R*E*S*P*E*C*T - I'll Tell You What It Means To Me

Posted by Eileen S on Oct 8, 2017
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What does one do when asked to grant respect by someone and the immediate response that comes to mind is "Respect!!??...to you who have disrespected me sooo many times in sooo many deep ways?" When I asked a close and respected mentor this question, she encouraged me to reflect and see if there might actually be a way into this practice, since deep down, everyone deserves a respectful acknowledgement of the divine spark within.
So I did what I do when faced with needing to understand. I went to the dictionary to see if I could find a meaning for the word respect that I could open myself up to. At first, I found many meanings that just made me bristle even more because I could not imagine "honoring" or "having esteem" for this very difficult person in my life. But further down the list were other, gentler practices like "treating with consideration" and "avoid intruding upon".

Then, as often happens, the universe gifts me with just the message I need. There in the Daily Good feed was the story by Bonnie Rose "As Worthy As You Are". Her article opened me up to understanding my struggle granting respect to someone else as deeply rooted in my own struggles with self-worth. So I brought her article to the Meditation and Tea gathering. I shared with those gathered that I was going to challenge myself to the first "worthiness practice" of respect and invited others to join in. I will find out how my practice changes me and hopefully hear from others next week.

Then, I returned to my journal and reflected some more. Here is a definition for respect that I want to wrap myself around - a mutually supportive and friendly honoring of the divine spirit present in who and what we encounter. With that, I will try to honor the request posed.

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Comments (2)

  • Pavi wrote ...

    What a beautiful reflection Eileen -- and how lovely that Bonnie's story offered a seed for your practice! The definition of respect that you arrived at is special. And reminded me of this quote by Angeles Arrien, "The term respect comes from the Latin word respicere, which means 'the willingness to look again,' take a second look rather than remain stuck in a particular view." Much love to you and thank you for sharing.

  • Fargo Painters wrote ...

    Respect can be a difficult thing to understand, especially when trying to respect a difficult person. Thank you for sharing your journey!