I still remember when Microsoft Word first came out. It was a revolution! Using word processor to create a simple letter without having to remember all the control keys was indescribable. Thank you, Bill Gates. It was like typing on a regular typewriter but better. It was faster, with spell check, beautiful fonts and points, and etc. Knowing in simple term that strongholds are the written programs in our subconscious, takes us to the next level in our growth to renew the program.

When I heard others talk about how wonderful their life is, how God answers their prayers, their work was great, the feeling of inferiority attacked my soul in more ways than one. Why can’t I be like that. The stronghold of inferiority is discouraging and disparaging, one that needed to be pulled down. I kept seeking how not to see myself as inferior but to accept myself, my personal journey, slow it may be, mine and mine alone. It didn’t work as well as I wanted. Because our subconscious always precede our consciousness, we don’t plan to feel or behave the way we do. The program that I “should” be like that person who seem to have it all together was debilitating. Although I knew in my head that life is not a contest, I was still controlled by subconscious rules. I was my worst critic.

There are several ways to renew the mind, change the program in the subconscious mind, but I found an easier road to a new way of thinking: Self-Respect. It was an A-ha moment for me. I was listening to Dennis Prager in his Fireside Chat saying (paraphrasing), “I never asked my children to make good grades. Rather, I wanted them to build good character.” He even said that he didn’t even care if his kids went go to college. Just be of good character. It shook me to the core. He also said, “Do not take praise to your mind. Do not take offense into you heart.” That’s unconditional love. A revolution if you ask me.

Joan Didion wrote in her essay “Character-the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.” I had to think about that for a while. Blaming is expecting someone else to fix my problem. It is one major way of renewing the mind. I must learn to respect myself. Forget about self-esteem… because it really doesn’t exist. I used to think that self-esteem would fix my problems. The more I learned about self-esteem, it became clear to me that it is not the best way. I’m so glad that knowledge and more knowledge allows you to change your mind. Esteem is to admire someone or something. If you ask me who do I admire the most, I wouldn’t say, “I admire my self.” That would be narcissistic.

I am writing the second draft of my story with self-respect. I will choose not to judge others. I am clear on the fact that self-righteusness is a tremendous threat to self-respect. As Didion points out, I must accept responsibility for my own life and my decisions. When I’m finding fault with everyone, my self-respect is suffering. Life becomes dark…