Self-Respect is Your First and Highest Order of Living Your Truth
It's 6:17 pm.
I'm in San Diego, California. I’ve rented a gorgeous Airbnb for just $30 a night. The lights are dim and the sun has now set. On my bed, I sit, in a lushly decorated, crickety old Spanish style house.
It's peaceful and quiet, just like I like it. I sit down to write. This is what comes forth.
It's been two months since I left Paris and returned forward to the USA.
In that time span, I've been to Toronto, New Jersey, New York, San Diego, and Tijuana, Mexico.
Directing gigs, writing ops, birthday parties, root canals and gospel choir invitations all sort of fell into my very still, very quiet, and deeply ponderous lap.
"[...] listen carefully to your inner voice and allow yourself to be guided to recapture the knowledge of your correct path in life." -- Owl
I've had time and space to mourn, assess and reevaluate my life post-break-up; post-exodus from France and from a man and relationship I believed would be my last (i.e. he was my husband).
These tenderly piercing revelations come pouring in as if by divinity as I sit to write daily. Here's some wisdom as it pertains to truth, dignity, and self-respect. Enjoy and share with anyone who could use some loving truth.
He didn't treat me very well, I thought.
Who, you might ask?
Any of them. None of the men that I dated lived up to a standard I would call superior.
The deeper truth here is that I didn't treat myself well by staying in relationships with people and clients that continously crossed, broke and spat on my self-respecting rules. My rules of engagement for being in my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual spaces.
I mistook self-sacrifice for spiritual surrender, confusing my partners as being more mature than myself, superior in some way to my own inner knowing.
This was and continued to be a mistake. Don't do this. Your inner wisdom matters. Counts. It's worth waiting for the right people to show up who align with your deepest truths. This need not be forced.
I dated people who had alcohol and drug dependencies, either believing they'd change or that I'd grow to accept it because after all, I was "making a big deal out of nothing".
I stayed in a relationship in a foreign country with someone who lied to me about their drug use and waited until I arrived in France to disclose this.
I'm not proud of this. Nor am I ashamed. I'm honest. This is real life.
I promised myself two years ago I'd stop this pattern. That if people lied to me, it was a deal breaker. That if people did drugs or drank heavily, it wasn't what I wanted.
And then I meet someone who smokes weed almost daily and drank heavily with his friends.
None of these things are wrong. They just don't work for me.
So when I discovered the lie, this was my moment of truth. Not his truth. My truth.
We say things are important to us and yet our actions show US what we truly value.
I can be as mad as I want at him or others for lying to me. For not keeping their promises. For not valuing my word or theirs.
And yet I didn't fully honor my own promises. I didn't fully value my own word. I didn't wholly and completely stand by myself, my needs or my own self-respect.
It's as dignified to leave as it is to stay.
You want the truth?
Look in the mirror.
Smell the smoke.
And look for the fire.
Truth is sitting just below your anger and right beside the fires in your life, waiting to tell you all you need to know.
If only you'd listen and stop insisting the smoke and flames were just a bit of burnt incense.
It's not. It's bullshit and you know it.
If someone lies to you, they're hiding something. If you lie to yourself, you're hiding something.
What is so horrible it can't be seen?
When I ask my students with whom they most fear being honest, the answer is always themselves. Self-honesty obligates them to do something, they say.
So what do you fear you'll need to do when you acknowledge the "unthinkable"?
And people who don't respect themselves lie. To themselves and others.
The man I dated lied to me about who he was and what he was doing.
I lied to myself by saying lying was ok.
Speaking your truth isn't enough. Living your truth is equally if not more important.
And when you reach that door, dammit, make a declaration of human rights for yourself. A manifesto.
What are the rules of engagement to be in your life? What do you declare necessary and true to walk, dance and journey beside you in this lifetime? At this moment?
Tack that declaration on the wall of your home. Post it on the door of your castle. Paint it on the walls of your fence and hand it out as a calling card for those willing and able to respect your dreams.
Memorize it and inscribe it on your heart in indelible ink. And then guard it as if your life depended on it.
Because it does, mija. It does.
What you give away so graciously, have you yourself valued, first?
The quality of your life is directly proportional to how much you respect and value yourself.
Cultivate the bravery required to walk first in your blessing. In your greatness. In your declared truth.
In short, declare and take what you want by acting on what you believe in, within your own life.
When the moments come where you are tested (and believe me, they will come), this is your chance to stand by your word.
To walk away from that which doesn't serve you. To stand by and for yourself.
Hermanas, it's not about the man. It's not about the job. It's not about the babies. It's not about the boob job, the admiration from others or the paycheck that validates your self-worth.
It's about your self-respect.
What are you doing to cultivate it?