I choose respect!
I want to respect others, even my loved ones with addictions and other behavioral problems. But, often I find myself feeling resentment and even contempt for my loved ones from watching or being the target of irrational and irresponsible behavior. I know that resentment or contempt will show in my words, attitude and actions even if I’m trying very hard to be civil and even tempered.
My loved ones have a battered ego and low self-esteem from struggling with their addictions. I know their behavior is often because of their guilt and confusion. All people have good qualities that I can focus on. When I rid myself of resentment and contempt and have good feelings for my loved ones, then this comes through in my attitude, words and behavior. They can feel my respect and belief in them and this may help raise their self-esteem.
I can choose my own responses and attitude. I choose respect and love.
It is important to learn all I can, to read books on all kinds of subjects, because it helps me to see myself and others more clearly. The more I know myself and see clearly the more I can love and respect others.
The atonement not only allows me to be forgiven of my sins when I repent, but pays for and compensates for all sadness, pain and tears. I have agency and make choices good and bad. Sometimes I do not realize that I am causing others pain. The atonement covers that as well, for both of us.
Respect is essential! It is OK if others have different ideas than I have. It is never OK to get angry at someone because they do not think the same or do not know what I want or am thinking. No one else is responsible for my feelings. When something goes wrong I should not blame others. I can be loving and kind to those around me even if I have had a bad day or feel bad. I can show empathy by asking how someone else’s day went. When I give loving hellos and goodbyes to my loved ones they can feel my love. I can share my dreams and myself with my loved ones. I can listen to someone without interrupting or trying to think of a response, but instead really hear what they are saying. When others are happy I can be happy with them and celebrate with them their achievements. I can show interest in other people’s interests. I can respond to others, engage with others and be a good friend, especially in my family. It is not OK to ignore another person. It is not OK to divert a conversation to avoid discussing a problem.
Respect takes time and effort but earns respect back from healthy people. When I respect myself and others my self-esteem grows.
What is respect?
When I was growing up, I learned very little about how respect really works. There was demand for and talk of it, but no one showed respect for each other.
As an older adult at work, I learned that I receive value when I work hard and do my part and then trust others to do their work. But, in my personal life I had trouble respecting myself or my loved ones with addictions.
In support meetings we treat each other with love. I hear that everyone is worthwhile and loveable. We take turns sharing and everyone is given a chance to speak. We thank each other for sharing. I am learning not to judge, criticize, argue or give advice. When we listen to each other the spirit is present and our shared words are there for anyone to absorb and use or to discard. In support meetings we value each other.
I am learning that I need to give others time to learn difficult lessons just like I need time. As I learn to value others I am beginning to respect myself and my loved ones.