Number 3 in a Series
What increases your self-respect and what decreases it?
Since I can never get enough of that which I do not need, my journey has concentrated on how to get my sense of well-being from within rather than from things outside of myself. Everything I truly need flows naturally when I’m living in integrity with my authentic self. Therefore, my self-respect is increased whenever I’m connected to my essence, my heart.
As noted in my previous post, there are many feelings and behaviors that come from my heart. Compassion and an openness to learning, the two things that when heart connected are always present, are the focus of this post.
Compassion, the true power of the heart, is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Compassion became the eyes through which inspirational heroes such as Martin Luther King, Alice Stokes Paul and Gandhi could see what was wrong and needed to be changed. Compassion is feeling empathy in all emotional states. It is feeling sadness when I’ve made a mistake, my partner’s joy after having healed a rift with a friend, or the disappointment and fear in my child who comes home with a bad report card.
An openness to learning is often thought of merely as learning about another person. Such learning provides important information and allows the other person to feel understood. But, if that’s all I learn, I miss what’s most important for moving further along my journey to live more in my heart – learning about my part of any difficulty and what blocks my feelings of compassion. (A list of questions that illustrate an openness to learning will be in a future post.)
When connected to my heart:
- Compassion will not allow me to disrespect myself or compromise another person’s integrity.
- An openness to learning leads to being more heart-connected and transforming into a more authentic and powerful person.
A fail-proof test in any situation is to ask two questions, “Am I feeling compassion?” and “Am I open to learning both about myself and others?” If the answer to either of those questions is, “No” a big red flag goes up that says, “You’ve lost your heart.”
When connected to my essence I know that, even should I lose something, I will not just survive but will thrive. That faith frees me from trying to control things and people. Therefore, staying in integrity occurs when I am not afraid of loss, whether that loss is a relationship, a job, material things, or even my life.
Living more in integrity with my authentic self has brought with it greater self-respect, and profound fulfillment in both my personal relationships and career. Although I still aspire to have more, I don’t need more for my happiness. Not being needy leaves me feeling proud of myself and is true personal power.
For Your Journey
- How does the phrase, “You can never get enough of that which you do not need” relate to your life?
- What are you hooked into trying to get that lessens your self-worth and inner sense of well-being?
- What can you be doing that would reduce your fears of loss?
- Share-it-forward. Share with another person what you’re learning about staying heart-connected and being happy and feeling fulfilled.
First in the Series: From Head to Heart
Next Week: # 4 – Living With Integrity
BECOMING YOUR OWN HERO illuminates a path available to us all to attain the kind of personal power demonstrated by our most revered and inspirational heroes. Marianne Williamson, #1 New York Times best-selling author said, “I highly recommend this illuminating and touching look into the possibilities of staying connected to our hearts, even when facing difficult situations.”