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Self-respect is the fruit of dis...

Posted Sep 13 2008 12:22am

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. - Abraham J. Heschel

It is not just that we can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we have to tell ourselves that we can’t have that which we want and maybe could get.

In order to have self-esteem, we must have self-respect, and in order to have self-respect, there has to be self-discipline. There has to be a discipline involved in the day to day living. You have to be able to say no to the chocolate cake, no to the phonecall to the ex boyfriend or girlfriend, no to the one night stand that seems so easy to have, no to the “just this one” whatever.

It is difficult when we have been bored, or angry or not feeling well or feeling ill or feeling hurt, and then suddenly we are tempted by cake or sex or something we know we shouldn’t have right now. It’s hard to say no to things that are not good for us when we are feeling weak, whiny, cranky, unloved, emotionally exhausted or mentally spent.

If we’ve had a rough patch, we often want to hide in things that we know we simply shouldn’t have.

But we NEED to say no for our own self respect. Learning to respect ourselves is the key to having respect from others. We cannot expect others to respect us if we do not respect ourselves. And part of respecting ourselves has to come from saying no to ourselves, to our primal needs that want to be met and want to be met now.

When we want what we want when we want it, and we give into that, we do not respect ourselves and we do not honor the bigger plan we have for ourselves.

Learn to say no to that which is no good for us. Learn self-discipline and have self-respect. Others will respect you for it.

Susan J. Elliott 12/30/06

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