Please Listen Poem

When I ask you to listen to me and you start to give me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen.  Don’t talk or do – just hear me. Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

And I can do that for myself; I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.

But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.

And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.

Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.

Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people – because God is mute, and He doesn’t give advice or try to fix things.

God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.

So please listen, and just hear me.

And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn – and I will listen to you.

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Children Poem by Khalil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies; so He loves also the bow that is stable.

By Khalil Gibran

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Self-respect

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Respect itself is not easily achievable. It is something we have to earn. We all know what self-respect is, but do we give ourselves the opportunity to really experience it?

Self-respect comes before respect for others

Sometimes it is easier to respect others. We can use the respect we have for others to inspire us if we really want to. Events happen in life which make us question our worth, thus affecting our self-respect.

There may be other people you admire or look up to. What do they have that is worthy of your admiration? Try to emulate these admirable qualities.

One example of the worst kind of scenario for losing your self-respect is when you are involved with someone in a bad relationship. You get treated badly, yet you find it difficult to deal with the problem or lack the courage to leave.

Respect me

How can we improve our self-respect?

  1. When we interact with others, their behaviour can influence us without our realization. For instance if you don’t like smoking but your associates all smoke, you can easily fall into the same trap. This is where you have to show respect for your own beliefs by staying away from these associates while they choose to smoke.
  2. If you are in a bad relationship, ask yourself would your partner tolerate this bad behaviour from you? When you have built the courage to stand up for yourself against the ill-treatment, you will find that your partner shows you respect. If they don’t, then perhaps it is worth considering if that person is even worthy of your respect.
  3. Think about all the things you find respectful. Are you living up to that potential? If not, ask yourself why you are compromising your self-respect. You will remain unhappy internally while you choose to compromise this aspect of your life.

The level of self-respect within us can define who we are. Self-respect gives rise to living a happier life. When you refuse to go against your value system, you are respecting yourself.

When we show ourselves that level of respect by living the life we aspire to, other people can view your commitment to yourself and chances are these same people will respect you for this instead of condemning you.

Value yourself. You are a unique and special person. Respect yourself and others will follow. Show others the type of ideal life you aspire to by living according to your value system. Respect other people’s value system as you expect yours to be respected.

Assess what your original version of self-respect was as a young person and compare it to how you have changed. If you have compromised your self-respect in any way and feel you are not worthy of something, ask yourself what happened to chip away at that original feeling of self-respect and challenge yourself to build it back up again.

What sort of factors in life can cause you to compromise your self-respect? and once self-respect is compromised, how can you rebuild it?

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