26. Respect

Hello my wonderful friends! How are we doing this week? I feel like I’m getting closer to being back to my normal schedule and moving forward as normal, or as normal as can be. This afternoon I went into my laundry room to pull the load of towels out of the dryer and I noticed an error code on a load of clothes in my washer and I’m thinking, oh no, not again. Either something’s caught in the drain or the drain pump has stopped working. 

So I’m trying to manually catch all of the water in a bucket so I can complete the current load’s cycle and one of my kids call on the phone bawling. The pants I’m wearing don’t have pockets so I don’t have my phone with me, it’s on the couch. I don’t know what the calls about so I answer it on my watch and trying to talk to her and calm her down as I am trying to catch all of the water in this bucket, without causing too much noise or spilling it all over the laundry room floor. And I totally could’ve put in my AirPods except I lost those a few days ago. They are somewhere in the house, but nowhere to be found. We’ve looked everywhere and they have vanished. In the back of my head, I’m thinking are my AirPods blocking the washer drain?  

Anyways, I run to get my phone off the couch and try to switch over the call so there isn’t all of this noise in the background and my watch is refusing to switch it over. The call starts to get really garbled so I said I would just call back. But then I tried to call back and it kept rolling to voicemail. I had no idea my child was at work and had to help a client. All I knew was each time I called, it kept getting rejected. And I am still catching all of the water from the washer into the bucket. The hose is so short that if I let go of it water would spill everywhere and I wasn’t looking for a flood!

I finally get the washer through all of it cycles and the clothes in the dryer and just sat down to start writing my podcast and another child calls completely offended and mad because they are determined that this other person is trying to ruin their life.  So now I’m talking this child through their circumstance. 

This all happened within the space of three hours and I’m thinking what is going on?  It felt like the belly of the drama beast broke open and I was standing in the wake of all its…stuff. I don’t know. What’s in a belly full of drama?  

Anyways, that is just how life happens sometimes, right? It would’ve been so easy to get caught up in all of the drama and become overwhelmed, but because of my training and because of the change in how I think about circumstances now, I can show up differently and hopefully be a contributor in solving problems.  It’s been so helpful in my life to be able to look at circumstances with a different perspective, realizing that we have the ability to empower ourselves to act and not be acted upon. To live our lives not at the effect of, but effectively because that’s what we choose to do and that’s who we choose to be. We’re not waiting for life to be a clear straight path to function at our highest, we’re hiking the current terrain just as it is and, maybe stumbling a little or stubbing our toes, but we’re still moving in a direction towards a better version of ourselves. 

So who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for today, we’ve totally got this!

With everything going on in the world and close to home, I have decided that I want to talk a little bit about respect. Of course, I go to the Google and look up what other people are saying just to get an idea and there were a lot of opinions, but I found one that I really liked. It said when you respect someone, you consider them as a person of worth. Wouldn’t that be so nice if we could all consider everyone else as a person of worth? Wouldn’t it be great if we always considered ourselves as a person of worth? It’s funny because I also found someone who said showing respect is what civilized people do. I guess that means there’s a great deal of us in the world who aren’t very civilized anymore. Of course, that’s coming from the world according to Amber, but I watch how people act towards each other on social media and in the news and in the government and I wonder how different it would be if we all purposely considered each person as someone of worth.

Sometimes I think people who have opposing ideas think that if they are civilized to each other, then that means they are agreeing with their opinion. And I think if we all slow down a little bit and really thought about it, then we would agree that this is not true, however when there are so many opposing opinions in the world today, it’s easy to think If I am kind to this person then they will think I agree with them and we can’t have that!  

Even if they think that you are being kind to them because you agree with them, it doesn’t mean that you agree. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they think you think. What matters is how you decide to show up and if you are going to be good with yourself for showing up that way. 

When my kids were growing up I would tell them “respect demands respect”. And what I mean by that is you can’t just expect people to respect you if you’re not willing to respect them. And usually, that means that you are going to start respecting them before they start respecting you. And of course as little kids, they don’t want to be the first one to give in because maybe in some way that means they are weak. Or maybe that means they have to be vulnerable and open themselves up for rejection. And I can understand that’s probably hard for them because they are still trying to figure out who they are and what they’re worth is, so their identity is still very fragile. 

And maybe your identity is still a bit fragile. I know at times mine is. But I also know that I really want to be the person who will accept others to be themselves, no matter what that is. I want to show up as a person who will treat everyone I am around as a person of worth.

One way that helps me do this is to believe that everyone is doing the best they can. And I know my best might not be as good as your best or someone else’s best might not be as good as my best, but it is their best, in the environment that they are in, with the circumstances they’ve been given and the tools they’ve been taught to manage them. And my best is going to be different day to day and so is theirs . The upside to thinking that everyone is doing the best they can, is that you get to feel something positive and good. Whether it is compassion or love or sympathy, I don’t know, but whatever it is, you get to feel it.  Or if you were thinking, “that’s not right or they shouldn’t be acting that way” then what are you feeling? Is it anger or disgust or irritated? So when I talk about empowering ourselves, this is where we decide for ourselves how we want to feel. And maybe you want to feel irritated or disgust. And that’s OK too, but make sure you like your reasons and you’re ok with the way you’re behaving because of it and are you getting the results you want in life because of it?

