"All you have in this thing called life, is your dignity and your self-respect. You don't have a job, a marriage, a child, money, house; you have none of that because it is all an illusion that we like to prop our sense of self on. When you leave this earth, your dignity and your self-respect are all that you take with you."
I said this to someone recently as they pondered on the possible pain that someone was going through as a result of some unfortunate events. I wanted to assure that person that despite the obvious loss, that something more important and permanent was to be considered.
It can't. It never will.
I came to this conclusion a while ago, when I was experiencing a bit of unhappiness. I thought "My God, I have lost...." I continued in this state of pathetic misery for sometime.
All the while I had to summon up the strength to put one foot ahead of the next as I was in the middle of my Masters.
As I committed myself to this academic goal, it was then that I came to the aforementioned conclusion. And here's why.
Instead of torturing myself during sleepless nights and what seemed like murderously long days, I forced myself to work at what I had planned would be my goals for 2013.
And with the effort and commitment came victory. I got the experience and feedback that, though I honestly did not expect, undeniably appreciated wholeheartedly.
It was with these successes, never publicised or shared with others, that I grew a strong sense of self-respect and dignity.
And like the clouds and rolls of thunder moving away to reveal rays of sunlight, the ebb and flow of my pain began to wane to the point that it stopped. And, furthermore, I felt better than I ever had in a while. What a privilege and an honour it is to live one's dignity and self-respect. All the things of this world cannot compare.
I must admit though that the above illustration, was not the first of unimaginable pain suffered. Quite the contrary.
Indeed, life had afforded me some experiences where I was left feeling like I had no worth or value. With every blow suffered I committed myself to learning and growing and moving on. But this one that I reference was the one that broke the camel's back. Shattered and devastated, there was no foundation on which to stand. Just an ocean of ....
But thank God, it happened because if not I wouldn't have gotten the real lesson for which God and the universe had intended: Your dignity and your self-respect are the only two things that you have in this thing called life.
With that realisation, I took a long hard look at my life and made decisions (never easy) accordingly.
The first area impacted was the area of friendships. I decided that I would not perpetuate dynamics that by default compromised my ability to live a day to day existence where I could feel my dignity and my self-respect. With my life experiences, I thought that I did not deserve to. And so, by again default, I surrounded myself with people who saw me as, not even a someone, but a something that had the worth of a doormat.
Being made aware that I had the power to create experiences for myself where I would never have to feel worthless again, I knew that I could say goodbye to these associations. And I did.
The consequence was instant and welcomed.
I continue to make small refinements in my life to reflect this new ethos, and because of its profound impact on my self-perception, I wanted to share with you in the hope that you would be inspired to believe in your dignity and your self-respect and never, not even for a guaranteed place in heaven, forsake it, because ultimately heaven is where you can see and feel your divinity- the essence of God, the pathway your dignity and your self-respect.
Petra Marie…Inspired Be