Could we respect ourselves more? And could it be FUN?
Respect is an inner strength, calm and pride that comes from honoring who we are. Through my work to inspire people to kick their dead-end habits to the curb, I’ve seen and learned a lot about respect. In today’s article, we’ll look at ways to “up our ante” on respect, enjoy doing it … and send guilt, shame and regret South. We’ll start with a li’l FUN and short story.
To add to the fun, this post has a theme song! Play “Respect Yourself!” by the Staple Singers https://youtu.be/-1pYKdqD1ls while you read!
My personal experience
In my early thirties, I was in an intimate relationship with a man who was highly argumentative. When he felt he was not winning an argument, he would say horrible things that I would allow to send me into shock or roll off me in one form or another. At one point he told me I was “stupid.” To this, I laughed … because I KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was not true. I respected my intelligence, and accepted that his comment was simply said to hurt me and was without truth. To his next comment however, I was devastated.
As I observed my polar reactions to his comments, I began learning something that helped me gain more respect for myself. For although I worked out, was fit by most people’s standards and had been featured as a model on tv, in magazines and live performances—more times than I could remember, when he said I was “fat,” part of me believed him! Because of this, I felt hurt and disrespected by him—but in reality, I hurt and disrespected myself, by believing that (although I was smart), I was not beautiful.
Something to consider
Unless under extreme circumstances of abuse and terror, it may be possible that the disrespect we may feel from others, is only possible because we disrespect ourselves. When we respect ourselves, any ignorance on the part of others is seen as such and has no effect on us.
Can we respect ourselves more?
Respect is truly honoring life—honoring what it is and what we are. Most of us could benefit from respecting our efforts and ourselves more. The rub is, can we do it in a way that’s enjoyable?
Apply discipline? Really? :-p
If we cringe at the sight of the word “discipline” and bristle like a porcupine when we hear the word “rule,” this is a prime opportunity to clean our dingy-rose-colored glasses and clearly see how GOOD discipline can raise respect through the roof.
Good discipline is not a swift kick in the pants, a slap with a switch, or a beating with a belt. Although these things certainly can teach us a lesson or two about life, they also leave a not-so-pretty scar on our psyche. This is punishment. When punishment = discipline in our minds, of course we will NOT WANT any. Unfortunately, since many of us were raised with this type of discipline, it’s the way we know. Even today, as “grown-ups,” we attempt to change our behavior by punishing ourselves. So we criticize. Blame. Shame. Dumb down. Withhold love. Withhold joy. We endure jobs, wives and lives that we hate. We do all of this to OURSELVES.
After all that punishment, when we feel really miserable, it is no wonder that we might turn to any subversive alternative to joy—like illicit sex/porn, drugs and violence. Although the true pleasure and rewards that we seek through these things are available to us through intimacy, honesty and courage … we don’t believe we deserve them.
Don’t sell out
By doing and being anything that lessens our self-respect we sell out and diminish our respect. Are we selling out for any of the “seven deadly sins,” also known as “fear” of not being provided for by Life? Are we willing to “do anything” for “love”, “pleasure”, “money” and “power”, even if we don’t respect ourselves “in the morning?” If we want more respect from ourself and others, we need to keep a close watch on what’s going on with us.
The two most common ways we sell out and disrespect ourselves are by doing things halfway and the wrong way. By halfway, I mean half-heartedly, sort-of doing it and sort of not, and without passion for the process. Being halfway involved is being halfway disinterested and drags along the ball-and-chain of hardship. Can we think of any area of life where we are going only part or halfway? If so, would we benefit from going all the way? Coming back to it when we can commit? Letting it go?
Another way we disrespect ourselves is by doing things the “wrong” way. By “wrong”, I mean doing something when we know it’s wrong. That is “sinning” against ourself, and results in feelings of shame, guilt and regret. If any of us have some “dead weight” in this arena, check out my last three articles for tips on freedom and forgiving others, ourself and Life on the Will You Guru Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/willyouguru/.
The truth of self-respect and discipline
Instead of selling out, the self-respecting person owns his or her power, owes nothing to anyone and gives of his or her own accord. Good discipline is its own reward, not a punishment. Good discipline assures that we will be the person we respect. Good discipline assures that we will live the best life for us–a life of success. A life of peace, strength, wellness, strong character, meaningful relationships and whatever else we discipline ourselves to do.
As Clint Eastwood so poignantly put it, discipline is power.
When we choose to grow in respect for ourselves, we find that the way we treat ourselves warrants respect from others. They see that we care about our health, needs, wants and dreams. They see that we want the best for ourselves, others and everything around us. In turn, more often than not, they respect us inasmuch as they are capable—and when they don’t, we still respect ourselves.
Can’t REALLY live without discipline.
When we are undisciplined, our energy is scattered across a myriad of seemingly meaningless activities that lead to long-standing suffering and brief moments of joy. By choosing to see discipline as a way to fully participate in life, as the best version of ourself, we can enjoy more, and empower ourselves to REALLY live. Really living does not just mean physically surviving. It means fully participating in the experience of life, without believing we are trapped, a victim or living in the prison of obligation.
Pretty & Good Discipline
For more beautiful and FUN ways to discipline OURSELVES, try these ways on for size … and SHARE what works for you!
1) Get curious about who you are, what you truly like, want and what’s best for you.
2) Get curious about how you can take better care of your best self.
3) Never do anything that you know is wrong. This will save you from pain, shame, guilt, regret and the desire to punish yourself.
4) Select an area of your life that you would like to improve.
5) Find ways to make time in your DAY, every DAY, to support that area. Could you take even five minutes to research it online, read about it, go to chat groups about it, meet with friends who do it, or start doing it?
What say ye?
Please share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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