Respect seems to be something I struggle to give yet demand. The irony of it all. I think people deserve respect however, I am a firm believer that one must give respect to get respect. Though I do know that biblical principles surround the idea that I should respect everyone regardless of how they treat me. This is easier said than done.
Originally I was taught to respect my elders. That is what was instilled in me as a child in the foster home I spent the majority of my childhood in. This principle faded away quickly as I witnessed the adults around me treat me with disrespect whilst they demanded respect from me. I soon developed the mentality that many children exposed to unsightly things at a young develop. You have to give respect to get respect. This is often times a survivors mentality.
Fast forward to my adult years and I have learned that I not only fail to give respect to those who do not show me respect but I also deem the individual not worthy of respect by the superficial standards that society has placed on us. To be frank in my marriage, I struggle to respect the very man I made vows to honor and respect. I once had to ask him, “What is there about you that deserves respect.” My lack of respect towards him is a result of domestic violence via passive aggressive behavior which leads to not respect him. However, I am trying. I am trying not to allow my childhood core beliefs prevent me from becoming the woman God desires me to be.
The aspect is very disheartening the way people think they can treat you disrespectfully and regardless of their actions you are expected to extend to them respect as if they are in a entitled position. It hurts me, however, I am finding that when faced with a situation specific to feeling disrespected I often naturally respond in a manner in which I rise above my feelings and extend respect (as much as I can muster) to the offender, knowing they are undeserving. That is love. To treat someone with kindness regardless of whether or not they deserve it. Now it does NOT say that we can be naive and allow ourselves to be a pawn in their grand scheme to often gain power or control over us however, we can trust the light always pushes out darkness. It is more difficult to remain unpleasant to someone who is treating you with honor, love, and respect. Of course unless you happen to be a sociopath in which it would be easy to hate someone who is loving you considering the lack of ability to feel and empathize.
Back to the origin of respect. What exactly does it mean to me? I am learning that it means to be to others what I would like them to be to me regardless of the ever changing variables. The “Golden Rule” is one I will continue to live by despite how others may treat me.
What exactly does respect mean to you?
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