I used to think that self esteem was something one was only allowed once the self was TRULY esteemable or worthy. And of course I believed in society’s idea of what an esteemable person was — namely THIN, BEAUTIFUL, WHITE, HETEROSEXUAL, FIT, HEALTHY, and most of all, NEVER WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING. Then, one day, I met someone I could tell the truth about myself to. All the things I felt ashamed about, the things I felt made me unlovable, unworthy, disposable — and it turns out they felt that way, too. Reflected in the struggle of the person in front of me, I saw our shared strength, resilience, and beauty. And it changed my life. So now I think SELF-ACCEPTANCE is a better term. Defined as a FEARLESSNESS in the face of one’s own imperfections; a willingness to TELL OUR TRUTHS with lesser apology. And the COMPASSION to extend that courtesy to others.