I’ve been thinking about dignity. I do, a lot, especially when I feel I’ve not been dignified. I haven’t felt it lately because I haven’t felt in control of anything. But dignity isn’t about control, is it?

I realised that most of my emotional decisions were trauma reactions. It wasn’t devastating even if it did make me cry. If that is who you are, what does it matter what someone else deems right or healthy? Dignity is not the absence of trauma. I’d been soldiering on, feeling shame for choices & responses that came instinctively because that is what I’ve been conditioned to do. No more. I will not carry shame, least of all for things I cannot help. And I started to feel my dignified self again. Dignity is honesty.

It’s easy to be dignified with people who don’t matter. But if the people who do matter, make it hard for you to be dignified, maybe they do not care about your dignity. Maybe they don’t understand dignity themselves because a dignified person actively seeks out what accords & preserves the dignity in others.

I assumed that dignity has to do with being steady & unchangeable. But how can that be when change is the only real truth? I am changeable. Moody. Adaptable. Unpredictable. Evolving. It just depends on how one looks at it. I am still me, no matter who’s looking. Eyes & adjectives changing do not have to determine my dignity. Dignity is a powerful sense of self, as it is in that moment, each moment.

Maybe it’s okay to lose it too. And for life to be an eternal quest to find it again. I find it sits right with me for my mantra to be, “How can I be my most dignified self now?”It’s got nothing to do with what is fair or logical or even being serious. And it’s got everything to do with choosing to be the best me that I can think of. Even if no one else sees it or agrees. Maybe dignity is about holding onto who you are, even if you have to change to do it. Dignity is sitting right in your own skin.

What do you do when other people villify your dignity? You wait. All things come to the dignified self. They all return too. Because dignity is that most magnetic of life forces.

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