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Is self-respect a pre-requisite for being tolerant?

What happens when we are not happy with ourselves? How does it make us feel if our own needs are not fulfilled? Why do we often consider taking good care of ourselves as a selfish act?

When we get the experiences that we want in our lives, there is not much to be said or done. More importantly though, everyone needs to answer the question what to do with experiences that they don’t want at some point in their lives. The fact that our life contains undesirable aspects simply means that we are human. How do we live and relate to the experiences that we consider unwanted or painful? What if we were to choose to relate to difficult experiences as opportunities to embrace in compassion instead of assaulting ourselves with blame?

Having a relationship with yourself is the most meaningful relationship that you will ever have. By maintaining a healthy and tolerant perspective on ourselves, we will also have the means to build healthy and tolerant relationships with others. Enhancing our awareness relating to our self-relationship holds endless possibilities for personal growth.

We have a lot more choice than we believe in how we live our individual experiences. We are conditioned to believe that negative experiences must be experienced negatively, and positive ones, positively. We can shift this belief with a different attitude towards the purpose and meaning of experiences and what they are here to offer us. Try to look for the learning opportunity that each and every experience presents to us.

The first step in becoming more tolerant with and taking better care of ourselves is to get to know us more deeply. As individuals, we need to ask ourselves these questions: Who are you as a person? What’s truly important to you? What drives you? Spend a few quiet moments with yourself and begin to assess your behaviors, your thought processes and feelings. Repeat it on a daily basis and turn this concept of self-observation into a habit. It helps you better understand yourself, discover new things about yourself, make changes to enhance your well-being, value your strengths and weaknesses, and thus perform better self-care.

When we are happy and comfortable in our own skin, we will then have the means to care for others more deeply and successfully. It is not selfish to maintain a healthy self-relationship and put our own needs first. Doing what another person wants against our better interest will only lead to frustration and resentment. We may consciously or unconsciously begin to “get back” at that person. To prevent problems from building up, let’s get things off our chests for our own happiness, and let’s take care of ourselves first.

Creating extraordinary relationships starts with you. Typically, we treat other human beings like we treat ourselves. If you are critical with your own behaviors, you are probably critical of how others behave. By becoming more tolerable of yourself, you become more tolerant of others, and others have a chance to become more tolerant of you in the process.

All experiences are opportunities to see and know the truth of ourselves more clearly. Welcome them without fear and become your own best friend.

Tolerance starts with yourself. Join the network for tolerance and let us spread the word together. We welcome your comments.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
James Thurber (1894 – 1961, American cartoonist, journalist and playwright)