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Self-respect depends on knowing who I am, knowing my eternal (ageless), spiritual self. When I have found that sense of spiritual identity, I feel I have a right to be here, to exist. Without the spiritual dimension, it is very difficult to really respect myself deeply. In this case, I base my respect on identifying with the superficial (artificial) aspects of my being: looks, gender, success, my life partner, my intelligence. With such artificial identification, I will never have a stable sense of self-respect, because people’s opinions change. Today they love me, tomorrow they reject me. What is the result of depending on their opinions? I will end up fluctuating all the time – feeling positive when they say good things, and feeling down when they say negative things. To stay stable in my self-respect, I need to have a deeper understanding of my spiritual identity (the foundation of this being that I am a soul) and tap into those riches that are within me forever, waiting to blossom, like the flower from the seed.
As I become spiritually aware, those riches and resources start flowing out of me. The more stable I am in my self-respect and spirituality, the more I radiate what I truly am. I feel a deep sense of contentment and I am happy to be me, however I am. I accept myself as I am.
Why this is important
We often become emotionally disturbed during a disagreement, or an argument, or when someone criticizes us or disagrees with us. In such cases our personality usually feels hurt, demeaned and in danger.
When we feel this way, we destroy our own happiness, clarity and health and often behave in ways which we later regret.
A simple technique for gaining clarity is to:
1. Remember that concerning criticism, there are two possibilities:
a. The other person might be correct in his or her observations and criticism. In this case we would benefit by admitting it and making the proper adjustment in our behavior. We have everything to gain by listening and evolving through others’ comments.