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What does it mean to Honor the Self?

Such great wisdom from Dr Nathaniel Branden:
The first act of honoring the self is the assertion of consciousness. The choice to think, to be aware, to send the searchlight of consciousness outward toward the world, and inward toward your own being. To fail in this effort is to fail the self at the most basic level. 

To honor the self is to be willing to think independently, to live by your own mind, and to have the courage of your own perceptions and judgments. 

To honor the self is to be willing to know not only what you think, but also what you feel, what you want, need, desire, suffer over, are frightened or angered by, and to accept your right to experience such feelings. The opposite of this attitude is denial, disowning, repression, self-repudiation. 

To honor the self is to preserve an attitude of self acceptance, which means to accept what you are without self criticism, without lying about who you are in a pretense aimed at deceiving either yourself or someone else. 

To honor the self is to live authentically. To speak and act on your innermost convictions and feelings. 

To honor the self is to refuse to accept unearned guilt, and to do your best to correct any guilt you may have earned. 

To honor the self is to be committed to your right to exist, which comes from the knowledge that your life belongs to you, and that you are not here on Earth to live up to somebody else’s expectations. To many people, this is a terrifying responsibility. 

To honor the self is to be in love with your own life, in love with your possibilities for growth and for experiencing joy. In love with the process of discovery and exploring your uniquely human potential. 

To honor the self is to practice selfishness in the highest, noblest and least understood sense of that word. And this requires as we shall see, enormous independence, courage and integrity.”

– Dr. Nathaniel Branden

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