I think that a lot of you are good at respecting others, but I wonder, is this an area of improvement when it comes to respecting ourselves? Answer the following questions.  

How do I treat myself?  Do I act civilized towards myself and do I treat myself as a person of worth?

How do I think about myself?  How do I talk about myself in my head and around others?

Am I judging myself for every little mistake I make or am I giving myself grace and then moving forward to fix it?

So how do you treat yourself? Are you giving yourself the time you need to take care of you?  Or do you get lost in taking care of everyone else and then are left exhausted and a little unfulfilled by the end of the day, so you’d rather not take care of you too? If each day ends like this, eventually you become too depleted to help others as well. If you want to be able to show respect and appreciation to others from the best version of you, practice on yourself.  Is there something small that you can find enjoyment in that you can do every day to rejuvenate you?

I bought myself roses the other day and said they’re from my secret admirer. And that’s not because I think I’m the best, but because I love to smell roses and I love how beautiful they look and I’m proud of myself for being able to plan a wedding that my daughter said, “it was better than I could’ve imagined”.  Ah, that makes a mama bear’s heart soar! Doesn’t it?  And I’m proud of myself for getting a basement finished and organizing all of the contractors and seeing to it that that got done. Not that I did it all by myself, because I totally didn’t.  And even with all our delays from contractors and other unforeseeable detours, and with the help from family and friends, Taylor and Grace only had to wait one day after they got back from their honeymoon to officially start moving in. 

And now I’m proud of myself for slowly tackling all the weeds in my yard. They are driving me crazy, but because I have so many other things to do, I’ve decided I will just set my timer for one hour a day and I will slowly tackle it. My yard is starting to thrive again and that thought makes me happy. 

So yes, I bought myself beautiful pink roses and each time I see them I walk up and take a deep inhale of a smell that I love.  I don’t buy myself flowers all the time, but I saw them in the store the other day and thought, “you know what? Those are beautiful!  I’ll give them a home!”  And this is one way how I’d thank others for helping me.  Are you treating yourself like you would treat someone else?  If not, start with something small just for you.

How do you think about yourself?   are your lower brain thoughts, your toddler brain thoughts, running the show?  One way to know is if you are caught in the compare and despair trap.  Your toddler brain just wants you to fit in so it’s going to be watching how you measure up to everyone around you.  Are you measuring yourself against someone else?  This might sound funny at first, but hang in there with me. I think dogs are the perfect example of not comparing. They don’t judge you for how you decorate your home or what car you drive or what food you’re eating or how much money you make or how much you weigh. They don’t care if you have a nice yard they don’t care how many likes you get from your posts or even if there’s lots of other dogs who like you or if no other dogs like you. When it’s a messy hair don’t care day or no make up day, it doesn’t matter. None of that matters to them. You matter to them.  Just you. On the days you are your best and on the days you are your worst they still love you. They just want to love you and hang out with you and play with you.  As humans, all that comparing is what causes us to think we don’t measure up and to think we are less than. 

Would I love for my home to be decorated as nicely as Joanna Gaines from fixer upper? Sure! Would I love to be as organized as Marie Kondo? Of course I would!  But I’m not going to compare myself to them because I know that I’m doing the best that I can. I can always aspire to decorate more or be more organized like that, however I can also aspire to be like me. Maybe I choose to have a style similar to Joanna Gaines but then recognize I can add my own Amber Winn flavors to make it my own. There’s only one Amber Winn, one Joanna Gaines, and there’s only one you. Respect that! If we were all the same flavor, how boring with that be?  

So maybe you look to others to find things that you like, which I do the same. We all do. But pay close attention to how you are feeling. If you’re feeling despair or shame because “let’s face it, I could never be that good”, or any other thoughts that feel negative, then you may have found what you like, but you’re comparing yourself and your abilities instead of finding out how to make it your own.  Again. My dog doesn’t look at me and say oh you weigh this much or your hair is not done today or you’re not wearing the most stylish clothes today so you’re not worth anything today. When I’ve been gone for a while and come home, she runs up to me, wagging her tail, so happy to see me as if to say oh I missed you, I missed you, I missed you! Did you miss me?  She just loves me for who I am no matter what and its a good reminder to me of how I’d like to respect and love myself no matter what.  

Your biggest clue on how you’re thinking about it is how you feel.  In all honesty, I have a long way to go in this area. Especially when I look at myself in the mirror. However, as I continue to purposely focus on the good things about my body, the better I’ll get at it and then maybe my habit of looking at myself in the mirror and being disappointed or not happy will eventually change to appreciation and admiration. Maybe one day after I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror for a time, I’ll be able to look at myself and feel the same way my dog feels when I come home.  Oh I missed you, I missed you, I missed you!  Just because you know how much worth you have and how important you are. We all are.  Knowing that you have worth isn’t being prideful, it’s understanding your true nature.

Are you demanding respect from yourself?  Are you treating yourself how you’d treat your best friend?  Do you think about yourself and talk about yourself as someone who has worth?  Remember, you matter!  On the days you are your best and the days you are your worst.  Now go out there and make a difference from a place of love and respect for others and for yourself.

And have a fabulous day!

We’ll talk to you later!  Bye!

If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours.  If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you!  go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.

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