In 1971 the Staple Singers released the song Respect Yourself, and its underlying message was that if you don't start with you and respect who you are and what you do, how can you respect and treat others well? Over the last several days I have encountered several people who seem not to have any sense of respect for themselves or for others. They want what they want and they don't seem to care about the impact their wants have on the people around them.
If I were in a place of not respecting myself, I might have given in to their wants because, after all, I seemed to be letting them down - from their perspective. But the more I thought about it, I realized that I was not the center of attention, they were. And if I respect myself, and listen to my internal Higher Self that is always looking out for me, their messages seemed extremely offensive, disrespectful, to the point of being creepy.
So what has changed? I do respect myself today, and I listen to the feelings and thoughts that I have as a result of practicing self honesty. Over the last several months, my regular practice has been to get in tune with the difference between my wants and my needs, between my ego self and my soul-centered self. And when I am operating in tune with my higher needs, I am much less susceptible to the ego needs of others; I am much less doubting of what I want and need for me, and I am much less tolerant of others proposing to use me. And this practice is leading me in the direction of both liking myself and respecting myself and my personal self worth.
In the world of people who have had weight problems, compensating for one's obvious overabundance becomes routine, sometimes to the point of doing what others want instead of what one's self respect demands. So undertaking a regular meditation or spiritual assessment of one's self and being truthful, listening to your own needs, is new and potentially uncomfortable. But it's worth it.
I suggest that people try it out in the shower. When the warm water is running down over you, allow all your ego self and demands to just wash off down the drain, and ask that the universal energy of the universe begin to come in from the top of your head, filling every cell in your body with energy, insight, wisdom, knowledge, and self awareness. I feel so alive when I do this because it's like my batteries are being recharged. And once all the cells are filled, I close off that opening at my crown chakra on top of my head, and adopt all this energy that is now filling me as mine. It is an awesome feeling to have so much energy, and I feel whole and deserving and ready to face the world.
So perhaps with your next morning shower try this exercise. Not only will you feel clean outside, but you might also feel clean and centered inside. You're worth it, and this exercise reinforces my worth to me every morning.