Updated: Nov 25, 2022
What does this really mean for you?
When we talk about self respect it is hard to always understand when we are in fact respecting ourselves or disrespecting ourselves in certain situations. The way our society is set up right now tends to encourage behavior that puts people in positions where they are in fact disrespecting themselves.
According to the definition by the Cambridge dictionary, "self respect is a feeling of respect for yourself that shows that you value yourself." https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/self-respect
So by this definition it is a feeling, not an action necessarily where you are showing that you value yourself. We also need to define what value means to you. For this it will be different for everyone. As we know there are several types of value systems in life, generally we break this down into 2 types. Instrumental value versus intrinsic value. For instrumental value it is based upon conditional values for the most part or tangible things. For intrinsic value this is more of a personal view point or belief. Not everyone may view honesty as a value in life and prefer to only value things like money and material items.
So going back to self respect if you are viewing life solely based upon instrumental values versus both instrumental and intrinsic values you may not be respecting yourself in certain situations where you may compromise your own worth to fit into society, your family, your friends, your business or your romantic relationships. Many people focus on finding their worth through things that they can see. If I don't have a car, a house, a job, a big screen tv or a degree that makes me less than someone else. The same can be said that you tend to look down on others if they do not have a car, a house, a job, a big screen tv or a degree which in facts makes you superficial and values only certain constructs in life instead of seeing other values that people have to offer in this world.
How many times in your life have you felt belittled due to something that someone said, maybe they compared you to someone else, maybe they talked down to you like you were stupid, maybe they made you feel insecure about the way you look or didn't believe in you. Those are more of the intrinsic values that people tend to gloss over in life. The amount of value in people who are able to see people as people, or to look beyond ones physical looks, or how much money they have is truly something of value. How many times have you met someone who at first glance you thought you were better than they were or you didn't understand them or you simply just judged them wrong and later came to find that they were really an amazing person beyond what you originally believed.
We don't realize how much we view others and the world is actually the way in which we view ourselves. If we look down upon others that can mean we too look down upon ourselves or are easily affected when others look down upon us. If we truly valued ourselves and have self respect for how we carry ourselves, what we believe in and how we show up in the world then we wouldn't be settling for less than we deserve, putting others down to make ourselves feel better or allowing others to make decisions for us.
Let's take for example the current archetypes in society that has been conditioned into us for many years. Man versus woman instead of human and human. A successful business owner versus someone who provides for themselves or their family, a beautiful person versus someone with a beautiful soul. We tend to glamorize people who have more money or material items than others, people who are out here hustling and making a name for themselves versus people who just want to live life happily and simply, or someone who is more physically attractive than others as more worthy, more valuable, or respect them more. One problem we tend to face which is having a huge impact on society as a whole is this constant need to compare oneself to another. We have been brainwashed to believe if you are lacking in the department of looks, money, success, power, fame you are less valuable or less respected than those who value other things in life.
An issue we tend to see play out in society is this idea of what an ideal partner looks like. This can be any relationship but we will take the standard romantic relationship example. Gender does not matter but we are all looking to find someone to have a relationship with, maybe this is based upon a purely sexual connection, maybe something that makes you feel better about yourself, or what this person can offer you, more selfish and shallow needs/desires for this relationship or even other ideas like someone to complete you, someone to save you, someone to share your pain with, someone to show off, someone to control, etc. When in reality to the core of it all if we get crystal clear on the feelings we want to experience we want someone who we can unconditionally love and to be unconditionally loved by as our true authentic selves.
If we are out here chasing someone to be one of those examples, like chasing someone to complete you or chasing someone to make yourself better, or chasing someone to give you pleasure then you will never be satisfied with yourself and are therefore disrespecting yourself because you are unable to give yourself what you desire. True power lies within you, true power is something that you can tap into and embody within yourself. If you are easily distracted by what others are doing, what others think of you, or what others can give you then you are always going to be showing up in this world as disconnected and unfulfilled in life.
