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June


Respect Yourself. Wednesday June 22, 2016

Yeah, right!

We hear that a lot, don't we? Respect yourself.

I don't know about you, but I find that difficult. I look at all the talents and gifts I have been given, and then I look at what I've done with them. I tell you, it's difficult not to just crawl away and hide under a rock sometimes.

I think it was Groucho Marx who said, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." I know how he feels.

I've been given so much, and I have used it so little.

I haven't worked for a year, and even when I am well enough to run my business it makes very little money. Prolonged ill health has meant my poor husband has had to do the job of both mother and father this past year. It is he who does all the taxi work, he does most of the cleaning, he organises the children and attends school meetings. He juggles the finances so we don't actually starve. My novel writing is going much more slowly than I had hoped and there are many other talents I am just not actively pursuing at all.

So I find it difficult to respect myself. In fact, I am ashamed.

And yes – I know that is not the view held by most of my friends (and I hold you Moodscopers as my friends).

The problem with holding someone's hand all night so they don't jump off the roof (literally or metaphorically) is that you cannot measure that in the same way you can money. Making people smile is not hard currency. It's valuable; immensely valuable, but it can't be tabulated into a neat statement of profit and loss. Writing for you every week is a good thing and I suppose I feel moderately proud of that, but then again, you make it so easy...

So no – I don't respect myself.

But having self-respect now, that's something different. Having self-respect means holding myself accountable to certain standards. It means choosing to tell the truth, even if that truth paints me in a bad light. It means making every effort to get up, shower and dress each morning, even when everything in me wants so badly to just stay in bed. It means facing unpleasant facts and taking appropriate action, even if action is the last thing I want to take.

Self-respect means turning up in your inbox every Wednesday morning. It means honouring my commitments to my friends, attending appointments on time, cooking meals for my family.

It means doing what I can when I can.

And accepting that I can't possibly do everything I could possibly do.

If I can't respect myself, at least I can be kind to myself.

And respect myself for that, at least.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Hopeful One Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 5:08am

Hi Mary- such a well crafted blog going to the heart of self respect. What you say is true but self respect to me also involves not being so self judgemental . It involves a degree of unconditional self compassion, a loving kindness and a loving friendliness towards one self . Have your standards by all means but don't compare your performance with those around you as that given the negative bias of our minds lead to some form of self dislike loathing even and self condemnation , a result completely opposite of self respect.

You say a smile is vaiuable . Me thinks you need one. This flight was organised just for you!

God was fed up. In a crash of thunder he yanked up to Heaven three influential humans: Barack Obama ,Putin and Bill Gates. "The human race is a complete disappointment," God boomed. "You each have one week to prepare your followers for the end of the world." With another crash of thunder they found themselves back on Earth. Obama immediately called his cabinet. "I have good news and bad news," he announced grimly. "The good news is that there is a god. The bad news is, God's really mad and plans to end the world in a week." In Russia, Putin announced to parliament, "Comrades, I have bad news and worse news. The bad news is that we were wrong: there is a god after all. The worse news is God's mad and is going to end the world in a week." Meanwhile, Bill Gates called a meeting of his top engineers. "I have good news and better news. The good news is that God considers me one of the three most influential men on Earth," he beamed. "The better news is we don't have to fix the bugs in Windows "


Orangeblossom Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:59am

Thanks for the joke Hopeful one. I thought it was great & will share it with members of my family.

LillyPet Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:00am

Ha ha! Nice one H.O.! :)

LillyPet Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:01am

Also I loved your very wise comment. One worth keeping and looking back on. Thank you. LP :)

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:15am

Thank you HO! Yes - I needed that smile. Loved it and will be sharing it with absolutely everyone today!

Lou Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:16am

Mary,

What an insightful and brave post. You very much echo how I often feel; if only I worked harder, tried harder I could have achieved so much more - dismissing completely the health issues I live with!

My life is about to change drastically and your words;

"doing what I can when I can.

And accepting that I can't possibly do everything I could possibly do."

Are so apt and well timed it was almost as if you were talking just to me!

Thanks for this post and letting me know I am not alone in how I feel.

Lou

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:17am

Lou, thank you so much. Because when I do these "raw honesty" blogs I usually end up feeling terribly self-indulgent! Your words let me know that my self indulgence can actually be useful to others. that's invaluable. Thank you again.

Maria Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 12:12pm

Thank you Mary your honesty really resonated although on first reading I couldn't see the difference between respecting oneself and self respect . The first half of your blog was judgemental and self critical and the second half compassionate and loving. A conflict That too familiar to me . I too have physical and mental health issues which make me feel ashamed of not achieving everything I possibly could . I waste so much time listening to self critical anxious thoughts and trying to get away from them . I think the idea of acceptance is so key to allowing the positive voice to be heard . When I am compassionate and kind to myself ; I move towards the things I want in my life; to love my family and friends; to be a good teacher; to laugh and have fun; to feel in control of my body by looking after it the best I can ; to find new challenges So you have helped me understand that dealing with the shame by accepting it ; I free myself up to be more positive Thank you

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 1:38pm

Maria - you are most welcome!

