Respect Yourself

Debbie Gisonni

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Much of a woman’s self-worth is influenced early on by her parents, particularly her mother. We can spend their entire lives (and many hours in therapy) trying to live up to the image our mother set for us, even though deep down inside we know we will never please her. Later on in life, other family members, friends, colleagues and bosses may also have unpleasant opinions of us. We store all of these criticisms in one “unworthy self" basket, like a bunch of rotten eggs. Some of us never regain our self-worth. Yes, regain. We begin life with a storehouse of personal power and self-worth. As babies we demand that respect and attention. We kick and scream until we get it! But somewhere along the line, through all of our social conditioning, we forget it’s there. We forget how special a Goddess each one of us is. We forget to listen to our inner voice and tap into our power. We forget to throw away those rotten opinions and only collect the good eggs.

There will always be people who are critical of you. It’s a way for them to exercise control like the alpha dog in the pack who maintains her status by constantly reminding you that you’re the runt of the litter. So, where does a Goddess get R. E. S. P. E. C. T? You have to find out what it means to YOU! And that means looking in the mirror and respecting yourself for who you are. If you are a human being, you are something and hence, you must have value. You’re the only one who can assign what that value is.

Sometimes it takes others to help us see that value. Supermodel Iman grew up with low self-esteem and had no date to her prom. Even when a famous photographer asked her to pose for him, she still felt insecure about her looks, especially her lengthy neck. Her success in modeling helped her appreciate and honor her exotic look. She now runs her own cosmetics company for women of color.

You don’t respect yourself if you fill your mind with self-deprecating thoughts every day. You don’t respect yourself if you stay in an abusive relationship. You don’t respect yourself if you damage your body with drugs, alcohol, or excessive eating. Drew Barrymore was once a child actress headed for a tragic burnout. Her addiction to drugs and alcohol started at age eleven with a suicide attempt a few years later. However, by age fifteen, after months of rehab, she was able to conquer her addictions and start a new life. Having spent most of her teen years looking outside of herself for love or approval, today she considers her best friend to be none other than herself. From self-abuse to self-love, Drew has emerged as a confident and compassionate young woman. In a Teen People interview, when discussing the geeky, awkward character she played in the movie, Never Been Kissed, Drew said, “I wanted to talk about, for one, feeling good about who you are and naturally embracing that. A person’s looks are never going to make you love them or like them. " Today Drew lives her life with compassion and generosity. She is known to treat everyone who works for her with equal kindness, and she has become a philanthropist who dedicates much of her time and resources to charities for women and animals.

Look in the mirror. Honor the Goddess you see both inside and out from the color of your skin and the shape of your body to the love in your heart and the heart of your soul. Love yourself. Believe in yourself. Know that you a perfect being, deserving of respect from both yourself and from others.

5 Ways to Respect Yourself:

  • Tell someone if a comment she’s made to you makes you feel inadequate or unworthy.

  • Treat yourself to something special (massage, dessert, vacation) to acknowledge a personal or professional accomplishment.

  • Throw a party to celebrate a milestone in your life (birthday, promotion, divorce).

  • Don’t succumb to other people’s expectations of who you should be or what you should do.

  • Praise and compliment your family, friends and colleagues—like a reflection in a mirror, it’ll naturally increase your own self-worth.

    Excerpted from the book: The Goddess of Happiness, A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss

    Debbie Gisonni, aka The Goddess of Happiness™, is an author (The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life Death & Moving On), speaker, happiness expert and columnist for Contact:

    Copyright, All Rights Reserved, Debbie Gisonni

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