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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for November 8, 2015

              In the song "Respect Yourself"  written by Luther Ingram and Mack Wise, we find a creative way in which words are used to get people to condition their mind to feel and think respect for themselves.  Self-respect allows the flow of worthiness and a healthy self-esteem to be fostered in our mind.  In these lyrics taken from the song we can see that the words "respect yourself" are repeated four times in the beginning and four times in the ending of this single stanza.

"Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself, respect yourself
- from the lyrics of the song "Respect Yourself" performed by the Staple Singers

             The Staple Singers were an American Gospel, Soul and R&B group formed by the father with his children.  The family name was Staples but the "s" was deleted in naming the group.  The song "Respect Yourself" was a top hit song in 1971 and continues to receive air-play today on radio stations throughout the world.  I believe that this can be attributed to the fact that the words speak to the truth about each of us and our relationship with each other and most importantly, our self.  We must respect our self.  If we don't, we must learn how to.  

              Too often people ar
e so mind-busy with what is wrong with themselves that they forget that a focus on what is wrong with us never heals us and never resolves any issues we may be dealing with.  Self respect does not make us arrogant or ego driven.  It is the most important attribute to be aware of if we seek to discover the way in which we can rise to the level of consciousness necessary to live with peace of mind and prosperity.  Most legitimate spiritual and religious teachers will tell us the truth that "what G-d does for us must be done through us" ... in other words, through the conscious awareness of who we really are and what we believe first about our self, about our relationship to G-d and our relationship to the world in which we live.

            I am a firm believer in affirmations, but I also believe that we affirm so many things that we are not consciously aware of.  Self-depreciation which diminishes our self-respect is far too prevalent in the minds of people.  We cannot depreciate and appreciate at the same time.   Self-respect comes from appreciating the amazing nature of our soul or consciousness.  The soul of us came into this life without a blemish of self-depreciation or criticism of any kind.  This is easy for any intelligent person to realize.  In the ancient wisdom we can find that even those who lived in primitive times realized this.  In the Gospels, Jesus is referred to as a "Son of God" ... and he stated clearly that we are all of one Father (Our Father, he said).  Yet, religion has distorted this truth and have taught that he was the "only son of God."  And I repeat this often, "son" in the Aramaic language of Jesus meant a "part of" ... Jesus was a "part of G-d" and so are you and me.  To realize this is to elevate our soul to its original state when we were born into the world.  It is in this state of mind or consciousness, that allows the Spirit of G-d to flow through our mind, our heart and our soul without fear, doubt or any thought of unworthiness.  

Let's look at these words taken from A Course In Miracles, Lesson 47:  "God is the strength in which I trust. ... If you are trusting in your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?
          Of yourself you can do none of these things. To believe that you can is to put your trust where trust is unwarranted, and to justify fear, anxiety, depression, anger and sorrow. Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe? Yet who can put his faith in strength and feel weak?
            God is your safety in every circumstance. His Voice speaks for Him in all situations and in every aspect of all situations, telling you exactly what to do to call upon His strength and His protection. There are no exceptions because God has no exceptions. And the Voice which speaks for Him thinks as He does.

In these words from Lesson 47 of A Course in Miracles we find a different presentation of the truth taught by the Master Mind Jesus in the Gospels:  "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works."  This is the truth for each of us, but we won't believe that it is unless we respect that part of us that is G-d.

          From the Talmud we can read:  "If I am not for myself, who will be, but if I am only for myself, what am I?"  And in these words from the ancients we can realize the importance of respecting our self ... not just what the world may call our finer qualities, but the wholeness of our self.  And then we can say with conviction, "G-d is the strength in which I trust."


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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through the experiences of evolution." -
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