Saturday, March 19, 2011
Definition of Respect:
To take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration; hence, to care for; to heed.
To consider worthy of esteem; to regard with honor.
How many of you have respected yourself today? Have regarded yourself as worthy this week? Have honored yourself in anyway lately? How about yesterday. Or last month.
Probably not. But you should.
Perhaps we are waiting for someone to respect us first. Or to compliment us or to even just take notice of us. But we are then putting the power of respect for ourselves in the hands of others.
That seems to always be a mistake. Yet we do it time and time again and are always disappointed.
People are always disrespecting themselves for one reason or another. And when a compliment does come their way, they feel as though they don't deserve it somehow. Or that the person complimenting them is just being nice or polite; that they don't really mean it at all. But we should not wait for others to validate us. We should use our own power of self respect instead.
Don't think you have power? Don't think that respect is powerful?
How about the power of a smile. If someone looks you in the eye and smiles at you, how does that make you feel? How about when they grumble at you or are rude? How does that make you feel? Those people, they have power.
But so do you.
And that is just another reason to respect yourself. You are powerful. You can make or break someone's day. You probably do it a lot without even noticing your power.
Treating others with respect is important, but be especially respectful with how you treat yourself and your body, the inside of your body. The part that allows you to live. We are always so caught up with our outside appearance, never minding the inside. But the inside is what really counts.
We feel we may be too fat, too simple looking, too tired looking, too old looking, not pretty or handsome enough. And when we feel that way about what we see in the mirror, than sometimes we disrespect the inside of ourselves. We do it in a myriad of ways. Maybe by eating or drinking things we shouldn't. Maybe by not resting enough, or resting too much. Maybe by not getting to that mammogram appointment or to that dentist appointment. Maybe by not doing something nice for ourselves. Or perhaps even by being mean to others. And that can affect the inside more than we think.
After all, if we can't respect ourselves, that leaves little hope that we can truly respect others. When the well is empty, it is empty. So others cannot drink if we can't.
And it all stems from respect. Respect for self.
So practice respecting yourself. Even if you are not perfect, because you are not. None of us are. Respect your body by listening to it, by nourishing it with what it needs, not with what your brain wants.
And respect your power. Use it for good today. Go out of your way to smile more. Be happy. You should respect yourself enough to allow yourself to feel happy. Happiness is contagious.
We have told ourselves and others a million times that if we had just one wish for our kids, or for the people that we love, we wish for them to be happy. To live happy lives. But no one can be happy if they do not respect themselves. It just simply cannot happen.
So, forget about that extra 10 pounds you need to lose, or the creepy boss who scowls at you, or the new wrinkle you noticed yesterday. Respect the fact that you are not perfect, but pretty darn special anyway. Respect the fact that your body allows you to get up each day, walk, eat and drink, breath easily, see lovely things, read a book or that your arms are strong enough to hug those that you love.
Respect that wonderful body of yours.
Respect the fact that each day you are here, you make a difference.
Then, make one.
Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are. ~~~Henry Van Dyke
To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves; there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~~~Joan Didion
Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough. Good enough. Successful enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Socially responsible enough. When you have self-respect, you have enough. ~~~Gail Sheehy