The most important part of any self-improvement plan is a healthy dose of respect. Very often, I approach this teaching through a discussion of self-love. I talk about how important it is that we love and care for ourselves in a deep way. However, I am going to focus this discussion through the lens of respect.
Respect is a deep acknowledgement and honoring of the totality of who we are. It is a critical component of self-love. Personal development work will not really begin to shift our life until we do the work with a fundamental respect for all of who we are, rather than a desire to fix, improve or change who we are.
Respect for ourselves keeps us on the path of doing our work and helps us to do it in a way that honors our deep nature.
It is too easy to approach personal development work with the mindset that something needs to be fixed. We might be left feeling this way because of the emotional pain or life event that motivated us to start this work. Along the way you will most definitely meet parts of yourself that you do not like and be tempted to go in directions that do not really serve the true you.
But what if instead we were to move forward on our personal development journey with the belief that the process of growth is an honoring of who we are and who we can become. Honoring who we are in every way implies a deep respect -deeper than perhaps you have ever known.
Respect is both respect for the process and respect for each and every aspect of who you are. Additionally, respect for ourselves translates into respect for others. As we learn to treat ourselves with respect we begin to see how we can do this for others.
Two of the central things that keeps us from growing and changing are the limitations and rules that we put on ourselves because of how we think that we should be. How we think we should be is without respect for who we truly are. It negates rather than strengthens. It distorts rather than clarifies.
Respect holds you and cares for you in the cauldron of transformation. The more you can respect yourself and your process, the more you will connect with your deeper nature and unfold into the totality of who you are, achieving a profound sense of fulfillment.
When we approach our work with respect, it brings strength and clarity. It helps us see where to work and where to yield to something greater than us. It makes our transformational process more gentle.