As we continue our exploration of the 8 Points of Light that I came to understand through personal discovery and revelation during My Revival trip last month, “Becoming Today”,will now turn our attention towards accepting, embracing and sharing dignity.
Yesterday we revealed the first petal as being Compassion. “A single act of compassion can change a person’s life forever.” Making it a very Becoming quality.
Just as important is treating all, including ourselves, with dignity.
When you have chosen to live with dignity, it means you are worthy of respect. That you have achieved a state of attitude, acceptance and caring that fosters a vision of you being worthy of being held in esteem, regarded as trustworthy and dare I say “Becoming”.
Dignity requires us to be self-confident, value our self-worth, foster our self-esteem and always be loving towards ourselves, as well as to practice self-care.
There’s no skipping steps here. All these personal qualities work together, and we need all these tools to empower ourselves from within. When we have allowed and accepted these strengths to be firmly established then we can work towards assisting others to do the same.
So in finding the true meaning of having a sense of dignity, we must comprehend that it starts with the qualities, values and beliefs which we hold and choose to share. Building a healthy sense of dignity is developed over time and requires patience. It is something that is easier said than done, though is quite achievable.
Then how do you know if you’re living with dignity? First realize it is an ongoing process, changing, developing, growing (or declining) throughout our lives. It must be nourished. You must consciously seek to renew it regularly.
Dignity is loving and appreciating yourself just as much as you are willing to love others. The truth is that it looks different in each of us. True dignity is a solid foundation you can rely upon everyday. It also cannot be taken away from you no matter the circumstances, challenges or obstacles you may encounter.
I can hear some of you saying that having dignity is a lot like self respect. It is in part though there are some differences.
Dignity and Respect are two words that often go together. The notable distinction is when we refer to them as being given to or shared with others. Dignity refers to the state of being worthy and honorable. Respect in part is defined as having an admiration for someone because of their qualities or achievements.
On the simplest level living a life with dignity is taking care of yourself.
We know we are unable to care for, assist or be of service to others if at first we are not addressing our own needs and healing. It’s the old story about the flight attendant’s speech. What is the first thing you are supposed to do if the oxygen masks drop on a plane? Put yours on first and then you can come to the aid of others.
Self-Care is also being good to yourself. Treating yourself like you would others. It involves self acceptance, gentle self talk, self compassion, having empathy for yourself and seeing that your basic human needs are being met.
If you’re not allowing yourself to live a dignified life or not accepting your own ups and down with compassion, why would anyone else be?
Recognizing what self-care is, now let’s explore some of the benefits of this practice.
“Becoming” More Productive
When you care for yourself and become more balanced in your approach to any situation, your goals can become clearer. You are able to focus better and concentration is boosted allowing for you to get the work done.
There is all kinds of research, both from medical and psychological professionals that show Self-Care is healing. Studies have shown those who do adopt the strategy are able to activate their parasympathetic nervous system. This allows your body to enter into a more restful state which strengthens your immune system. Researchers have also learned that those who adopt healthy self-care rituals also catch fewer colds, are less likely to get the flu , have fewer instances of upset stomachs and have generally lower stress levels.
“Becoming” via Positive Self Esteem
Yesterday we focused on the need for and benefits of improving or maintaining a positive sense of self. Treating yourself like you matter and are valuable can silence your inner critic and discourages getting involved in negative self-talk.
“Becoming” Of More Service
Being good to yourself allows for you to find and develop the resources needed to be more accepting and compassionate. This allows you to build on your strengths and be able to give and assist more freely.
What Self-Care Is Not
Self Care is not a rationalization to become self indulgent. It is not an excuse to self medicate or escape from reality and most important Self-Care is NOT being selfish.
Selfishness is having an attitude of “me, me, me”; “I, I, I”. The selfish person consistently only thinks of their own needs and desires without consideration of others or their needs.
Self-Care allows for you to be able to have the strength dn tools necessary to be more open, to be more empathetic, to be of more service and accepting of others.
This was an area I struggled with for years. Since my innate nature is to be a nurturer and caretaker, I always felt if I put myself first or said “no” to someone’s request then I was being selfish. I could not have been more wrong.
As a result those false beliefs took their toll on both my physical and mental health, nonetheless I have recovered and am living my life as testament that it can be overcome and we can all always be “Becoming”.
Selfishness breaks down, it defeats. Self-Care builds up and empowers strength and dignity.
Self-Care and Dignity allows you to set boundaries to maintain your personal power and sense of identity. It also enables us to start living and stop simply existing. It will make your life more purposeful . It can give you a new reason to get up in the morning. It can be your jump start to “Becoming”.
Living with attitudes of being compassionate and empowering dignity allows us to transform our suffering, pain or pasts into productive, beneficial healing, growth and change.
Tomorrow, here on “Becoming Today”. Join us as we focus on the nex our third of the 8 Points of Light with our discussion of ……….
Tune in tomorrow to learn and share in the next step.