Learn About Self-Respect

November 13, 2011 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

I’ve spent many years of my life defending my ego.  I often thought I needed to show everyone who I was and what I knew otherwise they wouldn’t care or respect me.  How wrong was I?  In all those years what I mostly accomplished was frustration and disappointment.  The reason is simple: the people that need to be wowed to respect us won’t unless we are the King or Queen of some fantastic land.  And even when they do it is superficial and temporary.

Respect is something we feel about ourselves.  It is an internal feeling that does not need validation from anybody else.  It doesn’t matter how others see or treat us if we feel our own worth.  And here is the kicker; when we have self-respect it doesn’t matter what task we are performing others will tend to see us the same way we see ourselves.

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Am I Worthy?

September 10, 2011 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

What am I worth?  Am I important enough? Does my life mean something?

Many of us struggle with those questions.  In a world where we measure worth and meaning by dollars and cents, the answers can often be complicated.

For many years I considered myself a failure.  I used to look at my professional success and my bank account in comparison to what I thought I was capable of achieving and the only answer I could come up with was that I had failed.  That I had no value.

I struggled with that for many years.  Even when friends and partners would point out how much I had given them or how much I had overcome, it didn’t make a dent.  I couldn’t assign value to character, kindness, understanding and friendship.  And I know I am alone in that.

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Turning Our Lives Into Master Pieces

September 3, 2010 by  
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The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.  ~Joan Didion

So many of us let life happen as if we are passive bystanders and have no say in what and how life transpires.  Instead of making choices we live a life of reacting.  On the other hand making decisions on how we want our lives to develop demands responsibility but offers in return self-respect.

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How To Have Self-Respect

August 21, 2010 by  
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The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.  ~Joan Didion

I work in the entertainment business as a producer.  I have never done anything that has resulted in great financial compensation or fame but I earn my living producing documentaries, shorts, TV and feature films.

In every business, there is success, failure and ego but in the media business these accomplishments or lack of are actually commodities.   “You are only as good as your last thing” and “it doesn’t matter how good it is, only how much it makes”, are phrases often tossed around in this finicky world.  If you are wondering why I’m writing about this hang on a minute and I’ll make my point.

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Get Rid Of False Pride

July 15, 2010 by  
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I have found the following definitions for pride on the web:

  • a feeling of self-respect and personal worth
  • satisfaction with your (or another’s) achievements; “he takes pride in his son’s success”
  • the trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards

Most of us have a frail or misplaced sense of worth.  We look at our world accomplishments to base our sense of self-respect and pride on, i.e. “I have X amount of dollars in the bank”, or “I’m really important I have Y job.”  But what happens when we lose the money or the job?  Do we also lose our sense of personal worth?  If someone tells us the job we are so proud of is not that important, do we lose our self-respect? Read more

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Slowing Down For Self-Love

June 3, 2010 by  
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heart on the beach

heart on the beach

I’ve always wanted to do important things.  I don’t know where that came from but since I was a little girl I felt the pull for something “big”.

As I grew up that inner feeling turned into inner drive and some of my desire to do “big” things started to be associated with career success.  All of that would have been fine if I along the way didn’t loose – or maybe I never had – the ability to appreciate qualities and accomplishments of mine that I didn’t judge by the same standards I considered material success.  That was my loss and the result; a steady decline in self-esteem.

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Owning My Own Sex

November 15, 2009 by  
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While reading Lisa Guest’s post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-guest/identity-lifes-superimpos_b_356105.html) on her sex journey through her adulthood I thought about my own.

I have been sexually active since I was thirteen years old.  At that time I had a boyfriend who I loved with the heart a thirteen year old could have and he loved me back with his seventeen year old heart.  All was perfect except that my boyfriend was having sex with an older woman.  He told me because he didn’t want to keep anything from me. He explained that the reason he was seeing this woman was because he needed and wanted to have sex.   It didn’t make any sense to me at the time; why would he be willing to have sex with another woman and not me?  He tried to make me understand that I was too young but I wouldn’t hear and so I spent the next three months trying to talk him into having sex with me until I succeeded.

We continued living our love story until I was seventeen and the world was a very big place for me to only be his girlfriend.   Although I don’t recommend to thirteen year old girls to engage in sex – I was lucky my experience was one of love but it could have been disastrous – I only have good thoughts about that time in my life.  It was a different time where AIDS and a lot of other sexually transmitted diseases weren’t as much of an issue as they are today and so I lived my teenage love story with a boy who truly loved me.

Of course I learned very little about sex during that time as I never talked to adults about it and they never thought to tell me the birds and the bees story.

I loved sex but I also learned to use it as a way to feel “loved”.  When I moved to NYC at age eighteen, I had many one night stands and while they were fun when happening, they always left me with a bigger hole than the one I had started with.  That’s actually the reason why I got into my first marriage.  I met someone who I thought would help me get my life back on track, working towards something meaningful and creating some type of a family, and so at age twenty I was tying the knot with a man eleven years older than me who quickly made me look fondly to those lonely days.

I didn’t have an orgasm until I was a thirty two year old divorcee.  It just kind of happened.  I was fooling around with a boyfriend, a nice sweet guy, when it happened.  It was a sensation like none other and I was blown away by it.  After, I wished my mother would have taught me a thing or two or that my girlfriends, who were having their orgasms, would have shared with me how it happened and what it was all about.  I was happy that I finally was having mine, but I wished it hadn’t taken me so long.

Now having an orgasm in a way made things a bit more complicated.  Before having a real one, I wasn’t sure what it was or felt like, so when asked by partners if I had one I would always say “yes”.  I think you can say I was faking.  Not that I didn’t enjoy myself but I was certainly faking the big “o”.

Because so many men don’t really know and sometimes don’t care about female orgasm we go through many sexual encounters that are simply unsatisfying in many levels. So what happened after my first one was that unfortunately I had to continue faking it but now fully knowing I was doing it.

I don’t have kids but if I had daughters I would want to talk to them, when time came, about their sexuality.  I would want them to own their body and desire much more than I had owned mine when I was a young woman.  I think knowing how our pleasure works can empower us as women and can help us have more of a sense of self-respect and a more satisfying sexual life.

When I met my second husband I found in him a sexual and spiritual connection.  Here was a man who really wanted to love and please me while I loved and pleased him.  He also understood that my way of being pleased was my own and it was never a reflection on his abilities.  He was a man in every sense of what the word means.

Today, I am a widow and sexually I haven’t been with anyone for about two years.  Sometimes my body screams to be touched and I think back to those days of one night stands but soon realize those were the days I didn’t understand the depths of that being naked inside and out with another human can be.

I’m not saying that every sexual encounter needs to be with your soul mate.  But I do think for the sex to be truly fulfilling, at least for me, it needs to be profound at the moment that it happens and that the two people are able and willing to share the strengths and weaknesses that make us human.   I guess my requirement is sex between two adults. I have been through too much not to see another person with love and compassion and be seen the same way.

I do know love has many meanings and shades and so does sex but at a certain point in the life of an adult some shades no longer look good on us.  So I probably won’t be having my one night stand any time soon but I do look forward to the possibility of sharing love without being concerned about the hows and whats with another person.

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