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Forward to Happiness Radio

Forward to Happiness Radio

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Forward to Self Respect

I mentioned a few things on social media, and I thought I would put them into a post and develop them.

Imagine that you saw your child getting down on themselves, thinking that they couldn't do a good job or wasn't a good person.  You would immediately let them know that you see a good person and start telling them the good things that YOU see in them.  This is something that most parents do for their children.  It is necessary, because they often go through the day hearing criticism or comparing themselves to others.  Even when they are DOING much more than others, they do not notice, because the critics are louder and more demanding of their attention.

For a long time over the last few years, I have had to dig myself out of feeling like I was failing... failing as a provider (even though I was limited by selling car and caregiving needs) and failing as a professional.  Then, when my wife told me she wanted a divorce, I felt like a failure in being attractive, as well.

The other day, I was reflecting on how much money I lost over the years in self sacrifice to others.  The thing about sacrifice for others is that you are not allowed to mention it.  When you do, it is seen as bragging or ownership by those that receive your gifts.  However, it also robs you of seeing something important about yourself.

For example, in the last decade and a half, I took at least 30 thousand in student loans over tuition to pay for living expenses for years, after my first ex had mental issues and before I could finish my degree to fund the family with a job... expenses I covered for a wife that I would not be married to in the future and who would seek every opportunity to take from me, after.

Then, I put up my oldest daughter in my house, paid for her college costs, and drove her to and from college for two years, after she failed out of college and lost her financial aid.  After all of that, she chose to leave me, when I asked her to get a job.

In the last 4 years, I have sold a house ... severely undervalued to get the money.. for 5,000, sold 3 cars combined at 7000, and paid for many dates and wedding costs for my current wife that is leaving me.  If I had never got married or had not sacrificed for either, I would be living in a house with 40-50 thousand in investments, right now.

Then, it occurred to me... I HAD a house and 3 cars to sell and money for expenses.  I HAD succeeded as far as society definitions are concerned with both professional and masculine expectations.  Shoot....after that I took care of the house, while grocery shopping, and buying for the kids when I was limited at home, so I ALSO succeeded as a woman at the house.  The fact is that I had succeeded EVEN IN MY LIMITATIONS, but I didn't see it, because....all I heard was the criticism...just like a child.  I had also lost all of my things for others that didn't respect me, so it was a WASTE and BAD CHOICE to give them up.

I won't categorically say that ALL self sacrifice is evil, but my life has taught me that it is a thief of not only assets but self respect ... and the respect of others, even those that took things from you.  It is a sad fact, but often the way you keep the respect of others is to NOT GIVE TO THEM.  If you do, you have nothing, and they are done with you.  If you don't, you continue to have things they admire and want.  It shouldn't take that, but that does seem to be the way of the world.

So, as you move forward, take this advice.  Don't surrender your assets or your respect to anyone, at least not fully.  There will be lonely days ahead when you get down, and you need to be able to look around and say... know what?  I am good, even if they don't see it.  That is a gift you can give yourself.

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