I Will Not Dishonour My Soul
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
This line from Diane Ackerman’s poem, School Prayer from I Praise My Destroyer (Vintage Books, 2000) grabbed me.
It opened my eyes and my heart.
(Don't you Love when that happens? Those seemingly insignificant moments that end up being monumental turning points in our life.)
It shone a light on the gravity of every unkindness toward myself. I was no longer just hurting what I saw as my little, insignificant human self. But rather, I was dishonouring my soul—the beautiful, sacred part of me that Loves me unconditionally and only ever wants the very best for me.
And I Love Her.
And I forget She is me.
So I started a practice:
I Will Not Dishonour My Soul....
When I catch* myself being unkind to me (or anyone else for that matter) I declare with gentleness and whole-hearted compassion:
I will not dishonour my soul with _________.
I fill in the blank with the soul-crushing act, which could be a judgment, a comparison, when I’m considering saying yes when I want to say no, or when I'm shoulding myself into pushing myself when resting would be the self-respecting thing to do. Geesh, there’s no limit to how we deny, denigrate, and disregard ourselves.
It’s important to acknowledge the specific dishonouring so we become aware of the ways we’re not being kind and Loving toward ourselves—and, more importantly, so that we can turn them around, which I call doing a YOU-turn (more about that another time).
*Catching myself is a challenge, because, if you’re like me, the ways I've disrespected myself over the years have been so commonplace and insidious, that it can be hard to recognize. It’s a habit. AND! these kinds of toxic habits can be replaced with Loving habits, which is exactly what this practice aims to do.
This beautiful, mindfulness practice not only propels me to take care of myself, but each time that I do, I'm re-building trust in myself to care for me and to have my own back.
Take Loving Action
Join me in noticing when you dishonour yourself. Feel unspeakable compassion for the ways you've been neglecting or disrespecting your needs, your body, your sweet human self, and your soul. Do a YOU-turn and vow that you will no longer dishonour yourself and your soul because you deserve Loving-care and goodness.