Saturday, September 18, 2010

R E S P E C T... find out what it means to you

Saturday, 18 September 2010 - A good friend told me once that everyone has a wall built up around them. There are few people you will respect enough in your lifetime that you will allow to knock a few bricks down and find their way in to your inner self. If there is someone there who you can let in, someone you can share your pains with, and your joys with, then that is a special someone indeed.

I fancy myself pretty lucky. There are a few people that mean enough to me, that I respect enough, to allow them in to that inner place... that inner sanctum of my protective barrier. My bubble is pretty thick, but there are a few who get inside. Maybe it is self preservation, maybe it is a way of keeping my cards close, but what it really seems to be is common.  Everyone has a wall.  Some walls are 4 feet high, some are 12 feet high. Some require nothing more than a short run at it to get over, others need a grappling hook and special shoes. It is a revelation to me to find out that we all have one of these fine borders around us, and brings on a deep sigh of relief. Who knew?

Ok, maybe instinctually we all know this. It is the human condition to protect ourselves. Trust and respect is a hard thing to gain, and when we gain that of those around us, we are acutely aware of the fine line that threads it together. As the saying goes, it takes years to build trust and respect, it takes merely suspicion not fact to destroy the same. Today is Respect Day, a day to respect those and that which surrounds us. Is there something or someone you respect, or once respected, but let suspicion get in the way? This is your day to put that aside and go back to that happy place.

What do you respect? Who do you respect? What is it you respect? I respect honesty above all else. I also can respect the need for silence, and the need to share. I respect bleeding emotion when it's too much to hold inside. I respect all of this in others. In myself, I fear these are the failings that will lead to a lack of respect. Is this common? Is respect for the self built on a different foundation than the respect we have for others? Are the foundations we build for ourselves so slippery that a heavy rain, or a good cry, will send our house of cards tumbling in to the river? Can we gain strength in the drought, or does the drought make the foundation that much more fragile? In the dry season, we can put aside our emotions and get on with life when it is at these moments that we should be working on our foundations.

Every foundation has cracks, that is what keeps us honest and humble. Some cracks are bigger than others. A little sealant, a little glue, and we're good to go. Sealant can be as simple as getting out an enjoying the things in life that make us happy. A day in the field throwing around a ball, a day in bed throwing around a ball, a day in the mall shopping and having a ball - what you enjoy grounds you. Respect yourself enough to get out and be yourself. Respect Day might be about respecting others, but if you forget about you, it gets real hard to celebrate this one. Admit it... you are one person you can always count on. Respect that Aretha.

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