The First Love

Pearl of Inspiration

The First Love

By Gabriela Sánchez

When this topic came up in the Neighborly Conversations, all these memories came flooding back.

This week’s pearl has to do with the relationship between family and self-esteem. Many people don’t see the connection between the two, but each one of us, by working on our own self-esteem, has the power to reinforce and strengthen our kids’ self-esteem — and why not everyone else’s too?

How is your Self-Esteem?

How do you maintain it? When I was a teenager, I was taught about self-esteem in school and I thought I understood it.

As I grew up, it became harder and harder to maintain my self-esteem, because as I matured, I had experiences that crushed me time and time again. 

For example, as a teenager, I was practically abandoned by my parents.

My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and locked in a psychiatric hospital.

I didn’t understand what had happened or how she was sick. 

My dad got along better with my brother.

Meanwhile, I was alone, taken in by my grandparents with only myself for comfort. I had to explain to myself: it’s not that the people who formed my nuclear family didn’t love me; they just needed to take different life paths, separate from mine.

How can you love yourself if you feel like no one loves you?

In my loneliness, in the middle of a complicated adolescence and later as a married woman with an abusive husband, I learned that it is not necessary for someone else to express or manifest their love to you. The only person that is important is yourself. 

Feel that you love yourself and be your own first great love

When this topic came up in the Neighborly Conversations dialog circle, all these memories came flooding back.

Knowing that others have lived similar experiences doesn’t make me happy. However, it allows me to realize how much I have progressed, grown and overcome on my own journey.

I share this with the hope of helping many people that are going through something similar, with the goal of having a better life and of healing myself as I help others heal.