Example, someone going after people purely as objects. Picking partners that have to look a certain way, act a certain way and to be easily charmed by you and do whatever you want them to do is honestly quite boring and unfulfilling. Choosing someone that will always say yes to you and no to themselves in very disrespectful to them and you. That person is showing you that they do not value themselves enough to be their own person, to push you to step out of your comfort zone and to help you grow and evolve, meaning you are disrespecting yourself to take someone on who doesn't value their own worth. If a partnership is meant to be equal or at least meant to be fulfilling then wouldn't you want your partner to be confident in themselves, to not be easily manipulated, easily persuaded, easily affected or to at bare minimum respect themselves based upon their own moral compass that aligns with your own?
I see this happen a lot in society where gendered men choose women based upon their looks and sexual performance and want someone who they can control, dominate and manipulate to make them feel empowered. A woman who is so easily manipulated, easily controlled and has no self-identity instead of finding a woman who can help them elevate and be the best version of themselves. Men who only go after women as objects of desire and control are showing the world that they themselves have zero control over themselves. They think they are in control but they have almost zero ability to make a conscious decision based upon a value system that in fact helps them to succeed in this world as feeling that they are in fact enough. That man will constantly be trying to one up his competitors or always want to trade in that girl for a better version, be so consumed in gluttony and greed on all levels, a true slave to his own desires and have absolutely zero control of his own self. There will always be something inside of him telling him to do more, be more, etc. or also keep them stuck in complacency where they are so ok being comfortable and never grow constantly changing out people left and right, believing they are never wrong and secretly behind the scenes has no one for the people they think they can control don't even like them, they are just using them the same way they are using them. Instead of finding peace and solitude within themselves, they will keep this programming and conditioning going and never reach sovereignty within themselves, they will always be a slave.
They will find when they interact with a self assured person that it triggers something inside of them that is called insecurity but they will believe it to be that the person who they are interacting with is in fact the problem not them. That person will come off to them as too controlling or beneath them and it will be a projection and deflection of their own deep insecurities and trauma. This man will stay stuck, this man will only go after women and people who will never question him leaving him trapped in his own mental prison. This can of course go all ways in terms of gendered females and non-binary people but this is one of the oldest archetypes in our society.
When we interact with people who have zero control over themselves that comes off as truly as someone who in fact doesn't respect themselves. They may try and say that they do or that based upon their material successes or great looks makes them in fact superior but as we know people with superiority complexes actually are over compensating for a deeper inferiority complex. So again what does self respect look like to you?
Going back to the example of the man who is chasing or in his mind attracts women based upon superficial qualities, what would happen if you had a daughter? Would you want this daughter to go through life being treated the same way you are viewing and treating women? Would want your daughter to be easily manipulated, controlled, impressed by material things, subject herself to only be a sex object to make her question her own worth consistently in a relationship or would you want your daughter to grow up knowing what real love should be like. Would you want your daughter to respect herself and not allow someone to come into her life and easily misguide her, take advantage of her, hurt her and so much more of someone who has zero self respect? What kind of example are you leading by? How you view yourself is truly how others view you. You think that buying that expensive cars makes people think you have it all? Maybe to some, but really you might be that person that maxed out their credit line to pay a really high monthly installment to impress people but really you're barely affording the expensive insurance rate and the over priced gas to fill that tank to drive 3 miles to the grocery store and for what? To have to work even more hours to afford that expensive car to pick up some chick who thinks you have it made but then expects you to pay for everything and can't help you level up? Sounds pretty terrible if you ask me and like someone that doesn't respect themselves.
Based upon this definition you might actually respect that person who wakes up 1 hour earlier so they can make time to go to the gym everyday so they can loose the weight that has been bothering them, or the person who cannot afford to buy a car right now and takes the bus to work everyday without complaining so they can save money to be able to afford that car that they need, or the person who takes on an extra job to help their family out of financial hardship, or the person who stops and helps an old person cross the street, or the person who looks past the current life that someone has and sticks with them because they simply love them and help inspire them to grow and be the best version of themselves. To all of those who never give up by persevering through difficult hardships to those who take the path less traveled and never allow the world to break them.
I hope that you look deep within to find yourself and ask yourself how am I showing up in this world. How am I respecting myself. How do I value myself. Where am I being inauthentic, where am I allowing society, my friends, family and others to influence my decisions and therefore losing respect for myself because I do not respect others. Time to take a good look in the mirror and see where you have taken a wrong turn. Self respect is very attractive and incredibly valuable.
Keep shifting your perspectives and finding the delights in everyday moments.
Love and Light,
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