I had shared extract of Swamiji’s article on ‘Respect’ to my friend.
She said ‘ I have taught to be understanding in family. How can I practice self respect? ‘
It was a stimulating statement to wear my thinking cap.
There is so thin line between ‘Being understanding’ and ‘Self Respect’, specifically in case of Indian women. Since childhood she has taught to be caring, sacrificing, understanding towards others needs. In fact, women who sets aside her own priorities of life over family is considered ‘Sanskari’.
Most of the families want such daughter-in-laws who has sacrificing nature. This mindset of ‘being understanding’ then goes to such an extent that the lady starts identifying herself with that label and it becomes part of her nature- to be understanding.
Over the period, she herself becomes the victim of her image as now she struggles to maintain that label. As her identification with the label becomes strong, her ability to see the difference between needs and demands diminishes. At such time, even if she feels to exercise ‘self respect’ , she finds herself caught in between ‘self image’ and ‘self respect ‘… Unfortunately if she is not courageous enough to break those labels, her ‘self respect’ will be buried deep down under the weight of those labels. The suffocation will increase and she will start living under ‘TINA’ (There Is No Alternative) effect.
One need certain degree of fearlessness to be self respectful.
A fearful mind won’t be able to respect self , as it is fearful about the result of outcome of its action which may not be as per her imbibed belief system of ‘being understanding’.
Most of the time this inner conflict makes her choose what is comfortable over what is right.
Her mind convince her that,
“you are so good, always think about others. Women always adjust. Your family will understand your sacrifice and respect you for that. “
90% of the time, in most of the families , such actions of women either get unnoticed or taken for granted and her wish to be understood by her family gets lost .
I am absolutely not saying that one should not be of ‘understanding’ or ‘sacrificing’ nature .
My only point is to be AWARE of the fine line between ‘being understanding’ and ‘being respectful towards self’.
And to be aware of that one should have self esteem rooted in true self knowledge.
Love n Light
Although I have written above in feminine expression, it equally applies to other gender.