The issue of self-esteem is not new. Freud attributed the difference between a low mood and depression to self-esteem. He argued that low self esteem triggers depression.
Today we are surrounded by self-esteem concerns. David Tacey claims that the issue has grown because we look to the ego to supply our sense of self worth when the source is elsewhere – in the soul. Since we don’t talk about the soul anymore we can’t come to terms with self-esteem. He says, “our ego based society cannot understand it because something other than the ego gives us our deep and secure sense of worth”. And we are out of touch, disconnected from this source. He goes on to suggest that this why so many young people are harming themselves, engaging in glue sniffing or attempting suicide. The problem is that they don’t know who they are – they are cut off disconnected from source.
Jung describes this as a ‘loss of soul’ and this disconnection undermines people’s lives makings them anxious and confused. This loss leads to a crippling emptiness which is expressed as anxiety, addictions and even suicidal feelings. We may look fine on the surface but underneath there is turmoil. We need to reconnect with our souls.