09/10/2013 10:32 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

September, So Exciting


September is so exciting. It's an official new beginning for the school year, which means a new beginning also for parents, kids and their families, schools, programs and maybe even communities as a whole. September even marks the time of a change of one of the four seasons: it's officially the season of fall. It's officially the end of the reckless abandon of long summer days and long summer nights. It feels like September brings in structure, resolutions and promises. It's where we express our wishes and dreams about how the new school year is going to be. In my opinion, it's also a new beginning and a continued passageway of our lifelong involvement with our glorious self-esteem. All part of our life's spectacular grand plan.

Webster's Dictionary, defines self-esteem as, "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself; self respect," or maybe better said, self-esteem is inclusive in our journey of self-love.

September seems like a time for everything, from pulling up your bootstraps to begin a new episode, opening your heart and to taking a deep breathe, smiling a big smile and deciding that everyone gets another chance to start again.

For all of us at Angels at Risk, what we love most about September is all the newness, the hope, the crisis, the tears and all the joy that we get to see. The fact for us all is that it comes under the category of helping everybody's self-esteem.

That the best part of helping build everybody's self-esteem are the simple, even silly things, like reminding them about laughing, complimenting, even giggling and being focused on being happy -- no matter what happens, there is no reason not to be. What we are always met with at Angels at Risk programs, is the reminder of how hard it is to find all of these things when drugs and alcohol have snuck their way into everybody's lives, especially the lives of children. It always hits them the hardest in their development across the board: emotionally, socially, physically, in their families and in their souls. Drugs and alcohol taint self-esteem.

When kids and parents come to any of our education prevention programs, or call us on the telephone, they're having some kind of an internal or external struggle, or even both. They may not even realize it, but both kids and parents are doing harmful things -- hurting themselves and each other. They have lots of secrets; they're afraid they don't know how to turn things around.

Kids and parents are fighting, sometimes silently and sometimes even yelling, saying a lot of things they may later regret. Kids are making friends with those they wouldn't necessarily want to be friends with and sometimes parents are isolating them because they don't know what else to do.

For sure, with drugs and alcohol involved, wishes and dreams are failing.

They didn't see how quickly things could spin out of control. Parents' and kids' self-esteem get affected radically in all areas. Sometimes they don't even realize it. When self-esteem starts slowly sliding, a lot of times our moral compass can go astray and our normal, heart-felt decisions become compromised.

In all of our handwritten notes from the heart from parents to kids and kids to parents, they give classic answers to the simple question: 'What is your wish from the heart?' Both parents and kids want safety and sincerity, connection, communication and compliments. They want to continue their wishes and dreams about family, and they want to love themselves and love you -- all the things that are self-esteem. -- AAR Counselor

Self-esteem is important, self-esteem is fragile, it is the rainbow ribbon that ties us all together. It is one of the parts of the puzzle that we all endure together. It is iridescent, always changing and I would even call it sacred.

Everyone should build a cathedral of self-esteem. We should help each other build each of our cathedrals. It's a place of heaven: it's ongoing, it's everyday, it's lifelong. When we learn to love ourselves and build our self-esteem, we can love other people and that is the great life message of every teacher, guru, philosopher, psychologist and general hero.

The genius of Yoda and the wisdom of the great white wizard in Lord of the Rings, reminded their students, and all of us, that self-esteem and self-love is the magical key of life.

For me in my life, which I rarely comment on, what I've discovered is that my journey has been with my self-esteem. What I know about life is that with true self-esteem, life is beautiful and with low self-esteem, life is a scary movie.