I think one of the things every little girl (or twenty-something year old) dreams about is walking down a grand staircase slowly while someone waits at the bottom in awe.
The stately descent often made in movies and books by the heroine has become an iconic representation of grace, elegance and dignity.
Dictionary.com (I know, I should be their spokesperson) defines dignity as bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect; nobility or elevation of character; worthiness.
Cinderella didn’t run down the stairs during her grand entrance (hello, heels), Belle didn’t rush hastily or skip a step, Hermoine didn’t look down or play with her hair…the grand entrance down the stairs is representative of the dignity the women possess.
Dignity is the self-respect that comes from understanding your worth (nobility or elevation of character). While you may not be royalty, or even able to walk down a flight of stairs without tripping, your inherent worth is something you have as a completely unique human being with a ton of potential. Understanding this is crucial because the more we realize our own worth, the more we can make decisions that reflect the self-respect we have and in turn help others see that in themselves.
We don’t rush down the stairs because we know we don’t have to. Knowing our inherent worth is what turns into self-respect, or dignity. Decisions that come from a place of dignity reflect our best interest. Not what we feel that we want most in that moment, or what we think we should do, or what we think others want us to do, but rather the choice that truly serves our highest good (and thereby everyone else’s).
Decisions that reflect self-respect include working out, eating well, turning down invites when you know you need to rest, making dinner instead of eating out to save money, or ending a relationship (or friendship) that you know (or even suspect) to be toxic. Sometimes these decisions aren’t easy, but when we commit to acting out of self-respect it becomes easier (like most things) with practice. You also have to know, like really know, your worth first. So if that is something you need to work on, definitely make that a priority. You are here for a purpose no one else can fulfill, the world needs you!
Sometimes it can be easy to forget our worth and run on autopilot. I challenge you this week to be intentional about your decisions (even if it’s just one a day) and make them reflect your dignity. And then tell me about it! Comment below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know what you did and how it went.
Maybe even find a grand staircase to walk down 😉