Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments,
in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it;
knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it.
Do you like yourself? Honestly. A simple question really, but one that so many have a hard time answering. Honestly answering. Usually its a quick, well of course, followed by a just as quick disclaimer. If I were this, had this, did that, than I would. Leading one to hear more self doubt, than self respect. I asked some readers awhile back a simple question and the answers were all over the place. I asked, "If you were to meet yourself on the street, would you like you?" Some said no, probably not. Some said at first, than they would probably annoy themselves and others replied with a resounding Yes! I would. I am not sure what my initial reaction would be honestly if I were to meet myself for the first time, but I know, I would like me, I would like me enough to get to know myself better and even maybe, be friends with myself. After of course picking apart my own flaws, I am human after all. What I do know without question is that I would respect me.
If there is something about me that I don't particularly like, I change it. Simple as that. If I do not like a side of myself that being around certain people bring out, I stop hanging around those people. If I am constantly reacting to a situation that I have some control over, I try and take steps to fix it. I have enough self knowledge to know what I am ok with and what I am not ok with, and I have no problem voicing this to someone who disrespects it. Whether or not it continues is up to them, whether or not I allow it, is completely up to me. If at the end of the day in one of those quiet moments I can look back on what I did, what I said, positions I took and battles I may have fought, and know that I did it in accordance with my belief systems, my conscience and followed my heart to do what was right, what was just and what was good, then I count it as a good day. If I looked back and see situations that I could have handled better, could have walked away from and didn't, and I am not proud of myself in those moments, I make mental note to do better, see what I could have done differently and then move on from it. Mentally beating yourself up is useless, making mental notes on how to do better is fantastic.
You can not buy self respect, you can not discover self respect, you CREATE self respect. It is entirely up to you. If you don't like something, change it. Yes it can be hard, yes it can be a battle and yes you may have to hurt someone's feelings. But if it means being able to look yourself in the eye, to become stronger and stand up for yourself, than do it. Never allow anyone to shadow your self respect. Value you more than that. Be someone you would want to hang out with, laugh with and cherish. Take those negative thoughts you have, examine them, learn from them, and move on from them. Look at the people in your life, examine them, learn from them and see if they deserve a place in your future. Respect yourself to know what you need, do not look to anyone else for that.
L.M Montgomery said it best in her novel Anne of Green Gables;
“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Start your tomorrow clean and make it one that you can look back on, and realize that, knowing the good, we have done it;knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth we have spoken it.
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