How do you see the world you live in? What do you think people in general are really like? Do you believe that evil is triumphing over good? Is the world filled with egocentric, selfish people? Can the little guy ever get ahead? Are government entities and all their representatives corrupt and untrustworthy? Is life unfair? Is it impossible to get ahead if you don't have connections?
All of these attitudes emerge from your own assessment of your personal interaction with life. If your thoughts reflect a pessimistic view of the world, then that's actually how you feel about yourself. If your thoughts reflect an optimistic view of the world, then that's how you feel about your life. Whatever attitude you have about the world in general is a good indicator of the respect you have for your abilities to intend into this world what you desire. Pessimism strongly suggests that you don't subscribe to the idea that you can access the power of intention to help you create your own blissful reality.
I recall hearing the following conversation after the events of 9/11 in New York City. A grandfather was talking to his grandson, telling him, "I have two wolves barking inside of me. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness and mostly revenge. The second wolf inside of me is filled with love, kindness, compassion and mostly forgiveness."
"Which wolf do you think will win?" the young boy inquired.
The grandfather responded, "Whichever one I feed."
There are always two ways to look at the conditions of our world. We can see the hate, prejudice, mistreatment, starvation, poverty and crime and conclude that this is a horrible world. We can feed this barking wolf and see more and more of what we despise. But this will only fill us with the same things that we find so malignant. Or we can look at the world from a position of self love and self-respect and see the improvements that have been made in race relations in our lifetime; the fall of so many dictatorships, lower crime rates, the dismantling of the atrocious apartheid systems, the elevated consciousness of the environmental movement and the desire on the part of so many to rid our world of nuclear weapons and instruments of mass destruction. We can remind ourselves that for every act of evil in the world, there are a million acts of kindness and we can then feed the second wolf that barks from a position of hope for humanity. If you see yourself as a divine creation, you'll look for this in your world view and the gloom-and-doom naysayers will have no impact on you and your self-respect.
When you have a gloomy picture of what the world looks like, you're unreceptive to the potential assistance that's there to help you with your own individual intentions. Why would others want to come to your aid when you view them as contemptible? Why would the universal force be attracted to that which repels it? How could a world that's so corrupt ever be of assistance to someone who has noble intentions? The answers to these questions are obvious. You attract into your life what you feel inside. If you feel that you're not worthy of being respected, you attract disrespect. This weak self-respect is the result of an exceptionally rusty link to the field of intention. This link must be cleansed and purified and that takes place within your own mind.
Without high esteem for yourself, you shut down the entire process of intention. Without unflagging self-respect, the process of intention is operating at the lowest levels. The universal field of intention is love, kindness and beauty, which it has for all that it brings into the material world. Those who wish to replicate the works of the universal all-creating mind must be in harmony with the attributes of love, kindness and beauty. If you disrespect anyone or anything that God creates, you disrespect that creative force. You are one of those creations. If you view yourself disrespectfully, you've forsaken, cast aside or at the very least, sullied your connection to the power of intention.
It's important that you recognize that your entire world view is based on how much respect you have for yourself. Believe in infinite possibilities and you cast a vote for your own possibilities. Stand firm on the potential for humans to live in peace and be receptive to all and you're someone who's at peace and receptive to life's possibilities. Know that the universe is filled with abundance and prosperity and is available to everyone and you come down on the side of having that abundance show up for you as well. Your level of self regard must come from your knowing within yourself that you have a sacred connection. Let nothing shake that divine foundation. In this way, your link to intention is cleansed and you always know that self-respect is your personal choice. It has nothing to do with what others may think of you. Your self-respect comes from the self and the self alone.
The self in self-respect
Perhaps the greatest mistake we make, which causes a loss of self-respect, is making the opinions of others more important than our own opinion of ourselves. Self respect means just what it says - it originates from the self. This self originated in a universal field of intention that intended you here - from the infinite formless state to a being of molecules and physical substance. If you fail to respect yourself, you're showing contempt for the process of Creation.
You'll find no shortage of opinions directed at you. If you allow them to undermine your self-respect, you're seeking the respect of others over your own and you're abdicating yourself. Then you're attempting to reconnect to the field of intention with low-energy attitudes of judgment, hostility and anxiety. You'll cycle into low energy vibrations that will simply force you to attract more and more of these lower energies into your life. Remember, it's high energy that nullifies and converts lower energy. Light eradicates darkness; love dissolves hate. If you've allowed any of those lower negative thoughts and opinions directed your way to become the basis of your self-portrait, you're asking the universal mind do the same. Why? Because at the high frequencies, the universal Source of intention is pure creativeness, love, kindness, beauty and abundance. Self-respect attracts the higher energy. Lack of self-respect attracts the lower. It knows no other way.
The negative viewpoints of others represent their low-energy ego working on you. Very simply, if you're judging anyone, you aren't loving them at that moment. The judgments coming your way, likewise, are unloving but have nothing to do with your self-respect. Their judgments (and yours as well) distance you from your Source and therefore away from the power of intention. As my friend and colleague Gerald Jampolsky observed, "When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge."
This is how you return to the self in self-respect. Rather than judging those who judge you, thereby lowering your self-respect, you send them a silent blessing of forgiveness and imagine them doing the same toward you. You're connecting to intention and guaranteeing that you'll always respect the divinity that you are. You've cleared the path to be able to enjoy the great power that is yours in the field of intention.
Excerpted from The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way