Respecting Ourselves and Others

Today I found this writing I wrote a year ago and still feel it appropriate so I am reposting it as a blog.

Today I’m working on a presentation I’m giving tomorrow. The subject is on respect: respecting ourselves and others. I was thinking today about how many of us put so much value in what others think. I’m guilty; I try to tell myself I don’t care what others think, but there are times I really do. I think it’s human nature to especially want those we care about to have high esteem for us. We all want some level of acceptance. However, we care to a fault sometimes and maybe in the act of caring we try too hard and have the opposite effect. We must remember to have esteem for ourselves first.

I think an important factor in respecting others is allowing them to be themselves. Everyone is trying to find their way through life and sometimes that is expressed in ways that may be odd to others. God accepts and loves us no matter what. We need to see past what someone looks like, what they are wearing, sexual preference, race, the mistakes they make and whatever else we and they do that define who we are. Sometimes it just takes getting to know someone to understand them. Remember, we can choose who to spend our time with, but we shouldn’t choose what others do or force them to be somebody they are not. 

With that being said, we are all attracted to different things. For me that is strength. I find people who are strong inside and out attractive. We’ve probably all have heard it’s the inside that counts….well let me say this. I agree. I have dated very attractive men who became ugly very quickly as I got to know them. I also recall a man I dated years ago who wasn’t so attractive on the outside, but boy the inside was beautiful and that made me pursue. I think sometimes the outside is what catches our attention and makes us stop, but isn’t what makes us stay.

Ask yourself- how do I dress, act, speak, treat my body and others? Then ask yourself why do you do those things? The number one answer should be – I do it for myself. Example: I dress the way I do because I like this outfit, it’s comfortable and I feel great wearing it. I act a bit nutty at times because it makes me feel free and happy, I eat healthily and exercise because I’m stuck with this body the rest of my life. I want my body to feel good and have less illness, I treat others kind because its how I want to be treated.  I smile at others because they smile back and that feels good…. etc. You fill in the blanks.

Take the time for self-evaluation, but in doing so be kind to yourself and others and by all means do not compare yourselves to others. Our strengths are not always someone else’s strengths and vice-a-versa. Remember all we can do is our best. Set goals and hang with friends that support your goals. Be with those that love you for who you are today.

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