It took me many, many years to truly understand how important respect was as a value. It is a word we bandy about but a couple of years ago all of a sudden I understood.
I was journaling and thinking about my life and my history and it came to me that part of the reason I have been bullied (and more) over many years, in many situations, is that I did not have the respect of my others. This was a huge moment and I feel quite emotional even writing about it. I had recently left a job where I had been gaslighted by very real horrible bosses. This was at one of the lowest points of my life. I was sick, struggling to come to terms with my arthritis diagnosis and also coming to terms with the fact that I could no longer work full-time.
The horrible experience I had in the workplace had brought me to a stand still. I was good at my job, I knew this, and yet I allowed these truly wicked people to belittle me, to call me a liar and to bring me to a point where I started to question myself.
I was listening to the radio and Respect sung by the fabulous Aretha Franklin came on the radio. It struck a chord with me. I listened to the words and then realised I needed to listen again. I headed over to YouTube and literally played it over and over again. These amazing lyrics written by Otis Redding resonated with me. As I listened all of a sudden I realised something really important.
Nobody would respect me fully until I respected myself.
This was such a turning point in my life. Once I realised this I embraced respect as a word of the year. This word however I think will live on with me forever.
Today following the passing of a truly fabulous woman Aretha Franklin, I pay my respects to a woman who lived through decades of change and stood tall, constantly belting out an anthem that has, I am sure reminded many woman of the importance of respect.
Thank you for reading and please take a listen to this amazing song.