OK, I read many articles on this topic, paid close attention to their wordings and came to a conclusion that they are all referring to self-respect as means of getting self-confidence, building self-worth, taking pride in one’s work, getting in the center of one’s own attention….
I wonder, if we are maybe referring to the ego, thus?
If we make a difference between ego and self, we extract the one from the other, something completely different appears on the surface.
I read this beautiful article, so accurate, so true, so straight to the point (one can say), quoting 15 things that change in a person when they have high self-respect. I found myself nodding while reading it…in affirmation…..it was all true, I shared the same thoughts, the same feelings – all things stated in there were accurate and up to the point…
Yes, I said to myself, you change so profoundly by gaining self-respect – people recognize you as a completely different person. Yes, you let go of the past, get centered within the present moment, dream of the future….yes, you have your own opinion and stick to it regardless of what other people say, other people’s opinions are just their own opinions and others cannot impose their will upon you….yes, you don’t have to explain yourself anymore, you don’t owe anyone an explanation nor an apology for your actions, you no longer convince people, no longer await anyone’s approval – you live and act according to your values and principles established as a table of contents (in other words – morals)…..
All the qualities one gains by self-respect regarded thus refer and relate to the ego only: What will I gain (what will my ego gain) as I further gain self-respect?
What refers to the self is something completely different….at least, that is how I see it…it has to do with LOVE – Self-love.
Self-respect is self-love.
“Love is the very essence and character of the mind, and becomes manifest in action when the mind is whole” – says Alan Watts
“Nothing is really more inhuman than human relations based on morals.”
Love knows no morals, no right or wrong, love is not self-centred, it does not hide away from people, it does not abstain from contact, it does not withhold anything… Love is the sole manifestation of the values in life, for in its dimension it is impossible to be anything but genuine.
Being genuine and thus being full of love towards yourself first, you become the centre of the Universe from which the light bursts even to its most distant corners.
You become adaptive, exposed, fulfilled… no prejudices, no limitations, no restrictions (by no means), you get a universal understanding about life, you become part of the great truth ….
Morals are made up by poor people in need of direction. Love needs no direction, it knows what to do, where to go. Actions out of love cannot produce primitive feelings in people, like anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety (a new illness of the modern times). Actions out of love suffer no negative consequences.
And, most importantly, all great works of art are made out of love (as if produced by a divine intervention, i.e. the Universe).
“Love that expresses itself in creative action is something much more than an emotion. It is not something which you can “feel” and “know,” remember and define. Love is the organizing and unifying principle which makes the world a universe and the disintegrated mass a community.”
To go one step further – one has no self to love.
One loves the whole Universe inside himself.