Sunday, August 1, 2010


If you are anything like me you will do all that is in your power to honor the feelings and desires of other people, even when it means dishonoring yourself.

When you lie to yourself about what you need, you will eventually lie to others about the same things.
When people speak to us badly or say something that is hurtful, take you for granted, or when people don't do as they have promised we are often more concerned about upsetting the other person by saying how we really feel and so we just shut up and stew rather than honor ourself by expressing how we feel.

When are we taught that it is okay to say what you feel when you feel it?  Certainly it is not when we are children.  As children we were taught what not to say and what not to do if or when it will make others uncomfortable.  The others were the "big" people.  
"Don't talk when the big people are talking, don't express your ideas if they are different from the big people's ideas.  Always accept what the big people offer you even if you don't like it. 
In an insidious although not malicious way, we were taught that big people matter and we don't.
Even when we become big people ourselves there are still those who are bigger, older, more important than we are and these are the people we must honor.  In honoring the big people we are taught to dishonor ourselves.

The first way we learn to dishonor ourselves is by not telling the truth.  The truth about what we feel, what we want, or what we think.
Many of us have heard the  "Children should be seen and not heard", " Nobody asked you" " Don't say that its not nice".  When you heard these things you knew to shut your mouth and stuff your feelings because you were treading on thin ice, and if that ice broke you could get  yelled at, slapped or punished, worse yet, you could get a long lecture about the inappropriateness of your behavior.  And so as I began this blog post, we do all in our power to honor the feelings and desires of others even when it means dishonoring ourselves.

Lying to yourself and other people about what you need, want, like or do not like is akin to having a bacterial fungus.  It spreads quickly into all areas of your life and pollutes your very being.  When you are polluted by the fungus of dishonor, it is difficult to speak up for yourself.  The fungus seals your lips when people speak to you in inappropriate ways.  The fungus clouds your brain when people behave toward you in an inappropriate manner.  This lip sealing, brain-clouding fungus always makes you doubt yourself.  It makes you question what you are feeling when you are feeling it.  It prohibits your finding the most appropriate way to respond when your sensibilities are offended by " big" people.
But like all bacteria, a fungus that is not treated will turn into an infection!

The infection that grows when you do not honor yourself becomes anger or rage.  Anger and rage becomes what pours forth from you when others say or do things that have gone unchecked by you for a long period of time.  The fungus of not honoring what you feel when you feel it, or saying what you need to say when you need to say it will pour forth as anger and pollute your relationships.

Family relationships, professional relationships, personal and intimate relationships.  None are immune to the fungus that grows within when you do not honor yourself every step of the way, along the way, in your relationships with other people.

When I first learnt about honoring myself it was not something that I had ever considered.  Honor myself! Admit what I feel?  Say what I am thinking, out loud, Ask for what I want,  you've got to be out of your mind!! My childhood had been so controlled most of the time I felt as though I was being handled by a ventriloquist!!! I dared not express myself, or ask for what I wanted or needed and certainly did not tell someone where to go or shove it if I was spoken to inappropriatetly.  The consequences were too extreme.
The only way to learn to trust yourself enough to honor yourself as a divine and unique expression of God is to tell the truth.
I have often found myself in situations when I have been asked to express an opinion and I have  seen my foster fathers eyes giving me the if you open your mouth you would be swiftly put to death look in the back of my mind, or hear my grandmothers words resounding loudly in my head " If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all"

The big question is " How do you give an answer without hurting or offending another person"?

What is worse then, trying to please everyone else or dishonoring yourself?

The phone rings and your mother, best friend, colleague, asks "What happened to you today?'
and instead of making excuses, or say what you think the other person wants to hear, HONOR YOURSELF  with " Oh, I just decided to honor what I was feeling, by staying home and taking care of me today"

Journaling is an essential part of healing and self awareness.  If you haven't yet begun to journal I suggest you pop off to your local bookshop and buy a really pretty journal, one that makes you want to write in it EVERYDAY whether you have the time or not, you can't afford not to. It will become your safe place and best friend where you can put all your feelings without judgement onto paper without fear of criticism.
As we begin to explore different areas of Honoring ourselves we will have some homework to do, and housework to do within ourselves.  So on the first page of your journal I encourage you to write:

1.  AFTER READING TODAYS BLOG ON HONORING MYSELF, I        REALIZE................................................................................................

2.  THE KEY PHRASE (S) I WANT TO REMEMBER AND WORK WITH TODAY ARE?...................................................................................................................................................

"God does not punish us.  We punish ourselves with guilt, shame, and fear when we choose not to act in concert with our inherently divine nature."

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