One can wax lyrical about the relationship between reaping and sowing or the abundance and kindness of reciprocity but unless you have respect for self you have nothing to give.
The wise ones go on about how one has to give it in order to get it. I really don't think that it should be about the getting of respect. Way too much emphasis is laid at that damned door. The perception is that if one is not getting respect then one must be a lesser mortal...not enough as is. Lives can be altered buying into that shit! I mean think about the hoops one jumps through at times in order to crack the nod. And why? Because we are made to feel we are not enough. One should not NEED to 'get 'if one 'has'. And if one has self respect then one is enough. And we all have it...we all start out with it totally intact. Of course if a child is put down, criticised and disparaged all its life then yes... it will WANT it. So here's the thing... prospective parents should make sure their respect for self is nice and strong and self sufficient before they take on the responsibility of having children. I mean how on earth can one teach a child about self respect when one has none? How will a mother be able to set an example to her daughters about respect if she has none for herself; if she allows the father to abuse her at any level? And if a father uses fear as a means to gain respect then that poor child will spend its life living in fear and yearning for and trying to get his approval. Of course once the big bad world is let in on this scenario that poor child will have become so accustomed to the fact that they are not worthy unless they are respected by others. Fuck that I say!! I believe that what we should be teaching our children from the get go is how to preserve one's self respect...how to have more respect for oneself...how to put into perspective the value of respect from others. This should be our religion!! Have faith in your self first and the rest will follow.
It is quite a thing to realise that that big black hole of need in one's life is due to the fact that a lot of the significant others in one's childhood... in my childhood ...my life ...were...are...so lacking in self respect. It's taken me a long time to realise that I have never needed respect from these significant people and if they have made me feel less than enough then shame on them...shame on them for the little girl that once was. But the good thing is the little girl is a big girl now and she can see these things. The irony is that the less one feels the need for it the more one will just get it. You think about the people you really respect; if they are anything like the ones in my life then they will be folk who are resoundingly secure in their own skin, in their respect for self. They will also be resoundingly few and far between!! Of course we all have our little quirks of insecurity if we scratch beneath the surface but those will be the ebbs and flows of life, the occasional bumps like turbulence in our flight. They will not be life defining if we have that solid base of self respect.
'Whatever you have forgotten, you can remember. Whatever you have buried you can unearth. If you are willing to look deep in your own nature, if you are willing to peel away the layers of not-self you have adopted in making your way through the tribulations of life, you will find that your true self is not as far removed as you think.'
This quote was included in a recent newsletter from the passion of my previous life... the theatrical world; and we all know how much I love quotes so I'm thinking two birds one stone!
“If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare;
if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning,
you are quoting Shakespeare;
if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare;
if you act more in sorrow than in anger;
if your wish is farther to the thought;
if your lost property has vanished into thin air,
you are quoting Shakespeare;
if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose,
if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony,
danced attendance (on your lord and master),
laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage,
if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood,
if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known
(for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare;
even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing,
if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake!
What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.”
― Bernard Levin
If you think about it this could be a great script to tuck away into one's repertoire ... you know...for those occasions when one needs to whip out a soliloquy!
dear mother of god I am the personification of procrastination and apathy. one would think that with all the time on my hands of late i'd have whipped this alphabet thing by its balls and slid into the new year done and dusted and ready for the next challenge. hah! whilst the rest of the world get their a's into g for the 2012 a to z i'm pondering peas pee's and the letter p. (as an aside i have to say that the only things i truly organise so far in advance are air bookings so i'm not feeling too guilty about almost being lapped by the new alphabet team. and besides, i absolutely cannot face doing it again do it this april as my tickets were booked months ago for my trip to tuscany. yeeeha!!!!)
Nothing like having to pause my penmanship because of a surprise visit from my dearest pals. I feel positively energised!! So now where was I....apart from laboriously leading up to the point I was going to make.
P for Present.
No...not the gift wrapped variety although what it represents IS a gift.
Time...being present in the moment. Savouring the time as it occurs. And of course being there for your loved ones, for yourself...offering up your presence.
I've rediscovered the fact that I absolutely do not flourish when I have time on my hands. My pre~christmas hospitalisation laid me low and precluded me from being able to partake in my normal pastimes. I didn't even bother with festivities. That didn't hassle me at all really. It was the inactivity. And of course that led to an overactive mulling of past issues...future issues... as opposed to using the time productively and ...for example...polishing up my pathetic grasp of the Portuguese language, tidying up my cupboards, clearing clutter...any-damned-thing!
stunning artwork by Amanda Cass
How often do we worry about things that have yet to come or beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? The answer is too much. Not only will living in the present have a dramatic effect on our emotional well-being, but it can also impact our physical health. It’s a known fact that the amount of mental stress we carry can have a detrimental affect on our health. (hah!..my stitches come out on wednesday!) We know this yet still we mull instead of being mindful.
Practicing mindfulness(isn’t that a beautiful word!) means we practice awareness in all our actions. Whether we are washing dishes or tying our shoe laces, our mind is focused on whatever we are doing. We are not thinking about the bills that we have to pay, or the phone call we need to make. We are simply living in the moment; minding our own business. And of course there is nothing simple about it except it is a simple choice that we either do this or we don't.
The thought that resonates with me is that if we are living in the present, we are living in acceptance. We are accepting life as it is now, not as how we wish it would or could have been. When we’re living in acceptance we realize everything is just as it is. If we live in the past we can’t do anything about it, it’s gone. If we worry about the future we’re living somewhere that’s just a concept...that doesn’t exist as it hasn’t happened yet. And probably wont! That does not mean that we do the capitulation shoulder shrug or the denial pony tail flick when the shit hits the fan. If we really believe our life sucks and we want to change it, the only place we can do it is in the present. But first we need to accept life as it is. Like a benchmark.
Each time you mindfully let go of thoughts about how life should be, or how life was, let go of the ifs buts and maybes and what ifs and woe is me's and enjoy life as it is, you change your brain. I become very calm when I do this. And the more you do this the more you strengthen that choice 'muscle' making the habit of mindfulness easier and easier. In essence, in every moment there is a choice. But of course if you are like me you forget to do this when you have enough time on your hands to chew through your elbows! If you are like me in no time at all you feel pitiful and pathetic. In essence you give up your personal power. How's them two p's!! But I know - absolutely - that by just pausing and focusing on, for example, taking a deep breath, or on each footstep while taking a walk, savouring the taste of a bite of food, I will get to not only live those few moments to the fullest, but slowly get back into the habit of being mindful.
When it comes down to it our mind is the only thing keeping us from living in the present.
Does that mean that we mustn't think about the past or the future? In a word, hell no. Not possible. Logic tells us that we generally plan for the future based on past actions. However by being mindful, by living skillfully in the present, we will be doing well what we have to do now, even if that means that what we are doing now is looking back to plan for the future. Yes I know, slightly convoluted pondering.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."- Marilyn Monroe
This is always where I clam up. Not just here but out there in the real world; or is this part of the real world now? I sometimes feel that one's friends should be asked to fill in these gaps but that is a bit like passing the buck.