letter, they had to “give” a letter, too. I think Therese has a couple of interesting ideas (reducing the frequency, going from round robin to matched pairs) that may help give everyone more buy-in and more of a sense of empowerment about their SEF participation.

  • Sj

    I know I have enjoyed the self esteem workshop as I call it, it takes some time and concentration to write a sincere letter and necessary to read up and get to know the person from the resources that are available. I do think quarterly would be better all the way around, due to time constraints and life demands, etc. People maybe would be able put serious thought and effort into it if it was quarterly. It is a boost to your SE to get a nice thoughtful letter. I do hope we continue to conduct the self esteem workshop. still thinking about the penpal idea, that may fizzle with pairing up people who may not match interests is it possible? I do hope you don’t exclude the people who do not write in their journals. I myself don’t like to write a lot of private things in my journal but I post freely I feel on the threads. There is information on my profile page as well I think enough to get a general picture. I think the postings are the most revealing if you listen to what is being said. one more thought, the letters don’t have to be many pages long, a sincere thoughtful letter can be just a few sentences if it is meaningful and written with genuine affirmations.
    Thanks Therese and Larry for your work on this.

  • Annie Turner

    I don’t think I’ve ever joined in on a Self-Esteem Forum. If you’ll let know what exactly it consist of I might be able to contribute some ideas. What I’ve been reading from the other posts it does sound like something I’d like to partispate in. So Therese & Larry give some info on SEF & I promise I’ll try my darnest to help you with some ideas on how to format it. You’ve got my E-mail address.

  • Mali66

    The longer I am on beliefnet, the more groups I have been offered to join. I definetely agree with the suggestions Therese has made for SEF. A quarterly session would let people who don’t have as much time to devote, in an everyday capacity. It will leave time for those people to still keep abreast, as well as, access to a comprehensive amount of information, in which to choose. Plus, Therese and Larry deserve personal lives too. It is time for all of us to take more responsiblity for our commitments, and as a back up, for those who are unable! I, understand, as well as the next person, about emergencies arising. If you can’t meet the commitment you signed up for, don’t hesitate to ask for help. People will understand and respect an honest approach, more than you think! All in all, this is an exercise worth saving. We can all use a boost to our self-esteem! Godspeed and God Bless, Susan

  • Just-a-thought

    Perhaps, Therese, should draw names out of a hat. If you have the same partner; it my prove limiting on your caring and giving to the whole community. And, any group can fall back into “cliques.”
    Each one having four different partners a year will provide everyone with growth and understanding.
    Life’s an Adventure!

  • Just-a-thought

    Perhaps, Therese, should draw names out of a hat. If you have the same partner; it my prove limiting on your caring and giving to the whole community. And, any group can fall into “cliques.”
    Each one having four different partners a year will provide everyone with growth and understanding.
    Life’s an Adventure!

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