On Self Respect

Expectations. We all have them. They are created through the fairy tales we read as kids. Through Hollywood films we watch on the big screen. From our parents and how we were raised. And just from the simple experiences that we have been through in life. Both good and bad, we expect certain things out of people and situations instinctively because of past circumstances. 

How do you expect others to treat you?

If your norm or expectation is a low standard, then that is what we tend to keep gravitating towards. If your dad was verbally abusive to your mom, that is an expectation or norm that is built into your psyche. If your past relationship was unhealthy or you were screwed over multiple times, then you expect that out of your next, even if you want something different deep down inside. 

When does the cycle stop?

There comes a time as an adult that you start to notice these patterns of disrespect. And for me, it happened the other day when someone went completely out of their way to treat me well. It wasn't anything extravagant but it was just the small act of respect that made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Because I was used to my norm of disrespect. 

The times I was treated disrespectfully and without care had become the norm and that's what I expected. And when someone did the opposite and treated me how I should be treated, I felt awkward. Like I didn't deserve it. It made me mad.

It would be easy to blame all of the people in my life for doing these things. How could you??? Didn't you see how that makes me feel? Well obviously they couldn't. OR they didn't care enough. But then sometimes you have to stop and think. How much of this is in my control?

We only accept the love we think we deserve.

Stop and think about that statement for a minute. What type of love do you think you deserve? Do you even give YOURSELF the love you think you deserve??

Self respect. "To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commission and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice or carelessness. However long we post- pone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un- comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.”

This weekend I woke up next to someone. I walked outside after a shower with no earrings. I had nothing but my body, clean with nothing on it. Just as I was born. And it was liberating. I didn’t need lip gloss. I didn’t need anything else on me. Because this is me. 

Own who you are. Own your beauty, as different as it may be from the person next to you. Or the girl on the front of Women’s Health magazine. 

You’re so beautiful. And so unique. Respect it. Own it. And only then, will someone be able to treat you the same way. 

Start today.