‘Take care how you speak to yourself because you are listening…’

It is so easy to give respect to those who are worthy of it in your eyes, but how about giving respect to those who do not quite measure up! To give respect to all and not just those you like is the true meaning of giving respect.

Not being able to show respect says a lot more about us than it does about the one in front of us. Sometimes we believe we should only exercise this quality of respect towards those who have demonstrated that they are deserving of it. Yet, it is possible to have regard for all human beings, despite their actions in the moment. In fact, when we do not give regard to all, we deprive ourselves of feeling and exercising this quality, which in fact is a valuable treasure. In spiritual terms, to give is to receive.

It is when we do not realise that we are beings of love, that we go seeking love, approval, or regard from others. We only need something when we feel empty. When we are in our self-respect, that automatically attracts respect from others and also helps them to engender respect for themselves.

When one has self-respect, then one need not compare or compete with another. A person with self-respect understands that to compare is futile, and to compete is nonsensical.

By contrast, comparing and competing are both symptoms of a fragile, inflated ego. Ego and esteem are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Ego is always looking outwards to what others are doing, wondering whether I am ‘better than…’, or ‘worse than…’ and always causes pain. Self-esteem is about building our sense of self from the inside and cannot cause pain. The easiest way to build our sense of self is to spend a little time with ourselves, in peace, in meditation.

If we have love and respect for ourselves, it will be very easy to give respect and create harmony. Always remember that each one of us came onto the earth to share a particular quality with the world. So, if you cannot yet see the quality you are meant to be sharing, then look a little harder, for it will surely be there.

Courtesy of

Aruna Ladva is an author and the director of Rajyoga meditation centres in Kuwait and Egypt.

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