Self respect is respecting myself above everything else. It means honoring my own values and trusting myself and not worrying about anything else. It means listening to and respecting that gut feeling you have that is unsettling and trusting that there is reason for me to be feeling that way. It means never doubting yourself ever and staying true to yourself no matter what.
Sometimes respecting myself can make people upset because they want me to care about what they think. As long as I do not pay attention to what they think of me, and do not get caught up in their emotion, I can easily stay solid and true to myself. No one should care about what other people think of, just as long as they are satisfied with themselves and know they are doing what is best for them.
The more life experience I have in staying true to myself despite, at times, very strong pressure not to, the more I see that it has always been me who is in charge of my relationships and whether they are fulfilling or draining. It has always been me who allows someone to take advantage of me or not. It has always been me and my choices creating that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach that used to lead me to focus negatively on the decisions I made. And now, it is me who gets clear on what I truly think and feel before speaking. It is me who doesn’t commit to anything unless I feel truly peaceful about it and like I’m not going to change my needs or values to meet someone else’s needs or gain their approval. It’s me who puts my self-care first and makes time and energy each day for my needs and what I need to do, regardless of how many other things and people would like my time.
Self-respect means knowing that you are equal to every other thing on the planet. You are just as deserving of respect, dignity, success, happiness, love and appreciation as anyone else. And the only thing that prevents anyone from knowing that and from living from that space self-acceptance is that...