When I was a boy I was afraid to fight or hit anyone…
I didn’t know how.
I used to think about it… but could never see past the reaction of the first strike. Anger or laughter seemed both unbearable consequences.
I don’t know when things changed, but they did. It might have been around the time I overheard a stranger talking about raping my mother. I put a shotgun in his face and said goodbye. I was maybe 8.
If I can arrive at the savagery around self protection that I get to when harm is being offered to those I love then that would be adequate. Awareness is the first step. Maybe this is what is meant by high self esteem.