“Developing your self-esteem, with Christian wisdom”, titles the special issue of Panorama magazine (1), published by Bayard. What a happy idea because this theme, preempted by the galaxy of personal development, calls for the illumination of two thousand years of Christian spiritual tradition. An often overlooked treasure of our “family house”, notes Marie-Christine Vidal, its editor-in-chief.
A dozen Christian figures, from the 1st century to the present day, mark out the path. “Blessed are you, Lord, for having created me”, exclaims Clare of Assisi (12th century); God does not call us to become someone else (the famous “better version of ourselves”…) but rather ourselves, says Ignatius of Loyola (16th century); the greatest misery, insists Mother Teresa (20th century), “is the feeling of being unwanted, rejected and abandoned by everyone”. Do not abandon ourselves, insist the personalities invited to complete the sentence of Jesus: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lv 19,18; Mk 12,31). The columnist and writer Anne-Dauphine Julliand reads in it, far from any “pride” or “egocentrism”, an incentive to “love oneself, with gentleness and benevolence. take care of ourselves as [Jésus] take care of us”. “Self-esteem is a spiritual path,” adds Jewish writer Eliette Abécassis. A path that the magazine proposes to accompany for thirty days, by meditating from key ideas: “Record your joys”, “tear off the labels”, “unzip the little voice”, “meditate on wisdom”, etc.
“Self-knowledge is only a means to a higher goal: service,” continues the nun and philosopher Agata Zielinski. It is by acting, by serving that we can discover and know ourselves better. “For the philosopher and writer Alexandre Jollien, who converses with his “spiritual friend” Bernard Campan (2), self-esteem should not close in on… oneself, but confront the “injustice” that disfigures our society. . “A constant back and forth is necessary between the individual and the collective,” he says. Personal development should not clear us. Working on your self-esteem also has a collective dimension. “