Anything Less

Sunday, July 16, 2017 Comments Off

I would like to start off this post by being grateful for all the things that have happened to me so far—be it decidedly good or bad.

I realized so much have happened to me in the course of six months that had me gasping for understanding, patience, and, mostly, space. Everything that I experienced has been overwhelmingly eventful to the point of me not being able to actually pause and breathe in; a pastime that unfortunately I have taken for granted. I won't talk about the events in great details because some of them involve certain individuals. I will, however, talk about the lessons I have learned for the past months.

Because of these events, I came to a conclusion that self-love is important for positively sustaining yourself against the verbal and non-verbal injuries the world has brewed up for you; however, that is not to say that self-love alone is good enough. I found that self-respect should go hand-in-hand with self-love. Though, I would say, acquiring self-respect is a lot harder than self-love.

Personally, self-love is easier to obtain because it involves feelings that we have been exposed to since young age. Self-love is more organic, more chemical than factual. Its only requirement is unwavering faith and constant support. But, self-respect is different. It is quite harder to achieve due to the nature of its pragmatic demand. Self-respect could only be gained if we are up to our own standards, refusing to indulge in a standard lower than what we expect ourselves to have. Perhaps, this is what I have gained this year.

The journey of gaining it is particularly hard. It is one that I have been in for years, but most of it was not deliberate effort because I did not know that self-respect is one of the things that I have been looking for. A lot of things were involved in this so-called journey—blood, sweat, and tears were the least extreme things that I had to expend. Hard as it is to gain, I've never been more grateful for its timing. I receive it during the time when I truly need it the most. It is something to justify myself to get out of toxic relationships. Self-respect has forced me to improve certain conditions in my life. It has taught me to move myself from situations where people do not give me any appreciation for the potentials that I carry within me or the things that I did in the past; this includes personal, professional, and even, surprisingly, romantic aspects.

Thanks to my newly-minted self-respect, I learned a few other things because it made me assess everything that I have experiences so far. The biggest learning point is how I could use self-respect as a base to assess circumstances in my life—examining them if they are up to the standards in which I deserve.  Self-respect helps me pragmatically assess whether or not I am in an unbeneficial relationship or unsupportive environment. This is not saying I do not put any sentimental value as a factor on anything that I examine, but self-respect puts things into perspectives in ways which self-love hasn't been able to do.

The first big thing that I analyze was of course the relationship that I have with myself. I should be treating myself better without overly indulging my every whims. Previously when I look at the relationship that I have on myself based on self-love, I keep on overindulging because I felt that I deserve more. But with self-respect, I have to truly ponder over decisions whether they are beneficial to me or not; beneficial in terms of mental, physical, and emotional health. I want to treat myself in the same ways that I have foolishly treated some people in my life. I understand now that my priority is the betterment of myself by improving in positive ways and losing all the negative aspects that do not give me any continuous upside. The latter one is the hardest one, I am still learning how to let things go even though my head and my heart know these things are not good for me.

By knowing my worth and treating myself with respect, I understand now what I need from someone (or anyone, really) is abundance of patience, understanding, indulgence, respect, affection, and attention. I realize I should not settle in anything less.

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