The Essential Quality of Human Dignity
Though many may feel the loss of dignity through adverse life circumstances, the quality of unconditional self-worth never leaves nor is it capable of leaving. For it is part of the divine origin of each embodied being.
Each person is born with dignity. This is not only something that you feel but something that you are. Dignity is a quality of soul that confers upon each embodied being unconditional self-worth. Though many may feel the loss of dignity through adverse life circumstances, the quality of unconditional self-worth never leaves nor is it capable of leaving. For it is part of the divine origin of each embodied being.
Dignity, or unqualified self-worth, is not dependent upon success in life, or on intelligence, appearance, age, or outer characteristics of any kind. It belongs to your inner being, who you are at your deepest core. What happens in life that takes away the sense of dignity or that robs one of the experience of it, is an assault upon the valuing of life itself.
When we observe the various circumstances that can rob a person of their sense of dignity, we can look at outer things and inner things. Experiences of being ‘less than,’ oppression in its many forms, shaming, and the dehumanization of one’s work, all remove from an individual his or her sense of dignity. Yet, more than outer circumstance, inner events play a significant part in such a loss.
Energies of negation can intrude into one’s psychological makeup so that instead of seeing the gifts that one is bringing to others and to life, one sees only what is lacking, incomplete, or in need of healing. To see what has not yet arrived is good as a way of holding reality. However, if one sees only this and not what is already present, there can be little appreciation for the self as it already exists, even in its state of limitation.
Energies of negation invalidate the qualities of self and of spirit that are the most important, making other qualities more important that the self may only have regarded peripherally, if at all, because they were not what its deepest heart gravitated toward. Self-invalidation is the result of a mind and a perspective that has joined with an energy of negation so that what one is, and what one stands for, seems not good enough, and what one has not yet achieved or mastered is the primary point of identification.
Self-invalidation happens so commonly that one may not even notice that it is present. One person may feel that what they say is never good enough, or clear enough, or well thought out enough, or wise enough, and so is always in doubt about how they are coming across. Another may feel that the limitations of their physical body are much more important than the gifts of their mind, heart, and spirit. A third may feel that they need to be like others in order to feel self-worth, and yet within themselves may know themselves to be different.
There are so many ways to invalidate oneself, and they are all enhanced by energies of negation that introduce false beliefs into the picture of who one is. For the true picture is that you were born in dignity, and your unconditional self-worth remains because of who you are, not what you do, say, or feel.
The removal of self-invalidation comes through recognizing its presence and the energy behind it. That energy is a saboteur, always moving thought toward what is deficient, lacking, or imperfect. One does not have to accept this movement as ‘real,’ however. One can feel the pull in the direction of self-negation and determine to go in the opposite direction. Such a decision is an action of both intellect and will – intellect that recognizes what is happening, and will that feels enough strength to move in a different direction.
Separating from energies of negation that promote self-invalidation is a spiritual practice of great import. It fosters a way of standing in the world with a solid sense of self, as well as a view that opens doors to further growth, rather than closing them. This is the way of the future, when each one will come to know themselves as a complete and whole being, and limitation of any kind will be seen as part of the human experience, to be joyfully accepted as a path of learning.