Is spirituality about turning the other cheek after being slapped on one? Can the words ‘ego’ and ‘self- respect’ dare to present itself in the dictionary of a spiritual person? Does spirituality ask for absolute compliance in everything? How can anything be condemned by a person who wishes to renounce the world?
I am sure the above questions are no stranger to you. These would have come up when you had to put your foot down and say no. Your own mind would have inspected to ensure the fight you are putting up is to be heard and certainly not to strengthen your ego. And, the pressure is more real when your views don’t match with the group you belong.
And anyways, it is foolishness to just superficially embrace somebody’s thought when you are not in a capacity to follow it. If somebody slaps you on one cheek, would you happily turn in another one? Just because Jesus or Buddha did it, doesn’t mean you angrily replicate their actions. Isn’t spirituality about inner growth?
There is no hurry. Accept yourself for whatever you are at the moment internally. Build from there. Nothing should rob your intellect of its capacity to choose the right thing in a situation. Although keep in mind your choices are stemming from your limited knowledge. So, there is always scope for improvement. Before we call someone wrong, we should see if we are slaves to our own beliefs. Are we just resisting or ‘hearing’ others out? Most of the time it is the ego at play but we mistake it to be something that is protecting our self-respect.
Poor Ego has got such a reputation that even thinking about it is a SIN. It is one of those things that everybody indulges in but never wants to be associated with. Also, we comfortably ignore the role it plays in the process of our self-preservation.
Does that mean Ego is good? Nothing is good or bad in itself. It exists because it is required to survive and to evolve. If we knew where to stop then the above question itself becomes unnecessary.
In short, what I mean to say is, “do resist” but only after listening to others. If you still do not see any good then you should but your INTENTION shouldn’t be shallow. We will encounter people who will challenge us and whose views might not be right for obvious reasons. But we can use them to strengthen our resolve and thereby forming a new habit. If you loose your calm at times, it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up but stop indulging in it as soon as you realise.
Besides, it is all in the word ‘Self-Respect’- respecting THAT SELF/Divine in everything that we see. That is why we do Namaste.
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” -Martin Luther King, Jr….I love this quote for reasons different from what it might have been said for.