Respect Yourself !

Sitting through the family counseling sessions at the local police station with a friend who has the amazing strength to spend her days among the most insane, dramatic, hideous, horrifying, yet some very senseless arguments among families and mostly couples on the verge of moving on as individuals – I realized the zero respect most women put in themselves. And yes, I am not only talking about the uneducated, underprivileged class of women that we look down upon as the underdogs. The temperament to sacrifice their self-esteem, desires, dreams and life is as much instilled in the urbane women as in the downtrodden.

Across the table from my counsellor friend was a beautiful and graceful woman, dressed in a trendy Biba kurti, with a master’s degree in Human Resources; my human mind failed to comprehend the reason she was allowing herself to be mistreated, cheated and humiliated for almost three years. Her husband is a well-established chartered accountant in the city and holds a very respectable position. The woman in discussion here is his wife of seven years, mother to his child, a wonderful home-maker, an intelligent and most importantly a very presentable companion in all his social endeavours. Behind the rosy curtains, she is constantly being reminded by her husband of her worthlessness as a housewife, her dependability on him for every need, she is made to believe that the flings he keep having outside of his home are her own incompetency. Now, the family gets involved due to his expanding notorious standing and convinced her to file for divorce. The husband takes this as an opportunity and proves it to be an insult, throws her out of their house but refuses to divorce her. And here is this woman – educated, smart and filled with undiscovered potential, pleading my friend to counsel her husband to take her back. And here we are – talking of women liberalization.

She is not the only one. Two hours after returning home, my mind has worked out a long list of women who are in almost the same situation, suffering with different hues of disrespect. I wonder what is it in us that keeps us wanting to cling to the decaying cadavers of our relationships. Is it the fear of social outrage, the fear of starting our life all over again, the pain of leaving behind the years of labour we spend in building a family, the lack of confidence in our own capabilities or the complete ignorance of the opportunities waiting for us to explore? The opportunities that could help us rediscover our strength, gain confidence in our talents, make a life of our own designs, and relive the happy hard work of creating a haven where we are loved, valued and respected – not only by others but most importantly by ourselves.

I read somewhere that most dreams are killed because of a single reason – what will people think about it. The fact we forget is that it is human nature to talk, there will always be people to pull you down, to mock you or blame you. If you do not get yourself out of a disrespectful under-valued position, people will mock you for your pitiful situation; if you get out of it, people will criticise your nerve but will marvel at your courage once you prove your worth and claim your respect. Women need to understand that they are no less than their counterparts and they can create a life of their own. Once we start respecting ourselves, the society will learn to respect single mothers and unmarried women. Marriage is a beautiful institution, but we should not forget that a marriage without love, values and respect is as unsubstantial and harmful as a vicious weed feeding on your soul; you can cling to it your whole life for nothing but disappointment.

imagesWomen Who Win is not only about growing our own self, but reaching out in the society and inspiring a positive change. Take a moment today, to look around you and see if there is a fellow sister in your vicinity that needs a helping hand, motivate her and help her get out of the darkness. In life, the one most important lesson that the school books forget to teach us is – learning to let go. Whether it is a destructive relationship, an unworthy job, a negative friend, an ungrateful partner, or a self-inflicted negative influence – learn to let go and make room for positive and happy gifts of life. Your life is a gift of God, love yourself and respect your soul.

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