DIGNITY: THE STATE OR QUALITY OF BEING WORTHY OF HONOR OR RESPECT
“Dignity does not consist of possessing honors, but is the consciousness that we deserve them.” - Artistotle
Dignity is a quality when in well working order can dramatically change the way your relate to yourself and to other people.
Dignity feels no apology for existing, nor for taking up space.
Dignity has a simple elegance.
Your own sense of dignity will allow you to explore diet, body concerns, exercise, healing, personal work, and relationships and feel clear about what you are willing and not willing to think and do because you are honoring yourself.
Treating yourself with indignity means having to do something or be something in order to be a valuable human being. In the States, where much value is placed on what we do and our usefulness, it is no wonder for example, we neglect or perhaps even resent elders in our community and no wonder many women feel a considerable amount of pressure to “do it all.”
In the work that I do in nutrition and eating psychology, I hear some women express distress over what they feel they must be and do in order to be okay. (Eating a certain way, looking a certain way, weighing a certain amount of weight, projecting a certain image on social media).
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to eat fruits and vegetables, to look attractive, or even to want the body to look a certain way or be at a certain weight. But in what way and at what cost?
Why not infuse our ideals and goals with the dignity that all beings deserve?
I have memories of micro-pivotal moments in my life, moments of increased awareness, where with pause and straightened spine I was able to quietly say, “no, not this time” to familiar ways of compromising my own sense of dignity. For example, in college, I felt I had to exercise as a punishment for simply eating food. It felt terrible, like I had to earn my keep for being a woman who gave in to hunger.
Dignity saved me.
Dignity not only insists that you are worthy of honor and respect but it also insists that your physical body is worthy of honor and respect. This means being civil, kind to, open to, and respectful toward your body by offering gestures of peace and good will.
Do you feel the difference in tone in taking care of the body this way?
In the short FB live class I taught last week, How to Cultivate Confidence with Eating, my second suggestion for cultivating confidence was:
Decide how you want to feel and ask yourself what way of eating would support you in feeling that way.
How about dignity?
If you haven’t yet watched and you’d like to learn how to feel more confident around food and eating, here’s the 30 minute class.
Below you’ll see the seven key points I made and time signatures in case you are drawn to one or two points in particular in the video.
Notice the cycles that have a poor track record and say the truth
Identify how you want to feel and ask yourself what way of eating will help you feel like that (9:15 min)
Feeling the body/embodiment (11:57 min)
Healing polarized eating and thinking (14:41 min)
Learn about diet, the food industry, and make skillful upgrades (18:34 min)