There’s no respect without self-respect.~Om Swami

Dear reader, I am going to dive right into the takeaways of my ongoing sadhana of self-love which I began in earnest after listening to the Mind and Divine series. Please remember, these observations are very subjective and may or may not resonate with you. The first takeaway is RESPECT… self-respect. I don’t think self love is possible without it.

Respect yourself, and I don’t mean this in the egotistical sense where you demand respect with a sense of entitlement. I am talking about a deep abiding appreciation for your own inner beauty and unconditional acceptance of yourself as a whole where you command respect, irrespective of your outer beauty, finances and accomplishments.

Do you feel people don’t respect you, your needs, your boundaries? Have you shown them how you want to be treated? Do you structure your time to do the things you love to do ? No? Well don’t be disappointed if your family and friends put up resistance when you want to just sit down with a book and chai, or take a well deserved Sunday nap (after all you have worked the entire week too, haven’t you?) or watch your personal favourite show on Netflix, or join your friends for a weekend trip or just want to take the day off from cooking, cleaning, your job, responsibilities etc. You wonder and complain, “ How can they be so insensitive to my needs?” Well, you aren’t sensitive to yourself either, are you? Do you prioritise yourself? Do you?

Treat yourself the same way you want others to treat you. role model the behaviour you expect. Follow your passions, do things that delight you, that light you up, that unravel that tight knot inside, that give you a warm glow of satisfaction, the world around you will adjust. They will initially resist and whine but eventually they will recalibrate and adapt to your new schedule. “It’s not easy, you don’t understand,” you say. I hear you, dear soul. I do! I have been there and done that. Do you want to set some boundaries at work and at home? I shudder at the resistance you will face. You have to stand strong (not rigid) though. If you cave in to their arguments and your own mind’s self sabotaging mechanism, then you seriously lose ground. Your mind will not trust you when you take a stand again in the future. When you prioritise yourself, your energy changes and others sense it on an energetic level.  Be kind…please be kind to yourself, you don’t have to start a forest fire at home and at work, you have to light a lamp which will consume the darkness within and without. 

Sometimes, we ourselves don’t want to make the changes. Guilt, or a sense of self righteousness makes us ignore our own needs and desires. Most times, it doesn’t even matter to your family and close circle that you are taking some time off to do your own thing. If you tell this to your loved ones, you may expect to hear, “Did we stop you? You should have gone ahead.” I guess they would rather have you happy and cheerful than sulky and morose. I urge you to start now, time’s slipping away, like water in a closed fist. It’s pointless to have regrets about not going for nature walks in the rain when your knees are crumbling. 

Do it for your self because no one can or will do it for you. You owe it to yourself to be happy. Start in a very small way, a tiny tweak here, a gentle nudge there, after a few weeks or months people around you get used to the new routines. The ripples will add up, they will cleanse you,heal you, empower you. This is your time too on this planet and it is soon running out…live your life fully and start now if you haven’t already.

PS. I will be talking about the next  lesson – Say No To Comparison-that my sadhana taught me in my next post.