It's a harsh world that we live in. If you aren't your own biggest advocate, you'll never have anyone else who really will. This is why it breaks my heart to see people who don't believe in themselves, especially as someone who used to be one of those people.
Lately, I've been having someone repeatedly treat me in a way less than what I deserve. I'm not going to get into it here as the person may be reading this blog. But you know what? I, once again, stood up for that person once and for all. It's been a bit difficult, given that situational disrespect is less easy to identify than outright verbal disrespect. But you know what? I'm still not going to tolerate it.
I've written about speaking up for yourself before and confronting people who have hurt you. But you know what? I think that's slightly different than just speaking up for yourself. Speaking up for yourself is the first step to standing up for yourself. It's protesting when someone stomps all over you. Standing up for yourself is making sure that no one stomps on you in the first place. It's not the occasional thing you do every once in a while when you still need it; it's a daily process.
Before, I would have brushed it off. I would have diminished it and said that it was nothing. Why? I would be much too afraid of jeopardizing our friendship. And I still want this friendship, but I won't give up my self-respect just to keep it.
Standing up for myself is great, though. It feels so empowering and refreshing. Kicking myself down feels so black and painful that this is such a nice change. Like I'm kicking away the shackles that have held me for so long. I can look in the mirror and smile because I can live with myself now and be proud of who I am.
Another benefit is standing up for other people. When some other guy was being an asshole to this girl who admitted that she liked him, I stood up for her. Because screw that, she deserves so much better than him. And I deserve so much better than to be disrespected by above guy too for similar reasons.
And this is just one example of many. I hope that having the courage to stand up for myself here might give me more courage to stand up for myself on a daily basis. I hope that I can make standing up for myself a way of life.