Dignity is the spirit or quality of the miracle of life; the very fact of our existence. You and I are alive, we live…. the fact that we are living is no small matter. All of life has this quality of innate Dignity, not just people, but also animals and plants.
Through compassion we can see pride as a protection against humiliation and shame.
Through compassion we know shame to come from a lack of dignity.
Dignity is lost to someone when they are treated as if they are not innately valuable. When they are treated without due consideration of the unique miracle they are.
Prideful behaviour and thoughts are an attempt to remedy the shame and humiliation of being considered, feeling oneself to be or treated as less than. This shame and humiliation is internalised and experienced in how we treat ourselves and also in how we treat others.
From a young age, it is the treatment from others and how we interpret and internalise this, that shapes us. It is how we come to conclude who we must or seem to be and becomes who we think we are.
Dignity is like Love in that it has of itself no opposite. Only when Dignity and Love are denied, broken or impeded, does there comes to exist a polarity; between the shame we feel and the transformative redemption from it that we crave. Between the feeling of being of no value and the release from that pain into feeling and knowing oneself lovable.
Through the emotional process of moving to and fro between the two, we attempt to regain the state of innate dignity and love, of which the experiential knowledge and awareness has been lost. We cover the pain of our loss with pride and contempt for the dignity of others and derision of love. And so our loss of dignity, subconsciously colours how we relate to others, to situations we find ourselves in and to how we know our place in the world.
Dignity is the spirit or quality of the miracle of life; the very fact of our existence; unchanged by the comings and goings of the material world or the actions and workings of the mind. You and I are alive, we live…. the fact that we are living is no small matter. All life has this quality of innate Dignity, not just people, but also animals and plants.
If Love is the all-encompassing foundation of all that is, Dignity is the result of the miraculous fact that each one of us live to experience it. Dignity is the state of unequivocal value of each person or thing born into this world.
When we learn, as children, that Love and Dignity are things to earn, or things to buy, or things that are ours or not ours through social standing, sex or age, we come to believe in error that this essence is a conditional in quality. Something that is far or forever out of reach, but deeply longed for all the same. Our mind, only being able to fathom what it has learned from the past, whether in error or not, is powerless to uncover Love and Dignity.
However, this longing affirms that in our heart of hearts we do have memory of the truth; that we exist in Love and therefore carry Dignity. It is the grace of existence; our unequivocal value and connectedness. And it is through our hearts that we return.