Self-respect must vibrate with talents such as self acceptance, self knowledge, honesty, integrity, wisdom and above all self discipline. Self acceptance is the first and foremost condition of self respect. Self acceptance means the ability to accept ourselves just the way ‘we are’. This makes us feel that, we are not here to do things like the way people do. Self acceptance introduces us with the eternal fact that “we were born to be ourselves”.
Self acceptance is a realization of self worth which is the key to our happiness and success. Self knowledge is the final phase of self consciousness, which allows us to realize our own feelings and strengthen our inner soul to cope up with all challenges in life. Growth in life is associated with honesty. This is an ability to accept our mistakes and appreciate our own successes.
Integrity is a greater inner realization and a bonding with the soul which would not shade off while tackling various confrontations in life. Man’s life is a quest, a struggle to gain self respect. Self respect is the highest degree of contentment which has no alternate therapy. But earning respect is not an easy job to be accomplished. There is always a battle to be fought in order to be victorious.
We need to put real effort to gain self respect in life. Self awareness, self knowledge, self acceptance and self discipline are the four milestones for developing self respect in life. Self awareness is the discovery of our inner self, the understanding of the self worth which is an essential element of self respect. Self awareness means self knowledge; we need to speak to our inner soul to know our rights and responsibilities, principles and ethics, achievements and failures, goals and objectives along with our merits and demerits.
If we feel ourselves worthy, we would not tolerate others to play small with us or would not suppress ourselves from doing what we intend to do. Therefore, wisdom keeps our aspirations high. Wisdom is the ability to judge between right and wrong. It is an absolute knowledge of self which determines our goal and eliminates all unnecessary elements from our life. Self respect converts self knowledge into a power, the power to motivate our inner soul as well as to discover our real self. Self respect is an aesthetic feeling; it doesn’t long for any external appraisal or appreciation. By birth, we are the owner of certain potentials and good qualities. Our self respect acknowledges those virtues in order to make us more confident in life. It is our self respect in life. It is our self respect which allows us to focus our mind on what is good and healthy for us and what we should never opt for.
Our self respect is basically learning about what we possess in ourselves. It educates us in knowing what we are, our talents, culture, ethics and principles, capabilities and inabilities and an in depth view of all these aspects undoubtedly makes a man wise. A wise man is he who can laugh at his mistakes, learn from his previous experiences but remains balanced on his achievements.
Self respect is self purification; meaning a cleansing of the soul. A man’s self consciousness is a journey to find out the spiritual side of him. Spirituality refers to the true ferret for a steady discovery of the soul. It is a virtue that introduces us with our conscience, our principles and our standards. Spirituality enables us to have a deep knowledge about our personal traits and recognize our talents and skills. This way we develop a feeling of love towards our own selves.
Self love is an intense feeling, a deeper realization of the inner soul which in no case should wait for public appraisal. It inspires us to grow with our own intellectual and more abilities. The more we get closer to our soul, the more we learn about the ‘self’; hence, self learning and self respect share an indomitable relationship. However, self respect can never be borrowed or obtained. There is neither a yardstick to measure self honour nor it has any physical appearance. The seed of self respect has to be injected at the very beginning of life so that it marks its appearance at the dawn of adolescence and grows higher with the passage of time. Self respect gives us the privilege to celebrate our entity. Finally, self respect is like a lighted candle which ignites out life; it is the wheel of life for progress.
This article is an Ashirvachana given by His Holiness Late Sri Balagangadaranatha Mahaswamiji