I was out over the weekend engaging in self-care. Nothing major, just the usual things that make us look and feel better. It was a very pleasant Saturday! 

On my way home, it started raining. I, however, was happily singing along to my ’80s Hits Compilation CD (Duran DuranMadonna, and Luther Vandross. Yes, a CD and yes, the ’80s.  Don’t judge. 🙂 

I started reminiscing about one of my best friends, Dawn. 

Dawn and I loved that music. It was our coming of age music. We would sing and dance and laugh to what was the soundtrack of our lives. It was the time when we wondered what our lives would eventually become. Would we find love and happiness? Would we get married and have children? Would we be successful? All the things young women ponder.

Dawn and I traveled extensively together. One year, we took an extended European adventure. We rode bikes in Bruges; marveled at David in Firenze; drank the most delicious espresso in Rome; savored croissants in Paris; and danced until the club closed in London.

As my 80s tunes played on, my happiness turned to sadness. Sad because Dawn is no longer with us.

I feel compelled to share this story with you because it was Dawn’s slow descent into a lack of self-worth, lack of self-esteem and lack of self-love that eventually killed her. 

Though she didn’t know it, Dawn was beautiful, intelligent, hilariously funny and very dearly loved.

Unfortunately, she sought external validation from strangers, who took much more from her than they ever gave. In fact, they took everything because eventually, they took her life.

Please know this, your level of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love could actually become a matter of life and death for you.

When your belief bullies batter you into believing you are not good enough, not beautiful enough, not successful enough, not important enough and not valuable enough, your life could be at stake – mentally, emotionally, professionally and physically.

You are not immune because you are a lawyer. In fact, there is an added level of pressure that results from repeatedly having to prove you are good enough to not only win but to outsmart and out lawyer your opponents. The stress that comes along with that pressure could leave you feeling lost, exhausted and overwhelmed.

The ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being recently released an insightful report. Have you read it? If not, do so. It is enlightening.

Dawn’s death is one of the reasons I do the work I do. In fact, I believe my work is more than important . . . it is urgent.

I want you to do the work required to build up your self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love. When I write you to love yourself more, please, please LOVE YOURSELF MORE.

I want you to know that every single day, you matter. You are special. You bring a unique talent and perspective to this life that ONLY you can. Make it a point to connect with the best of who you are daily.

You will be glad you did and really, it just may save your life.

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