Health Care Reform for Overshoppers (Part III): Self-Respect-The Third Leg of the Self Supporting Stool

In recent postings, we’ve explored two important legs of a three-legged stool that supports stopping overshopping, self-kindness and self-care. Today we look at the crucial third leg, self-respect. Taken with the other two, it offers a solid base from which the thoughtful overshopper can reach for change.

Self-respect is having the proud feeling that you matter. It’s the natural outcome of holding what you see with acceptance and compassion. People who’ve suffered abuse as children or young adults internalize the negative messages they’ve heard from others; they lose self-respect and don’t acknowledge their own worth.

Compromised self-respect must be reclaimed—and it can be. The wonderful American poet Galway Kinnell tells us this, unforgettably, in “Saint Francis and the Sow”:

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.

Self-care, self-kindness and self-respect are powerful, intricately interrelated ways of relearning the loveliness of ourselves, so that we flower again from within. They help counter the negative messages from which overshopping has been an unsuccessful attempt to escape.

In the next series of postings, which you’ll find under the heading Tips for Tracking Spending, we’ll turn from attitudes about the self to a concrete technique for reining in your spending habits.  Called weighing in, the technique helps you to see exactly what you spend and what you spend it for. It also enables you to see how much you’d save if you bought only what you genuinely needed. Once you master weighing in, you’re free of the financial fog that typically surrounds an overshopper, clouding her judgment and blurring his reality.

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