Respect Yourself. Respect Others. Everyone Matters!

"If we lose love and self respect for each other,
This is how we finally die.
~Maya Angelou

Giving respect to those who we believe to be worthy is not hard to do. After all, we believe they earned it. But how about extending that respect to all, even those we feel don't quite measure up?

Enlightened masters would say that is the true meaning of respect.

You may argue that respect begets respect. That only those who have demonstrated that they are deserving of respect should be given that courtesy. So you withhold your respect and wait until you feel they are worthy. You judge. And ultimately you are the one who suffers.

How about trying it the other way around and always being respectful no matter what? Not because you approve of their behavior, but simply because as a child of God, as a Soul being and hence your Soul brother, they are worthy of respect simply because they exist. There's a good chance that over time the person you thought didn't deserve it would wake up and change his behavior. If not, you can remove yourself from their presence and their drama, respectful of their opinions and their decisions nonetheless.

The way we judge others and determine whether they are deserving of our respect and appreciation is exactly how we judge ourselves. We lose respect for ourselves, as we do with others, when we fail to live up to our own expectations. This in turn gives rise to a false sense of self - the ego. Now we have to work hard to prove to others how "good" we are. It's a vicious cycle.

Not showing respect ultimately says more about us than it does about the other person. We no longer have the power to control our minds. We lose hope and trust in ourselves and are at the mercy of outward circumstances and the approval of others.

The ego revels in this, as it becomes our master and we its servant. Rather than directing our own lives we become trapped and subservient to what the ego would have us do and believe. By elevating our thinking, by choosing to see the best in any situation or person, we squash our ego that would have us believe that we are better, more deserving,

One of the greatest diseases prevalent in the world we live in today is the lack of self-respect. We're constantly searching for validation and approval elsewhere, not realizing that the power has been within us all along. We're content to give away this power to anyone and everyone who comes across our path and we become weak. We wallow in the victim mentality by letting others know that we're not good enough, and not deserving enough.

We need self-respect in order to give respect to others. If we don't have something then how can we give it to another? Respect is a by-product of love and one of our innate qualities. It's when we forget that we are beings of love, that we go seeking love and approval from others. We feel empty and will do anything to fill that void within us. When one has self-respect then one understands that it is futile to compare or compete with another.

Let's stop blaming and start taking responsibility, stop making negative comments and judging others. Rather than focusing outward and looking for flaws in others let's search our own hearts and be mindful of our own actions. That feeling of insecurity within, that false sense of power, that feeling of unworthiness, is actually the ego working overtime trying hard to preserve itself. It's time to renounce our attachment to the external trappings, and hold a powerful vision of our true Self.

It's when we see our own beauty, when we really love ourselves that we gain self-esteem. Self-esteem by its own definition is about building our sense of self from the inside. Without self-esteem there is no self-love. When I love myself I will respect myself. And when I am filled with innate love, esteem and respect, I see the world in a different light. Then it becomes second nature and effortless to give respect and create harmony.

The world needs love. It needs harmony. Each one of us has the responsibility to contribute to make this world a better place.

Let's begin with ourselves...

Take care how you speak to yourself.
Because... You are listening.

© Rani St. Pucchi, 2016
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