The SOURCE of Dignity and Self-Respect
The answer, for you and me, is to try to live in that delicate balance between striving to improve in character, while celebrating our unique personality and talents. Lean too much to one side, and you will smother your wonderful and unique personality. Tend too much to the other, and you will abandon the character that is the source of dignity and self-respect.
We cannot rush to achieve this delicate balance. Often, as soon as it is found, it is lost, and we find ourselves searching for it again. But as we look back on any day or week, there are moments when we can honestly and humbly say, “For that moment I was the-best- version-of-myself!” We need to learn to recognize those moments, understand their secrets, celebrate them, and duplicate them. These moments will help us to find the balance between acceptance of self and our need for change. We must approach this place of balance between accepting ourselves for who we are and challenging ourselves to be all we are capable of being like one would approach a high-spirited animal—calmly and slowly.
I had a friend and mentor once who used to say two things to me repeatedly: “Be kind to yourself ” and “All great things can only be achieved with a light heart.” Kindness toward ourselves precedes all genuine and lasting growth, and lightheartedness is a sign that we trust that we are exactly where we are right now for a reason.
Be kind to yourself.
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