Lou Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:16am

Really enjoyed today's joke, thanks HO!

Belinda Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:40am

Thank you Mary for your honest words.
I am not being very productive at the moment & it helps to know I am not the only one. At least you composed the blog for us all to read. Thank you.

Nick Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:54am

Respect. XX

Nick Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:54am

Respect. XX

Orangeblossom Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 7:06am

Hi Mary thanks for sharing your fears candidly. I always enjoy reading your blog, look forward to it& it never disappoints. Like me you appear to have a tendency to flaillate yourself. Hope that sharing how you feel helps you to come to terms with the obstacles you are currently facing. Thinking of you. Thank

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:21am

Hello Orangeblossom. Um - thank you (quickly looks up flaillate to make sure it means what she thinks it means - winking face emoticon). Yes - apparently so. Next time you go whip shopping I'll come too! I think it's time we co-ordinated my flails with our outfits, don't you? If we're going to beat ourselves up then let's do it with style!

S Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 8:37am

Dear Mary, thank you for sharing, fear and shame are better out in the open in my opinion. I also think that being creative, you will have many more ideas and talents than you can possibly ever do - and it makes it easy to beat oneself up. I went to a group I hadn't been to in ages at the weekend- I felt guilty - my friend said that I had made other choices - he could see a positive. Holding someone's hand when they don't want to be here anymore has no price and is a very kind act. Thank you Mary, I will think of you today, Sxx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:27am

Thank you. I appreciate your kind thoughts

S Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 8:40am

Lesley, I replied to your comment from yesterday, Sx

S Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 8:42am

TF, thanks for your reply the other day, lost track of which day is which. Glad the Pilates went well-known am really feeling last night's yoga!! Sx

LillyPet Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 8:57am

Hi Mary,
Yes, it's kind to yourself to feel that it is ok to do things your way. I've never thought of the differrnce between respecting myself and having self respect. If anyone is judging you, they shouldnt be. You and your partner work out family life your way.

Because my emotions have been a big focus in my life and I wear my heart on my sleeve, I used to tell myself that I had "no self respect". I can now see how that's nonsense! Damaging too.
I'm all for not beating myself up about how I've done or do things and what it MIGHT look like to others.
In our home we do things our way and that's ok.

Also I treat people with kindness, (unless they have overstepped my personal line). For me it's important and I respect that I live my life that way, whether or not others do!
Thank you for sharing Mary, much food for thought and hope.

Wishing a gentle on ourselves day to all. LP xx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:26am

Ah LillyPet - I have recently had to help a dear friend compose a difficult letter. a letter in which they put their heart out there openly on the line, but made it clear they were not needy - the kind of "I love you and I want you but I don't need you so you can choose to walk away freely if you wish" letter. That was showing emotion but also exhibiting self respect because it allowed the other person a choice. I'm sure you have always done that too. I think there's nothing wrong with showing emotion, but there is also consideration for others to take into account too. There is a lot of kindness in this Moodscope community here!

A View from the Far Side Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:30am

Mary, you have a huge talent for writing and you are breaking new ground with your honest, insightful blogs. I remember a past one where you wrote about writing Mills & Boon. I used to try and write those, but realised I needed a bigger canvas. When that didn't work, I crawled away under a rock and did nothing. I gave up the thought of writing, it was too exhausting to live with myself on the page alone - out of that came the Moodscope blogs and a new idea of an autobiography - helped in part by what I do here. Who knows whether when finished it will be publishable, but there are facets here that are already - the poem on Saturday for example. So what I'm trying to say is maybe it's just that you're in flux and these blogs are the direction your writing is taking, without you even realising. By the way I think you and your husband are awesome people to deal together with the brutal tyranny of your illness and its constant day-to-day demands. Respect lady, respect! Have you noticed we are turning into a mutual love fest ;-)

A View from the Far Side Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:35am

Just to add that writing blogs for a community - or writing a book that involves research and talking to others - is very different than just creating something out of your head. You get so much more feedback and there's not so much solitude, which when one is a people person like I am, is not very comfortable.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 1:40pm

Yes, Far Side, I know exactly what you mean. I too have other books - books that are more factual - but it is my lovely characters who ask for their stories to be told who drive me: I feel I cannot fail them.

A View from the Far Side Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:33am

Lastly, there was an article in the Guardian today about an illustrated book a lady wrote on anxiety, I'm sharing the link here because a) it ties in with what I just wrote to you Mary, but b) I thought others would enjoy reading it too.https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/22/are-you-anxious-asks-picture-book-helps-me-face-my-answer. I'm out of communication until Monday so won't respond to any comments until then.

Adrian Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 9:42am

Powerful blog Mary - an incredibly important distinction. So helpful. Thank you.
Ax

Lex Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 11:08am

I think this is my favourite blog from you yet, Mary - and we all know they are ALL great writing. Interesting how many of us will respect you all the more for writing this.
On the edge of falling to pieces, we can write our best work.
And here's my thought for all of us today, provoked by the authenticity of your blog: can we respect our art? Yes we can!
I'm not going to overwhelm you with positive affirmations of how wonderful you are, because your heart is telling you something else at the moment. And, oh goodness, how I understand you. But I would love to shift your attention to your writing - and say, from the bottom of my heart, from the depths of my emotion - Mary, respect your writing - for your words bring hope and change lives.
In grateful appreciation and deepest respect, L'xx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 1:41pm

Thank you Lex.

