When you reflect on yourself, what’s you first thought? Notice how do you feel with that thought. Is it one of self-respect?
Do you immediately have a list of things about you that are wrong, bad or not good enough?
Or do you feel a sense of care for yourself…the foundation of self-respect?
What if you did?
True self-respect embraces an acknowledgment of who you are: your talents, your personal qualities, your essence and that indefinable aspect that transcends evaluation or measurement.
Self-confidence is born out of self-respect. Indeed, true confidence has nothing to do with anything external.
You can pretend to have respect for yourself and then demand it from others as your due. But that façade is paper-thin. It crumbles quickly without continual accolades from the outside world.
You may lean towards self-deprecation, seeking approval indirectly. Ever put yourself down just so your partner will praise you in counter-point?
You may be self-destructive, making choices with no respect for your body, your needs or your desires.
Why is this a problem? If you refuse to have respect for yourself, continually denying what is true for you, energy builds up.
The consequences are explosive.
If you are unwilling to speak the truth, if saving face or keeping things smooth is what drives you, you have turned your back on yourself.
This feels horrible. I know. And it never, ever works.
I’ve learned that true self-respect comes from who you really are—it’s that you that lives beyond all the doubts that arise in camouflage. Self-respect is grounded in the dynamic relationship between the self, the expression of your personality; and the Self, the Presence that is all of life.
It is your core relationship, the one on which every other relationship is built.
As you develop trust that this relationship exists, you realize the divinity of who you see reflected in the mirror. As you look outward, you see that divinity reflected back to you by the “mirror” that is your world.
Every true step you take is borne out of reverence for this inner relationship. Each relationship you have reflects the truth of this one.
Be willing to honor who you see when you look in the mirror. Recognize the divinity that stands before you. There is such relief in this recognition!
It is time for this, isn’t it? You are magnificent.
“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ~ Frederick Douglass
Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
You may want to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It stimulates action. Feel free to use this space to share whatever moves you.