Dating : How to Get Your Dignity Back

h2>Dating : How to Get Your Dignity Back

Cheyenne Skye Tanner, MBA
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” — Michael J. Fox

Let’s keep it real, none of us really want to surrender our dignity. Sometimes we may not even realize that we are giving away our self-respect because it is happening with the slowness and subtlety of a pair of braces straightening crooked teeth. Equally painful, but unacknowledged because the focus is usually on the future potential rather than the fact of the matter at hand. This tragic but common occurrence can happen in our personal friendships, romantic relationships or professional interactions. Maybe what facilitates this slow depletion of honor is the history we have with a person, the future we envision with them, or the possibility of unattainable success which has been dangled like a carrot over our insatiable appetite of hope. Maybe it is all these combined, that form the recipe for the justification of our despair and incapacitation.

When we are made to question our sanity and situational realities due to recurring incidences of manipulation, deceit or psychological abuse, it is hard for outsiders to empathize with us. To an observer all they see is a once intelligent and successful person that has now become the helpless victim of “ignorance”. Now left isolated to suffer in seclusion, either by our own humiliated choosing or the outcome of others judgements, it becomes that much more challenging to pick our shattered dignity up from the floor. Even worse, the person or people energetically draining us are rationing out sporadic refills to our optimism under the guise of a support system.

The conditioning can be so discreet it can leave you questioning your own thoughts and rationalizing your feelings away on an almost regular basis. As more day’s pass, you look in the mirror wondering where the confident, independent person you once knew went and if they are gone for good. You know that something is wrong but just like a dying battery in a remote, you don’t have enough juice left to change the channel.

Some of us go out this way. The fear of pulling ourselves out of this despair is too strong, so we live the rest of our lives retraining ourselves to get used to the subtle hum of discomfort that is low enough to tune out. The buzz will get louder though. It may show up in ways that start feeling like a string of “tough breaks”. This leaves you in a perfect position to become even more reliant on the support system which is increasingly resembling the usher to your demise.

This is where you must make a life changing decision. No matter what has happened in your past, there is little you can do to change the fact of what has already occurred. You may have lost time, money, career, growth opportunities, your health, or worse a combination of all. You may be immobilized by fear, paralyzed by confusion, or sparse on resources. You may have been abused, abandoned, or neglected in your childhood, making you feel as though this reality you are living is the best you are ever going to get. If you allow yourself to believe this, it will be.

The continued erosion of your dignity has ironically increased your tolerance for mistreatment in a vicious cycle of chicken or egg. “Maybe if I had dignity, I wouldn’t get mistreated.” “Maybe if I wasn’t mistreated, I would have more dignity.” Maybe. Instead of being trapped in this endless spin cycle of waterlogged emotion, you must act to rescue any sense of self you have left. You must dig down deep in to your soul and get in touch with your true essence, your birthright, which is to live on this earth with the unique experience you have envisioned. No one else’s vision, yours.

No matter how far you have fallen, you can start again, and I speak only from experience. Don’t be afraid, you wouldn’t be here if you were not meant to be. The issue comes when we don’t learn our lessons and we repeat cycles that are unhealthy, thinking that we are trapped in a destiny of pain and suffering. I do not want to oversimplify the process of changing your reality. There are many actions that will benefit you over time such as, self-care, morning rituals, meditation, affirmations, physical activity, nutrition and more. Once you start becoming the new you, there is also the burdensome and foul task of exhuming the aspects of your former self and all its rotten parts. This is necessary so that you can avoid another burial.

In order to begin traveling down the road of dignity and stay on it, you must first make sure that the devil of destruction isn’t holding your hand on the walk. You can attempt to make changes all you want, but few are strong enough to regain their health in the same environment making them sick. The following actions helped me to begin regaining my dignity within 24 hours:

  1. Stop rationalizing. You know when you don’t feel right. Think of that meter as a gift and listen to it. It is like a carbon monoxide detector for toxic and deadly humans. You can find an excuse to endure almost anything in life if you look hard enough. You can also easily make things your fault if you were raised to think that everything is your fault. We all have flaws, but violations are different than flaws. If you can make it through life without violating people on a regular basis, then why are you making excuses for another human being just as capable as you? Why is it your job to endure, rather than enjoy?
  2. Rip off the Band-Aid. Don’t think, just act. Make a courageous bet on yourself. Don’t be afraid. Change your reality by making fortress like boundaries immediately. Raise the mote. Cease communication, break the energy drain. You can say it is more complex, but it isn’t. About 20 years ago today, I left a life-threatening relationship with a baby on my hip, no family, no bank account and destroyed credit. This is your life we are talking about here.
  3. Let go of your story so you can make room for a new one. If you are a martyr, which I can personally relate to, you will continue to create situations in which you make misery your reality for a cause. Whatever the cause is. It could be so that another’s life experience is better or less painful, or to contribute to the greater good of an organization at your expense. This is especially true if you were raised to be responsible for the needs of a parent with no consideration of your experience or childhood joy. Your experience matters, you matter. You will continue getting the short end of the stick if you allow someone to keep handing it off to you. Rewrite the words you tell yourself.
  4. Gratitude. In order to stay out of victimhood, moping, and depression around the reality of your situation, practice gratitude. As hard as it may be, find all the ways that you have grown from this experience you have just removed yourself from. Try to look at it from a more mystical point of view rather than pragmatically. Do not beat yourself up about choices. Be grateful things are not worse, because they could be. Be grateful that where you are right this moment is an improvement in your vibration from just 24 hours ago. You are now in better alignment with your inner knowing. You are now trusting in your value. This will open new possibilities of abundance for you, even if it doesn’t happen overnight.
  5. Be filled with so much joy that others notice. Smile even when it hurts. If you are a realist by nature like me, you will have to work hard at this. Do something silly, do something brave. Find a reason to laugh at yourself. Remove all the seriousness that has shrouded your vision with the dark sunglasses of pessimism. The more you embody the wounded warrior, the more you will have to fight battles against soul snatching soldiers. Joy is a daily practice. Practice joy.

No matter what has led you to the place where you are today, the only defense against predators is a concrete self-worth and boundaries to match. Don’t worry about the days of yesteryear, when you didn’t have this skill, or it wasn’t as strong. Start today by changing the environment that is hurting you and robbing your dignity. After making the change put habits in place to make the change effective and to create permanence. If I can do it you can too.

Read also  Dating : the liminal space

What do you think?

22 Points
Upvote Downvote

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Dating : Not sure if the first date was okay or went wrong?

POF : Just in case anyone is wondering if the site is still a giant turd, it most definitely is.