Lexi Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:52pm

Here here Lex. Ditto from me. Mary- your writing is a joy to behold.

The Gardener Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 5:17pm

A quick one on noticing Mills and Boon - I thought I'd have a go, easy-peasy - best-seller in no time. Submitted sample chapters - reply was 'We think you'd do better if you'd ever read one of our books'. Well deserved, still haven't read one. Sitting here - storm looming - will I have to dive to save the machines? Also fighting back tears, my birthday - whole morning love and friendship, then Mr G turned nasty - worst birthday ever now. But Mary - self respect - is it impossible when frequently depressed? Self-denigration seems to be part of the package. I've always had a job to be proud of what I've done (except gardening - can't help be proud when so many people come to see them). Now it's almost a daily litany - I have produced a 'made to measure' environment for Mr G. Everything I do, however minor, I do to the best of my ability. Sounds pernickety but a room must be impeccable before I leave it. And as Mr G comes in with verbal abuse every 5 minutes and tells me what an awful wife I am I MUST cling to my self-respect and the knowledge that everything that I can do or cause to be done is done. 'To thine own self be true' my book of quotations is in other house - does it chime with self-respect and today's blog? Oh for a glass of champagne in congenial company - settle for cheap muscat in what, today, is a beautiful prison

Lexi Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:50pm

Happy Birthday TG! I am symbolically clinking champagne flutes with you today. You are a beautiful person with so much compassion and patience. Steal 5 minutes away if you can just for yourself and know that we love you!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 7:17pm

Laughing so much here - over the reply to your M&B submission! I echo Lexi. And yes - to thine own self be true is all part of it, I'm sure.

Hopeful One Thu, Jun 23rd 2016 @ 4:16am

Hi Gardner- a belated Happy Birthday. ' If you find yourself in Hell keep going' Sir Winston Churchill.

Lexi Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 6:43pm

Hi Mary...I finally figured out the "Mary Wednesday"...a bit slow here in Chicago..I have almost a daily struggle with myself and what I "should" be doing and what actually transpires on an average day. I should be getting up at the crack of 5am every morning, getting in my meditation and yoga and running and then spending the next 7 hours completing everything on my to do lists for my clients and getting paid handsomely for it, then rounding off the day by picking up my daughter and spending valuable time with her doing educational things until it's time to make a healthy dinner and get us off to bed as a reasonable hour. But in reality my average day looks more like today: daughter decides she hates camp and wants to stay home with me (I work from home) so here we are still in bed at 11am, me on the laptop working on emails and her eating lunch - mac n cheese from a box- and working on the latest downloaded game. I gave the dog peanut butter and left him to his own devices in the backyard. At some point I will make a few phone calls and she will watch the latest PBS show...well you get the idea. And this is a good day for me, when I score in the 50%s and I wake up feeling not so despondent. But in the past year or so I've learned that my average day is actually a good day. No, I'm not breaking any records in the design world but I am answering calls and emails and getting work done. I'm learning to be more gentle with myself - respecting my boundaries and limitations and energy levels. So that is a long way of saying that I respect you and glad you have self respect for yourself because you are such an inspiration to me and you keep me and so many of us here going, and I think that's worth all the money in the world.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 7:22pm

Oh Lexi - what a beautiful reply. I think that's a blog post in itself. I can see you propped up in bed with your daughter and the dog outside with peanut butter... And I'm Mary Wednesday because there was another Mary so I didn't want confusion

The Gardener Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 7:59pm

Struggling with the tears and misery of the most awful birthday - so, come here for refreshment. Chicago, windy city, huh? I hate wind, so off my visiting list. Camp - totally diffused with poor Charlie Brown, off to summer camp, and hating it. And peanut butter sandwiches every day. I find Charlie Brown incredibly relaxing - the awful Lucy, Linus and his blanket, Schroder and Beethoven, Pig Pen and poor ugly Peppermint Patty - brilliant. And Giles, the awful Granny - my beloved Nanna had the same hat, but not the same character. We have 30 years of Punch magazines, plus 10 years from the end of the 19th century - their sardonic view of life is refreshing - and repeats itself every generation - only technology is new. I'm really sad and verbose. A Punch joke. american guy, bad day at the office, home for the Martini and dinner. Wife in new kitchen, in tears. 'Honey, I've lost the oven, dinner's off!'

Frankie Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 10:03pm

Happy Birthday dear Gardener ... You, of all people have done this "To thine own self be true" ... Frankie x

Frankie Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 10:03pm

Happy Birthday dear Gardener ... You, of all people have done this "To thine own self be true" ... Frankie x

S Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 10:50pm

Happy Birthday Gardener, Sx

Frankie Wed, Jun 22nd 2016 @ 10:01pm

"And accepting that I can't possibly do everything I could possibly do." - so true, but, Oh, SO hard! Thank-you Mary. Frankie xxx

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