February 19


Today's Quotation:

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.

Whitney Griswold

Today's Meditation:

While I've always considered myself to be high on self-respect, I know that the reality of my world is a bit different than I see it.  Self-respect isn't always my strongest suit, and I often sell myself short when I consider my own actions, thoughts, and deeds.  It's not something that I do consciously, but the negative thoughts have come nonetheless.

I'm getting much better at it since I started making decisions on less of a "what-do-I-get-out-of-it" basis and more along the lines of Whitney's last, long sentence above.  If I know what needs to be done, if I know what's right, then there's only one possible action, isn't there?  Such a thing is easy to say, but far more difficult to act on, and the less we're able to act on such knowledge, the harder it is to come by self-respect.

My somewhat selfish decisions haven't been the result of greed, I know, but of fear--fear that I won't get an opportunity to do something again, fear that I won't have the chance to get something again, fear that I'll lose the chance to get to know someone or something or some place.  Knowing that, it's easy enough not to judge myself harshly, but in the absence of doing the good and serving the beautiful and speaking the truth, it's still very difficult to build self-respect.

My first step is to accept myself exactly as I am and as I have been.  My second step is to make decisions based on my conscience and my morals and my ethics, for these are my guides in life, and though they may change along with my perspective as I grow and learn, they still lead me true for who I am right here, right now.  And once I build my self-respect, then I can start showing love, compassion, and respect for others.  But not until then.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What are some of the barriers that we face in building self-respect?

2.  How do others affect our own self-respect?  How can we deal with the way they affect us?

3.  Can we truly respect others if we do not respect ourselves?

For further thought:

The Hasidic rabbi, Zuscha, was asked on his deathbed what he thought the kingdom of God would be like.  He replied, "I don't know.  But one thing I do know.  When I get there I am not going to be asked, 'Why weren't you Moses?  Why weren't you David?'  I am only going to be asked, 'Why weren't you Zuscha?  Why weren't you fully you?'"

Alan Loy McGinnis

more thoughts and ideas on self-respect



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