12-9-18 Dignity

Dignity

The most common response people offer is that dignity is about respect. To the contrary, dignity is not the same as respect. Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it. Respect, on the other hand, is earned through one’s actions. Everyone recognizes that we all have a deep, human desire to be treated as something of value. This shared desire for dignity transcends all of our differences, putting our common human identity above all else.

Any addiction strips you of dignity. You cannot connect with your innate sense of worth, and that shared sense of connection with others. You are focused on only what you want and how to use others to get it. You manipulate and demean yourself and others for your superficial ends. This, as we now know only brings misery. You are missing a vital part that you need in order to be happy, a sense of dignity within yourself, and knowing the importance of treating others with dignity.

The glue that holds all of our relationships together is the mutual recognition of the desire to be seen, heard, listened to, and treated fairly; to be recognized, understood, and to feel safe in the world. When our identity is accepted and we feel included, we are granted a sense of freedom and independence and a life filled with hope and possibility. And when are given an apology when someone does us harm, we recognize that even when we fall short of being our best selves, there is always a way to reconnect. “I’m sorry” are two very powerful words anyone can utter.

In intimate relationships I learn to express myself gently and honestly and to not be afraid to be a little playful and have a sense of humor. I begin to value how the other person is feeling and respect that. I begin to relax and feel the flow of the music of life. Not building walls to keep it out.

Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations. Samuel Ullman

I begin to realize that I have to be able to trust myself or I will always be looking to someone else for guidance. At first I needed a lot of guidance, and acceptance, but a time came when I needed to stand on my own two feet. I still study and practice and I am open to the wisdom of others. I continue to learn, but I need to make my own mistakes and accept my imperfection of being human, and  begin to trust myself.   

I will not demean others, especially in an offhand acceptable way of being funny.

I will not demean myself by acting petty or mean towards others.

I will not accept someone demeaning me.

I will not expect myself or others to be perfect. 

I will have patience, but also know that I need to keep moving forward.

I must believe in myself, all the way, all the time.

 “Come as you are” means that we do not turn anyone away who is honestly seeking a better way.

“Be who you are” means that you need to work on being the best that you can be. Not a license to act out any way you choose. 

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

The worst day and the best day, was when I had to stand up in rehab and say Hi, My name, and I am an addict. It hurt to be honest and to begin trying to live by respecting myself, and others, but it was essential to do. Soon a sense of living with dignity and in an honorable way became more important than hiding and living selfishly. I learned it was better to be honest, with kindness, to be vulnerable instead of always manipulating and not even knowing what I really wanted or felt, because I was hiding so much of myself. When I do live with dignity I am constantly asking a little more of myself. I want to grow, be happier, help others, and I am taking the best action I can. I am losing the need to engage in or to begin all the petty dramas that seemed to be so much of my life. I enjoy a fuller richer life experience.

Society tries to dictate how we should look, act, what to drive and eat and wear so we are more sexy and appealing to others. I do not want to be appealing to those who find those things       appealing. I wish to come from a deeper place within myself to decide how I should address all those things. I know they are superficial aspects of myself that need my general proper attention, but no more than that. Otherwise I am stuck in thinking these superficial things are really important and I leave no room for what is truly important. 

When I do care for the small things, cleaning the house, laundry, returning a call, being on time, picking up my clothes, I am able to leave a lot of room, to let what is happening NOW in. What a wonderful feeling to walk around not being afraid, or angry, not looking for clues from others as to how I should act. Not being sensitive and reactionary, but walking upright and trusting   myself. There is always a kindness and a directness in my thoughts and actions. I do not manipulate, nor permit myself to be manipulated. I do consider and gauge what is healthy and unhealthy and I am not afraid to be the best I can be. I also know I have some growth to look forward to as I keep going.

I am finding a sense of happiness and contentment from deeper within myself. As I permit life to unfold, and myself to open up, I am amazed at how much magic there is in life.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com